June 2020

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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.

Paths to QUALITY™ (PTQ) Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ has been created with updated information that is aligned with Governor Holcomb’s Back on Track Plan. This guidance applies to programs in counties identified as being Stage 2 or higher. Please note that guidance will be reviewed and updated as situations change and new information is available. For more information click here.

Yale Study COVID-19 and Child Care

Your participation in a Yale School of Medicine survey regarding child care during the COVID-19 crisis is requested. Please help us by participating in a brief (12-20 minute long) survey being sent to child care providers like you across the nation. Your answers will be completely confidential. We need as many voices and experiences as possible as we try to determine the rate at which child care providers have become ill with COVID-19 symptoms and which strategies may have helped keep them safer. We need to hear from you whether you were open or closed during the COVID-19 pandemic. We think of you as heroes for the work you do caring for children and families. As a measure of thanks, we will randomly select at least 10 people who complete the online confidential survey to win a check for $500. Also, we will invite all of you to participate in a free online webinar where we will discuss the results and answer any questions you may have, including questions regarding the latest science on COVID-19 spread in classroom settings and how best to keep children and staff safe. This free webinar will be hosted by Child Care Aware® of America, where I am board president. We value you as colleagues in this work, and we would learn from your comments and questions. Your participation in this study is voluntary. Your decision to participate, withdraw or not answer all the questions will have no negative consequences. We hope that you will help us. Please click the link below, which will take you to our online survey. It should take only about 12-20 minutes to complete the survey. More information and a brief consent page will be provided to you before the confidential online survey begins.


Thank you for all that you do for children and families.


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.

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Are you a family child care provider? Join SPARK on Town Square!

Town Square is a website dedicated to supporting you in providing high-quality care for all children while operating a thriving business.

The resources and features on Town Square are all free. They’re organized so you can find answers and get help quickly. The site, also mobile-friendly, is a great way to stay connected to your colleagues and other program leaders so you never feel alone.

Enjoy all the fun features that Town Square has to offer, such as a pinboard and state-specific content.

Creating an account is easy! Hover over the login button in the top right corner of the home screen and choose "Register New Account."

Create your account here.


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.


The Fund will help support health- and safety-related expenses
in the wake of COVID-19.

As early care and learning providers across the country face an uncertain future because of COVID-19, Early Learning Indiana is launching the Come Back Stronger Fund with the support of a $15.7 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. The fund is designed to reinforce Indiana’s supply of high-quality early learning opportunities, especially for the most vulnerable children. For more information click here.

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Starting June 1, NAEYC will offer over 100 presentations of content shared by NAEYC experts and a diverse group of presenters from all sectors of the industry. Our presenters include policy experts, higher education faculty, school leaders, researchers, and educators.

While typically this type of content is only offered at NAEYC Professional Learning Institute, we are providing access to these presentations during the NAEYC Virtual Institute at no charge as our gift to you for all that you give to young children and their families.

The NAEYC Virtual Institute is open to everyone; early childhood professionals, advocates, families, and supporters who are interested in early childhood education. You do not need to be a NAEYC member to participate.

Learn more here.

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USI is offering free Self-Paced Tutorial courses listed below at no cost to you.

Across the region and state, professionals and students are rapidly adjusting to new realities of working and learning remotely. We hope that our lifelong learners can leverage these courses to help enter the workforce, advance their career or use this as a professional development opportunity to gain valuable workplace skills.

To take advantage of this offer you must register anytime between now and June 30. You will have 90 days to complete the class from the time you enroll. Click here to learn more about courses available.

Keeping Youth Engaged this Summer

Jun 2, 2020 1:00 PM

Youth development programs are serving youth using a mix of approaches this summer, including in-person, virtually, or take-home activities. Regardless of the approach, programming will be most effective when positive youth development is practiced. This webinar will address a range of practices and tips for ensuring that your programming is engaging and fun. We will discuss how to use the new Summer Activity Guide and other resources in order to effectively engage with youth through different delivery models. We will discuss ideas for modifying in-person programming to ensure the health and safety of your youth. Lastly, we will cover tips and tools for driving youth engagement through virtual programming and address ideas for maintaining consistent connections with youth through digital programming and take-home programming. Register here.

