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Keynote Sessions You Don't Want to Miss!

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, February 24, 2015
Introducing Keynote Sessions you don't want to miss!

Alan Fine: Opening Keynote -Leading from the Inside Out

We are all capable of achieving everyday greatness-becoming our best self.However, many times we do not achieve our greatness because we cannot break through our own personal interference (fears, uncertainty, doubts and the voice in our head). In this inspirational and engaging keynote, Alan Fine shares a powerful approach for overcoming personal interference and achieving a higher level of performance using a simple process, Alan shows audiences how to redirect focus and discover how to unlock existing knowledge, talents, and skills, and take action to accomplish their goals and become their best self.


Valora Washington: Keynote -Leadership Lessons: Supporting Staff with Your Head, Heart and Hand

Dr. Valora Washington will discuss successful strategies used to develop the early childhood workforce.Each strategy welcomes a renewed commitment to professional development and support for continuous quality improvement. Participants will identify new ways to integrate successful strategies into career development plans.




Maurice Sykes: Closing Keynote -Doing the Right Thing for Children: Who are we as Leaders?

Based on his recently published book:Doing the Right Thing for Children: Eight Qualities of Leadership, Maurice will inspire you to rethink your leadership trajectory by challenging you to discover and actualize the leader that is within you in order to give voice to your vision and vitality to your vigorous leadership agenda for young children.
Join fellow leaders from across the country as they come together to learn, strategize, reflect, and share advancements in the field of early childhood education.

Don't miss out--Register for Conference today!

Tags:  31st Annual National Conference: How Successful Di  accreditation  early childhood education  Early Learning Leader  educational training  leaders  National Accreditation Commission  standards  training 

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Let's talk about...Standard D3

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, May 21, 2014
Written by: Erin Schmidt and Ruth La Brayere

D3. Written assessment is made of each child’s growth and development.

All Ages

  • Assessments are based on developmental norms and expectations appropriate for the child’s age. [D]
  • Assessments incorporate information obtained from multiple sources including observation documentation, photographs, and samples of work, as well as parental input. [SS]
  • Assessments are used to identify effectiveness in meeting goals and as a guide for future planning. [SS]
Infants, Toddlers, Twos
  • Assessments include cognitive, language, motor, social, and emotional development. [D]
  • Teachers complete assessments 2 or more times per year. [D]
  • Assessments include cognitive, language, motor, social, and emotional development. [D]
  • Teachers complete assessments 2 or more times per year. [D]
School Age
  • Assessments include general skills and abilities of school age children. (Ex. social skills, work    habits, physical abilities)   [D]
  • Teachers complete assessments a minimum of once per year. [D]

There are important reasons for early childhood professionals to observe and complete developmental assessments for children in their classroom:

Aid in Curriculum Planning   
  • Appropriate curriculum builds upon what a child already knows and is both age and individually appropriate.  Observation and assessment made across all domains of children’s learning provides information about a child’s capabilities, interests, and ways of learning.  With this information the teacher can plan appropriate activities and experiences to help children continue to make progress.

Identify Special Needs or Special Aptitudes
  • Areas of special need may become apparent when observations and assessments  indicate a pattern of interactions, conversations, and/ or behaviors that are outside the expected developmental range.  Unbiased observations can reveal new understanding about each child’s development.
Based on these observations, the need for any of the following can be assessed:
  • program adjustments to meet individual needs
  • curriculum/activities specifically targeted to a set of needs or strengths
  • parent questionnaire
  • onsite observation by an outside organization
  • professional advice
  • intervention by specialist
Developmental Checklists are an acceptable form for completion of the formal assessment of Children.  Checklists include milestones for normal development in specific age groups across  developmental areas: Cognitive, language, motor, social and emotional development. The skills and characteristics on such checklists can be endless.  Select and use those that are consistent with your philosophy.  

Assessments for young children are not a test.  Many commercially available assessment instruments are stressful to young children and do not accurately reflect many abilities. Assessments for young children are not report cards.  They are used to learn about a child at a point in time. When used several times over the year, assessments will indicate progress made over time.

Authentic assessment of young children includes the use of developmental checklists in conjunction with other observation tools.  

Below Are the Glossary Terms that are associated with this standard and are found in the Glossary in the Appendices of the Accreditation Manual.

Assessment ..................................................................................................................................................................................... D3

A summary of a child’s progress and achievements. Checklists and assessment tools that incorporate all developmental areas can be purchased or created by the program to assist with assessment. Individually administered measurements are to be limited and evaluations that require children to be removed from the classroom setting are not acceptable in meeting this standard.

Because school-age children are thoroughly assessed in their formal school setting, assessment of these children in an after school or summer setting should be based on the goals set by the program for these children. That may be good work habits, social and problem solving skills, leadership, empathy for others, and/or other values. School-age assessments can be created by the program.

Assessment of preschoolers and school-age children serves the same purpose: to identify effectiveness in meeting classroom/program goals, a guide for planning future activities and communicating with parents.

Developmental norms and expectations....................................................................................................................... D3

Standards by which a child’s development can be measured. These are usually based on predictable age-related behaviors.

