Early Education Newsletter

May 2020

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covid-19 (coronavirus) guidance for oecosl stakeholders

The Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning continues to issue news and update guidance to partners and stakeholders in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Guidance released to date by OECOSL can be found here.

need ilead help? having trouble accepting your invitation? need assistance learning to navigate ilead?

We can help! Reach out to our Program Support Specialist Kristi at 800-886-3952 ext. 38 or kburkhart@casyonline.org. If you have any questions about how to activate your account or if you are not receiving your invitations, we can help! We can assist you in getting your account started, understanding how to navigate I-LEAD, inviting staff, finding professional development, and more.

stay informed with spark

Did you know that in addition to the resources and updates provided within your CASY Newsletter, you can also sign up to receive information about SPARK through their newsletter?

Click here and scroll to the bottom of the page to sign up for the SPARK newsletter.

New SPARK Resources:

Did you know? @indianasparklearninglab has over 20 resources related to COVID-19 on Indiana Learning Paths!

Resources added this week cover:

- Be Well Indiana

- Financial Relationships

- FSSA’s OECOSL Application for Temporary Assistance Grant

- How to Support Families During COVID-19

- Paycheck Protection Program SBA Loan

- Program Considerations for Recovery and Restart

- Self-Care: Emotional Well-Being

- Temperature and Health Screening

To access, login or create an account at ilead.in.gov and select “Resources” at the top.

Virtual Ask a Lawyer

Indianapolis Bar Association: In response to the COVID-19 public health emergency, the Indianapolis Bar Association (IndyBar) has launched the "Virtual Ask a Lawyer" online legal advice chat service, where community members can chat in real time with an attorney who is prepared to assist with basic legal questions. To begin the chat, simply visit indybar.org/chat. All correspondence is confidential. The chat service will be manned from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday (excluding holidays). For individuals without access to the internet, phone-based assistance is also available by calling 317-269-2000.


What if my certificate is not available for a course I completed?
There are a few reasons why a certificate might not be available right away. Click here to learn more about your professional development certificates.
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Purdue Extension of Howard County Presents:

I am Moving, I am Learning

We hope to see you Wednesdays, April 8 - May 13, 2020 from 1 - 2 p.m. EST.

To join meeting click: https://purdueextension.zoom.us/j/195167124

Dial by your location: 1-312-626-6799 US

Meeting ID: 195 167 124

For more information about the individual sessions being offered click here.

Heart-Centered Self-Care Inspired by Nature

Please join Nature Explore as we delve into the enriching topic of creating a balanced and inspired work environment with a people-centered approach focused on life-long learning, celebration, reflection and nature-rich living.

Saturday, May 2, 2020

2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. (Central Time)

Click here to register.


Thursday, May 21, 2020

2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. (Central Time)

Click here to register.

Zero to Three: Webinar Series: Addressing Abuse and Neglect During COVID-19

How are stress and abuse affecting children, families, and professionals during this pandemic? Social distancing and sheltering are stressful. With little outside social support or respite, children are at a greater risk for harsh disciplinary practices, abuse, and neglect. And for those responsible for children, the stressors are tenfold and directly felt by babies and young children.

Join us for a 5-part guided reflection webinar series to consider the impact on children, families, your staff and services. Connect with your community of support to gain actionable trauma-informed practices and prevention efforts.

Each webinar focuses on a specific early childhood sector, providing resources and opportunities for reflective dialogue around trauma-informed practice and prevention efforts, vicarious traumatization risk, and promoting professional resilience. Click here to learn more.

Attuned Interactions and Healthy Relationships Support Early Development, by Dr. Mike Sherman

This insightful webinar presented by Dr. Mike Sherman will focus on the importance of relationships with well regulated, attuned, caring adults for supporting social and emotional development, as well as life-long well-being. Join Dr. Sherman as he shares examples from his clinical practice and extensive experience working in therapeutic preschool settings and the child-welfare system. Techniques derived from cutting edge research on brain development will be discussed to enhance educators building supportive relationships with young children and how such meaningful relationships with well-regulated, reflective adults can contribute to healthy brain development. Click here to register.

CDA Council Presents: 2020 LEADERSHIP & LEARNING Webinar Series

If you are looking for professional development opportunities that are meaningful, speak specifically to the ECE community and are presented by leaders in the field, your search stops here! The new 2020 Leadership & Learning Webinar Series offers over 30 interactive approaches to professional development starting in April through November. Review our webinar catalog to find the perfect match for your training needs.

Why Attend the Webinar Series?

  • Presented by early childhood industry experts
  • Register to view live and receive a link to the recording
  • Receive one in-service hour for each webinar
  • Attendance and registration are free
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Introducing Aim4Excellence™ 2.0!