Leading During Uncertainty: Rebuilding Staff Capacity

Date: Wednesday, June 3, 2020
Time: 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. CST

Whether your program has been in continuous operations or has been closed due to the pandemic, maintaining staff capacity has been a significant challenge. Join Aim4Excellence to discuss strategies that many early childhood program leaders have implemented to either maintain or rebuild their staff capacity to support program operations.

Click here to register.

Early Care and Education’s Leadership Choices: What Lies Ahead for the Field? by Stacie Goffin and Dr. Valora Washington

June 3, 2020

2:00pm Eastern Time

Ready or Not: Leadership Choices in Early Care and Education (Ready or Not) made its mark in 2007 by boldly calling for a field-wide response to the question of “What defines and bounds early care and education (ECE) as a field of practice?” A dozen years later, this unanswered question remains pivotal to ECE’s understanding of its present and its aspirations for the future. The stakes for children and for the ECE field have become increasingly urgent. More than ever, these field-defining questions call for answers. Click here to explore the meaning and implications of these questions for ECE’s developmental trajectory and what is needed to move forward.

Mindful Emotion Regulation Strategies for Early Educators and the Children With Whom They Work, by Troy Byer

June 17, 2020

2:00 PM Eastern Time

Every day, and especially during these very challenging times, it is important to find organic ways to keep stress levels low. Stress inarguably challenges immune systems and a challenged immune system leaves adults and children susceptible to myriad physical and mental challenges. The access to organically managing stress is to understand and use the power our minds have over our bodies. In the same way, we take our bodies to the gym for physical strength, Mind Care & Emotion Regulation Expert, Coach Troy Byer has created exercises designed to strengthen neuro-muscles by creating a workout program for the mind. And, it is scientifically proven, when we work out our neuro- muscles, we simultaneously create neurotransmitters that intercept the neurotransmitters caused by stress, such as cortisol. Click here for more information or to register.

Preparing for Re-Opening: The Administrator’s Role in Taking Control When Things Seem Out of Control

June 24, 2020

2 PM Eastern Time

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused collective grief for the early childhood education industry and the professionals who make it work on behalf of families. This crisis and the lack of community supports for programs means program leaders need to take a proactive, practical, and planful approach to the future. You can’t do it alone – you will need to depend on other people, agencies, and resources. During this time of transition, it’s a good time to think about how you can ask for help and plan for the future.

This webinar will focus on concrete strategies that can be implemented with little to no cost and will help you whether your program is currently shuttered or operating under new and changing guidelines. A wide variety of vetted resources will also be shared with participants.

Click here to register.


Severe Weather Preparations for Child Care During COVID-19

Child care providers: COVID-19 is here, and severe spring weather has already arrived in certain parts of the country. Have you updated your child care emergency plan to reflect how you’ll respond to severe weather events during the pandemic? Read their latest blog to learn how to stay safe this spring.

Candid Conversations: Self-Care During COVID-19 (Episode 1)

Dr. Becky Bailey offers insights and problem solving for everyday challenges with special guests in the Candid Conversations webinar series. Becky Ash, this episode’s guest, shares her experience as a middle school principal and parent of three, navigating stay-at-home orders and distance learning as both a parent and a school administrator. Then she and Dr. Bailey discuss universally helpful strategies for nurturing ourselves during times of crisis.

Listen here.

Planning for Positive Guidance: Powerful Interactions Make a Difference

Guiding children’s behavior is something done throughout the day, not just when a child acts in a way that is unsafe or unacceptable. You guide behavior by establishing predictable routines, setting clear rules with children, and modeling kindness and respect. You are also attentive and aware of what is going on. Together, these actions help children feel noticed, confident, and secure. Children experience your attention and guidance as a caring embrace holding everything together. They know you’re on their team. Read more here.