As a follow up to our previous blog post, the Institute is pleased to share information about a webinar based on Dr. Nancy Carlsson-Paige’s keynote at the Children’s Screen Time Action Network Conference. Dr. Carlsson-Pagie will offer a full exploration of how and why screens interfere with developmental milestones crucial to children’s well-being. She will illustrate the difference between what children "learn" from screens and what they learn through physical, hands-on activities. The webinar will take place on November 5th at 7:30 pm, register here.
The New York Early Childhood Professional Development Institute is pleased to announce the appointment of Leslie Capello as the new Director of QUALITYstarsNY. After a national search, Leslie stood out as the candidate who could best lead QUALITYstarsNY into the future. Leslie will join the Institute having served as the Deputy Director of Early Childhood for Children’s Aid Society in NYC. Prior to joining Children’s Aid, Leslie served as the Early Head Start Director at Grand Street Settlement and as the Early Head Start Education Director at Educational Alliance. Before coming to New York, Leslie was in California working with Head Start and as a Professional Development Coordinator. Leslie has been a teacher of children from 6 – 36 months and has been a site supervisor. Her deep experience and understanding of early childhood education makes her suited to lead QUALITYstarsNY during a time of continued growth.
The Institute is pleased to announce the release our 2017 annual report! Our mission is to identify the challenges faced by early childhood educators and develop and influence the innovative approaches, systems, and public policies that address them. We work at several levels to improve the early childhood workforce and expand quality improvement across the state, from building and operating statewide systems to helping individual educators in their career advancement with intensive coaching, mentoring, tutoring, and new models of professional development. We've tried to capture the essence of our work in this report and trust you will find it informative. Our deepest gratitude for your continued support!
Download the report here.
The Institute was pleased to have a summer intern, Ramisa Bashar, this year through the Opportunity Network, an organization devoted to helping high school students achieve their college and career goals with a variety of supports beginning their sophomore year of high school and lasting throughout college. Ramisa was kind enough to share her reflections on her summer internship with this guest blog post. We wish her the best of luck as she begins her college career at Queens College in September!
Hi, I'm Ramisa Bashar, the summer intern. I am a fellow at the Opportunity Network, a nonprofit organization that serves as a career and college readiness program for students from underrepresented communities. Through this program, I learned about an internship at the New York Early Childhood Professional Development Institute and jumped on the opportunity. The internship piqued my interest because the Institute is affiliated with CUNY and I plan on attending Queens College in the fall, so I hoped to network with CUNY staff and alumni while there. Additionally, it was an opportunity to learn about the administrative positions and work that is involved ‘behind-the-scenes’ in nonprofits. I began working at the Institute before I had officially graduated high school, which made me considerably younger and less experienced. But, to my surprise, the staff gave me respect and expressed a desire to collaborate.
Upon entering the office my first day, I knew I liked it. Like most, my expectations of the people in high administrative positions were: white and male. However, the commitment to diversity and inclusion at the Institute is observable: women in positions of power and people of color working at every level. I recall Dona Anderson, the Institute’s Deputy Executive Director, explaining the importance of having the staff as diverse as the people whom they served. I relaxed immediately and felt that I could contribute to not only the Institute, but any future position at a major company or organization.
The largest project I have helped with is database entry for Start with Stars, a project under QUALITYstarsNY that helps to improve challenged programs not yet ready to participate in QUALITYstarsNY. I worked closely with Becky Plattus, the Special Projects Manager, to prepare for the new version of the Aspire website. This involved reviewing and compiling spreadsheets, continuous tests of the website for bugs and errors, and ultimately inputting data. I had the exciting opportunity to speak one-on-one with web developers and be a part of a new phase of the Institute, as they transition into the digital age.
Eventually, I also learned about different aspects and initiatives of the New York Early Childhood Professional Development Institute. For example, in a meeting for the Leadership Initiative, I learned about the NYS Children’s Program Administrator Credential (CPAC) — a credential for teachers and administrators that indicates they are prepared for the management and leadership work involved with early childhood. One of the Leadership Initiative directors spoke about the experience so passionately, that I can see myself obtaining the certificate.
“This accomplishment was like giving birth to a new beginning of my life and to set an example to my kids that through hard work and perseverance you can accomplish anything you put your mind to if you have faith”.
– Ray (CUNY SPS Child Development Associate Certificate Graduate June 2018)
On June 1, 2018 41 students walked the stage at Lincoln Center to receive their Child Development Associate Certificate from CUNY School of Professional Studies. The individuals came from all parts of NYC’s five boroughs with different reasons for embarking on an educational path that lead to the certificate. They all shared a common desire, to be a great teacher and enjoy their work with children and families.
A group of students were continuing their professional development to further their career in early education. Some of the students returned to school after being away from formal classroom experience for many years. Other students decided they needed a change in their career and wanted more meaning to their work. A small cohort of students joined the program with a unique background and reason for partaking in the course. The group were all parents of NYC ACS Head Start programs. They participated in their programs as volunteers, committee members and delegate representatives. They were provided an opportunity to gain their CDA to continue to give back to the community that has provided so much to them and their families. They can now work as teacher assistants and lead teachers in the classrooms they once volunteered in. All of our students shared several semesters of intense course work and field experience, and bonded over sharing their stories as “student interns”.
I am truly proud of the students and instructors. Each day they came to class and their internships having to be open to new information, being open to learn something new and even face being challenged to shift old beliefs and thoughts about child development. The courses meet the requirements of New York State undergraduate early childhood courses and the National Council of Professional Recognition Child Development Associate (CDA) competency model. Each graduating student can go on and take the national credentialing exam.
The graduation was a culmination of all of their hard work. Several of the teaching faculty from the CDA program joined the stage with the students and shared in the excitement of such a great accomplishment. It was great to see students blowing kisses and waiving to them as they crossed the stage. A genuine shared moment of joy and pride.
The Institute salutes the hard work of 42 CDA graduates, some of them pictured here with their instructor and the Institute's Higher Education Coordinator, Claudine Campanelli. Claudine oversees the CDA program and the CPAC program in conjunction with the CUNY School of Professional Studies.
This week, Defending the Early Years (DEY) launched its two-minute documentary, “Teachers Speak Out”. In this first mini-documentary, public school kindergarten teacher, Bianca Tanis, discusses the hijacking of early education and the growing crisis among early learners. Too many children are being identified as having special needs or behavioral issues when they simply need to move, play, and learn through exploration.
The New York Early Childhood Professional Development Institute believes that young children need and deserve the best start possible in their early years. When young children are protected, nurtured, and encouraged to learn about what interests them they have a better chance of thriving in childhood and securing healthy and productive futures. The Institute encourages you to watch and share this important mini-documentary, available here in English and Spanish.
To watch the documentary, click here.
On April 19th, the New York Association for the Education of Young Children (NYAEYC) will hold their annual 3-day conference. The conference will include various educational workshops, exhibit tables, and presentations, including some by Institute staff. This year’s presentations from our team are below. For more information about the conference, click here. We hope to see you there!
Pre-Conference, Thursday, April 19th
Training of Trainers: The Aspire Registry for New York’s Early Childhood Workforce (invitation only)
Diana Diaz and Louisa Higgins
Friday, April 20th
A Town Hall Meeting of the Governor's ECAC
Sherry Cleary and Patty Persell
Learning Communities: A Good Place to Foster Continuous Quality Improvement
Relationship Based Coaching
Sarah Longwell Stevens
Inspiration from Librarians: Storytime as a Family Engagement Experience