Observation documentation..........................................................................................................................................D2, D3

Short, narrative notes made at the time of or shortly after an observation that accurately describe a particular event that has been observed. There is to be no analysis of intent; only a factual report of actions and words. Written notes can be made on 3"x5" cards, on sticky notes, on notepads, or in spiral notebooks. Notes should be collected in the child’s confidential file. To be most useful, each recorded observation should contain the name of the child being observed, the place, date, and time of observation as well as the observer’s name.

Multiple recorded observations that have been collected over time will give evidence of the child’s progress and/or reveal a pattern. Information obtained from written observations is to be used as part of the evidence for assessments. Unbiased recordings of observations allow parents to get a realistic picture of their child at school.

Tags:  accreditation  early childhood education  Early Learning Leaders  National Accreditation Commission 

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Lets Take a Look at Standard A12

Posted By Admin, Friday, January 3, 2014
Written by Erin Schmidt and Ruth LaBrayere

As the director of a program, it is your responsibility to provide for the needs of the children in your care, their families and let’s not forget about your teaching staff. As a busy director, it can be difficult to find the time to address the needs of your staff, especially in the area of professional development. However, the professional development of your teachers is vital to your overall program quality and demands careful attention.


A12. A written annual plan for professional development is prepared for each employee. [D]

The plan includes:

  • Topics Identified in the employee’s evaluation as needing improvement [ss]
  • Topics identified in the employee’s evaluation as opportunities for growth (Ex. College coursework in ECE/CD, enrollment in CDA courses, attendance at national conferences, membership in a professional organization) [ss]
  • Date(s) courses completed and/or training/mentoring received for each identified topic [D]
It is essential to recognize the great impact quality professional development experiences can have on your program quality, staff retention and higher ratings of job satisfaction for both teachers and directors. Teachers can develop or enhance skills in classroom management, curriculum development, communication and any area that touches their important role as a caregiver of young children.  The skills and knowledge gained through quality training, ongoing education, attendance at a national conference or membership in a professional organization can result in improved classroom practices benefiting all. Greater understanding of the doctrines of our profession lead to practices that impact quality and ownership for the staff, the children and the families.  

As with the children in your program, each teacher must also be developed per his or her own individual needs. Teachers deserve time and attention for their own development, and the role of the director in creating a plan is crucial. In the role as advisor, teachers will often view you as being supportive, which will enhance the relationship with each staff member. Teachers will feel respected and valued when you take the time to consider and meet their individual needs. Since individualized professional development plans target areas for improvement, areas of continued study, and areas for growth, quality education and training frequently professional development opportunities result in an increased sense of self-worth, higher job performance, and greater program loyalty. Most importantly, through increased knowledge, there is the opportunity for significant gains in teacher-child interactions and teacher-child bonding.

Knowing the importance of quality training and professional development is only the first step. You may be asking yourself, where do I go from here? Below are a few questions to ask yourself when planning professional development experiences for your staff.


Things to consider when it comes to professional development:

  • Is this training from a quality source?
  • Have I investigated all training opportunities?
    • Local Resource and Referral training
    • State supported training
    • Online training supported by positive reviews
  • Does my state offer Scholarship opportunities such as TEACH?
  • If local trainings are not an option what online opportunities are available? How do you know they are achieving the content required ?
  • Are there ways to offer more high quality training for more of my staff?
    • Partner with other programs in the area to fund a specific speaker.
    • Meet with other directors to share solutions and reviews
    • Promote conference attendance.
  • Have I considered the many advantages of a variety of trainers?
    • A different approach to familiar material, possibly allowing for greater understanding of complicated information
    • The tendency of some staff to hear information better from someone outside the program
  • Have I adequately identified individual staff training needs through the observations I’ve conducted for each teacher?
  • How quality trainings affect your bottom line.
  • Does this training meet the training guidelines for accreditation?
Aside from trainings that you identify as necessary or suggest as an area for growth, it is crucial for staff to set and obtain professional development goals for themselves as well. You can provide them this opportunity by allowing them to set goals that they would like to achieve and have them choose the corresponding professional development experience that would meet those goals.   Do you want to further your formal education? What experiences have you had with formal education? What Scholarship opportunities are available?  What are your fears?


To help staff set goals consider having them answer following questions:

  • What pushes your buttons? (What frustrates you?)
  • What areas do you feel you struggle with?
  • When do you encounter the most stress?
  • What would you like to learn more about?
  • What is your favorite area of curriculum or development? Would you like to take training that focuses on that topic?
  • Do you want to further your formal education?
  • What experiences have you had with formal education?
  • What Scholarship opportunities are available?  
  • What are your fears?
In addition to participation in trainings, you may identify teachers who would be willing to present the information that they have learned. Provide opportunities for these individuals to present information learned from a training or conference to the whole staff. This is also a great step in their professional development growth. Initially, you may wish to review the information that will be presented to ensure accuracy, compliance with program philosophy and goals and National Accreditation Commission policies and practices.

Tags:  accreditation  accredition steps  director  leadership  National Accreditation Commission  professional development  program 

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