Early Education Newsletter

September 2021

CASY Office Closed

Monday, September 6th, 2021 in observation of Labor Day

Updated Guidelines for the prevention of respiratory droplet spread disease (including COVID-19)

The Office of Early Childhood and Out of School Learning has issued new guidance for the prevention of respiratory droplet spread disease including COVID-19. This guidance outlines strategies for these child care programs to reduce diseases spread by respiratory droplets (including COVID-19, RSV, influenza, the common cold and many others) and maintain safe operations. ECE and OST programs are an important part of communities. Programs are required to make every effort to control the spread of communicable diseases. Programs should work with local public health officials to determine strategies to use based on community outbreaks of disease and, when applicable, vaccination rates. Read the new guidance here.
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Indiana’s Build, Learn, Grow program is extending scholarships for qualified families through March 2022! Scholarships cover up to 80% of a child’s early care and education, summer learning, or out-of-school program tuition, ensuring families can connect to the care and education children need.

Extensions for awarded scholarships

The scholarship extension form is streamlined to allow for quicker submission. After September, programs can extend scholarships for families in quarterly claims.

New scholarship claims
Providers can continue to submit new scholarship claims for children enrolled in care or new to their program. Learn more about the scholarships and claims process.
Need help?
For support with the Build, Learn, Grow scholarship program, contact the Brighter Futures Indiana Solution Center via email, phone or chat.

Hours: Monday-Thursday 8 a.m.-7 p.m. and Friday 8 a.m.-5 p.m. ET.
Call: (800) 299-1627
Email: Solutioncenter@earlylearningindiana.org
Chat: https://brighterfuturesindiana.org and click the “Support” box in the bottom right corner


Join SPARK Learning Lab's bi-weekly newsletter mailing list to stay up to date on all SPARK's latest news. Click here to learn more.

Managing Accounts for Educators Working At Multiple Locations on I-LEAD

I-LEAD educators may be associated with staff rosters at more than one program or site. In this article, you will find information for both provider admins and educators on how to manage roles for educators working at multiple locations. Learn more here.



IYI’s Professional Development Grants program offers financial assistance for youth workers to access continuing education that they might not otherwise be able to attend. These funds are available to help promote the healthy development of children and youth by providing access to training and course work that IYI does not or cannot offer.

IYI’s Professional Development Grants may be used for conferences, trainings, workshops, or tuition reimbursement. Opportunities must be related to the applicant’s position and agency’s mission. The grants is intended to improve the applicant’s ability to do their job and the agency’s ability to serve and support children and youth.

Amount: Up to $750, maximum of two awards per organization per IYI fiscal year (July-June).

Learn more.

Universal Precautions is now available on demand!

Universal precautions training is required for all staff working in regulated child care programs. Early childhood professionals need to be knowledgeable about how to prevent disease transmission in the early childhood setting, including those spread through contact with blood and other potentially infectious bodily fluids. Universal precautions are measures taken in order to safely handle bodily fluids, blood, and airborne particles to reduce the chance of infection and transmission of diseases to staff or children in child care settings.

This required training is now available as an on-demand online course so you can complete the training when it is most convenient for you!

To access:
1. Login or create a free account at ilead.in.gov
2. Click “Start Your Indiana Learning Path”
3. Choose “Courses” from the left-side menu
4. Search for “Universal Precautions Online” to register


Leverage play for positive outcomes and social/emotional skill growth through a series

of trainings that highlight constructive tools and methods.

Playworks and the Indiana Department of Health are proud to offer this training to Early

Childhood Educators at no cost. While attendance is free, participants must register

and plan to attend both days. Materials will be mailed to each participant after

registration and all attendees will be entered to win a mini play kit with all the equipment

necessary to support Playworks games. Attendees will receive a clock hour

certificate documenting attendance and content covered.

Participants will be invited to a 60 minute follow up call 4-6 weeks following the

initial workshop.

Play Leadership Essentials

Our 2-day virtual interactive workshop teaches proven strategies to foster a stronger sense of

engagement, prevent and redirect challenging behavior, develop social/emotional skills and enhance

opportunities for physical activity. Taught by professional Playworks trainers, each workshop in the

series draws on various learning styles and builds on core principles of child development. The

program’s workshops include:

1. The Power of Play—This workshop introduces the importance of play and lays the foundation

for creating a safe, healthy, and respectful environment for children. It also includes a

discussion of the various barriers children may face and how to overcome those barriers.

2. Group Management 1: Proactive Strategies—Here we explore five key group management

strategies that adults can use to set children up for successful group behavior.

3. Effective Game Facilitation—This workshop is designed to increase participants' ability to

facilitate our games. In addition, we impart the Playworks methodology for transitioning

between activities and building cooperation among children.

4. Indoor Play Design—This workshop teaches participants indoor games, how to map indoor

play spaces, and how to create action plans to keep children physically active.