At the McCormick Center for Early Childhood Leadership, we know that leadership matters. Enhanced leadership competencies and increased leadership capacity within the early childhood workforce yield sustainable improvements in program quality, which will in turn improve outcomes for the children and families that our field serves. We support early childhood education leaders in a number of ways to enhance competencies and grow capacity, but at no time in our history has Aim4Excellence™ – our fully online National Director Credential – been so vital to our field.

Register now

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Questions and Answers About Unemployment Benefits for Family Child Care Providers

The CARES Act was signed into law on Friday, March 22, 2020. This law expanded the number of people who are now eligible to claim unemployment benefits and increased by $600 a week how much eligible people can claim.

Family child care providers are eligible to receive unemployment benefits when any of the following occur:

  • Your state government requires you to shut down your program
  • You are closed as a direct result of the COVIDd of the COVID-19 public health emergency and such school or facility care is required for the individual to work
  • You have been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to the virus

Click here to read more from Tom Copeland.

Where to Turn for Help when Finances are Tight

If you are among those financially impacted by COVID-19, you may be wondering how you will pay your mortgage, auto loan, or credit card payments right now. Many lenders understand the current struggles that our nation is facing, and they are offering opportunities to defer payments or waving late fees. If you are struggling with any of these, do not make the mistake of not calling your lenders. Reach out to your lender to find out if assistance is available.

There are many articles that you can refer to on this topic. We have listed a few below to help you:

Guide to coronavirus mortgage relief options

Where to Get Financial Assistance During the COVID-19 Crisis

List Of Banks Offering Relief To Customers Affected By Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Verizon Wireless Coronavirus (COVID-19) FAQs

Sprint: Learn how we're responding to COVID-19.


Hosted by Conscious Discipline Master Instructor Jill Molli, this inaugural episode of Candid Conversations tackles the often-challenging prospect of caring for ourselves while supporting others. Click here to watch this and view more resources.

What Is COVID-19? And How Does It Relate to Child Development?

The Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University helps us to understand what COVID-19 is and how is it related to child development. For more information click here.

Our Kids Need Assurance and Guidance: Responding to COVID-19

Many of us, as parents and caregivers, find ourselves now at home, juggling our children’s school requirements, our own work obligations, and the added stress of trying to stay healthy and safe during a pandemic. We want to be supportive and encouraging, but simultaneously we struggle with how best to address the dangerous realities of this virus. Now, perhaps more than ever, our kids are looking to us for guidance and reassurance. And our interactions with our kids, how we talk about and respond to the current conditions, make a tremendous difference in how they address these challenging times.

There are mountains of articles and reports to sift through offering advice. What follows are highlights of three helpful resources – one from the National Association of School Psychologists and National Association of School Nurses, one from Psychology Today, and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control. These, like many resources and experts, stress the importance of offering an age-appropriate response. Click here to read more.

Rethinking Your Outdoor Space

A daily dose of nature helps everyone stay sane—especially children. Although we may be more confined than usual, author Kelly Johnson reminds us that, “you don’t need a grandly landscaped yard to create meaningful and lasting nature experiences for children.” In fact, for a small child, even a small flower pot on a patio offers endless exploration.

Now that spring is here, it’s a great opportunity to rethink your outdoor play space—no matter what size it is. It doesn’t take a green thumb or even an artist’s beret to make the space come alive for creative play. Read more.

Learning from the Weather

Kids learn best through direct experiences. At this time of year, one factor that greatly affects any experience is the weather! Constantly changing, spring weather generates opportunities for conversations, questions, and investigations that are immediately relevant to a child’s life.

By using a clear plastic bottle you can make a simple rain gauge. If you calibrate it carefully, it can actually take quite accurate readings. Find the instructions from Community Playthings by clicking here.

Managing mental health is essential for the well-being of Hoosiers across our state and communities around the world.

Whether you and your loved ones are hunkering down at home or taking precautions while continuing to perform essential work, there are many unique challenges you may be facing during the Coronavirus epidemic. You may feel differently than you normally do. You may be wondering if you’re “okay.” You may even already be living with mental health issues that have been aggravated by the COVID-19 crisis.

Most people are experiencing some amount of grief, stress, depression and worry. For some, these feelings are becoming overwhelming.

The good news is there are steps you can take, resources you can discover and people you can reach out to who can help you feel better.

Throughout this site, you’ll find information and resources compiled by the Indiana Division of Mental Health and Addiction designed to help Hoosiers stay connected and maintain their well-being. These resources have been validated by local and national experts to ensure that you have access to reliable information that you can trust.

Learn more here.