When: September 13th and 15th 12:00pm-5:00pm

Register at:https://playworksearlychildhoodplesept.eventbrite.com

Option 2: OCTOBER

When: October 25th and 27th 12:00pm-5:00pm

Register at:https://playworksearlychildhoodpleoct.eventbrite.com

Option 3: NOVEMBER

American Sign Language interpreter will

be present in this training session.

When: November 16th and 18th 12:00pm-5:00pm

Register at:https://playworksearlychildhoodplenov.eventbrite.com

Option 4: JANUARY

When: January 17th and 19th 12:00pm-5:00pm

Register at:https://playworksearlychildhoodplesept.eventbrite.com

Turn Challenging Behavior Into Prosocial Learning : A New Year Brings New Opportunities, by Jacky Howell

September 8, 2021

2:00 PM Eastern Time

The first few weeks of school mean everything!

Being proactive and intentional is often the most effective strategy teachers can use to set children up for success. This is especially true when it comes to prosocial learning. Young children need teachers to help them navigate life in early childhood programs. The early days of the school year offer the greatest opportunities for helping children be safe, follow routines, and treat their classmates as they would like to be treated. Learning to follow new expectations is like learning a new language to young children. You can prevent a lot of negative interactions, frustration, and tears (for children and their teachers) by thinking about the environment, the class routine, your expectations, and the developmental capabilities of the children you teach. Join early childhood author and expert, Jacky Howell in this free webinar to explore three areas we can set up for prosocial learning–the environment–both physical and social/emotional, the prosocial curriculum and understanding each child as an individual. Lots of ideas will be shared. Learn more here.

Play and Assessment? YES! Reciprocal Partners in the Early Childhood Classroom Dance, by Michelle Salcedo

September 15, 2021

2:00 PM Eastern Time

At times, assessment and play have been pitted against each other, considered to be at opposite ends of the “developmentally appropriate” continuum. In reality, both are not only essential, but they work together! Play informs authentic, observation-based assessment and assessment informs facilitation. In this session, we will examine both play and assessment and the power that comes when early educators leverage the power of both in creating learning environments for young children. Learn more here.


National Preparedness Month

National Preparedness Month is an observance each September to raise awareness about the importance of preparing for disasters and emergencies that could happen at any time. The 2021 theme is “Prepare to Protect. Preparing for disasters is protecting everyone you love.”

Each week, the campaign will focus on a different aspect of preparedness for individuals, families and communities. CCAoA’s Emergency Preparedness resources, such as the emergency kit and emergency plans, can be helpful as you assess your readiness throughout the month.

COVID-19 Vaccines – What you need to know

The COVID-19 vaccine is an important component of COVID-19 prevention, helping ensure the health of early childhood professionals and the children under their care. Child Care Aware of America has several resources to help answer your questions about the COVID-19 vaccine:

  • The March webinar co-hosted with 13 partners on the COVID-19 vaccine and child care providers

Provisioning the Environment: Supporting High Quality Early Learning

Tell me, I forget.

Show me, I remember,

Involve me, I understand.

—Ancient Chinese Proverb

Long before the dawn of brain research, educators understood that experience triggers learning. A child should be surrounded by a sensory-rich environment that generates active learning experiences.

Does the physical arrangement of your classroom support child-directed experiential learning? Is there a wide variety of materials being offered to fuel the creativity and curiosity of your students? The launch of a new school year offers an opportunity to assess how your classrooms are set up.

Read these suggestions from Beverly Falk: Provisioning High Quality Learning Environments

Why Parent Involvement is So Important in Early Childhood Education

Parent involvement helps extend teaching outside the classroom, creates a more positive experience for children and helps children perform better when they are in school.

But... how do you encourage parent involvement? And, what role should parents be playing when it comes to their child's education? Click here to read more.

Resources for Parents

CASY Family Newsletter is a Great Resource to Share with Your Families!

Follow our family newsletter and share it with your families. We pack our family newsletter with information to educate parents and share exciting family events happening in their area. As a provider, you will be receiving the the September Parent Newsletter directly to your email. This will allow you to easily follow the newsletter and share it with your families!

Don't want to wait for the September Newsletter to arrive? Check out the August newsletter here.

On My Way Pre-K applications for the 2021-2022 school year now available statewide

Since On My Way Pre-K started, the number of high-quality early care and education programs has nearly doubled. Your 4-year-old could be eligible for free enrollment! Find out by completing an online application at OnMyWayPreK.org today.

Teaching Kids About Boundaries: Why empathy and self-awareness play a major role

For most parents setting boundaries for young kids’ behavior is second nature: No hitting. Don’t interrupt. We don’t grab toys out of other kids’ hands.

But as they get older, and social interaction gets more complex, it’s not enough to just learn the rules. They need to learn to set boundaries for themselves and respect those of others. And that takes being able to recognize what others want and need — and express what they want and need, too.

Continue reading here.

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