Early Education Newsletter
Build, Learn, Grow Stabilization Grant Round 2
A second round of Build, Learn, Grow Stabilization Grants is available for Indiana child care and out-of-school-time providers. Check the Build, Learn, Grow Stabilization Grant webpage for the latest information and details.
Early childhood and school-age programs are eligible to apply if they were licensed and/or registered to operate by March 11, 2021, (if not CCDF eligible) or Jan. 14, 2022, if active in the CCDF program. Programs must be in good standing, open and serving children on the date of application, and meeting state and local health requirements. Head Start and Early Head Start grant recipients are not eligible.
Build, Learn, Grow Scholarships Extended
For families with qualifying incomes, classified as essential workers, the state of Indiana can cover 80% of your child care costs for kids up to age 12. That even includes before-school and after-school care.
New applications must be submitted by March 31, 2022 to be eligible for the scholarship to be extended through June 2022.
Visit https://brighterfuturesindiana.org/scholarships/families to learn more and apply.
Provider recognition program
The Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning is grateful to all of the
early educators and out-of-school-time professionals serving Indiana families.
OECOSL is pleased to launch a provider recognition program to
acknowledge the hard work and dedication of Indiana child care
Nominations for this award can be entered starting on
Monday, Jan. 17, 2022, at 8 a.m. EST until Friday, Feb. 4, 2022, at
5 p.m. EST. You may also scan this QR code:
- Educators from across the state will be selected to receive classroom materials from Lakeshore or Kaplan. Each SDA will have at least one awardee:
- Four educators receive a $500 award to Lakeshore/Kaplan
- One educator receives a $1,000 award to Lakeshore/Kaplan
If you have questions, please contact OECOSL at OECOSLproviderinquiry@fssa.in.gov
and put “Provider Recognition Program" in the subject line.
Quarantine and isolation guidance for child care
Effective Jan. 13, 2022 the Office of Early Childhood and Out of School Learning offers new guidance around quarantine and isolation. In light of new information, the CDC has shortened quarantine and isolation recommendations for those who can consistently and correctly mask. Click here to view the changes to recommendations for child care.
Early Childhood Professional Support Groups
Are you wondering how to deal with the effects of trauma on your staff, your children, and their families? We are offering an opportunity to talk about these challenges in an online setting with your peers and a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. This one hour, weekly opportunity is designed for the sharing of issues, discussion of ideas and suggestions for follow-up.
The next round of this unique FREE opportunity begins this month. Take advantage by clicking below and filling out the short interest form. Spaces are limited.
SPARK Course Collections
Are you or a staff member new to your role as an educator or leader in early childhood and need to get started with training? In Indiana Learning Paths, register for a course collection to access your onboarding courses and get the training you need to get off to a great start!
What is a course collection?
A course collection is a planned group of related courses that learners can register for as a group.
Available Course Collections:
Educator Onboarding Part 1: Mandatory
Colección de Cursos para la Inducción de Educadores Parte 1: Cursos Obligatorios/ (Educator Onboarding Part 1 Spanish)
Educator Onboarding Part 2: Effective Teaching & Assessment
Educator Onboarding Part 3: Connecting with Children and Families
Leadership Onboarding Part 1: Quality Programs & Professionalism
Leadership Onboarding Part 2: The Business Side of Early Childhood Education
1. Login or create a free account at ilead.in.gov
2. Click the green "Start My Indiana Learning Path" button
3. Choose "Course Collections" on the left-hand side
Playful Learning, Not Play vs. Learning in Preschool: How Play Fosters Cognitive Development
February 2, 2022
2:00 PM Eastern Time
We hear it all the time: “All they are doing is playing.” As Profession Edward Zigler says, “play is under siege.” While school-age children suffer from the loss of recess and time on screen, educators in early care and education programs feel pressure to teach to standards for “school readiness.” The result often means more teacher-directed than child-initiated play. Ironically, children have not benefited from the additional focus on “educational” instruction, and in fact, their cognitive, physical, and social-emotional development suffer, especially in this COVID era.
Play and learning are not incompatible. It is possible to have strong curricular goals that are presented to children within a playful pedagogy. Join this webinar by acclaimed researcher, author and play advocate, Dr. Kathy Hirsh-Pasek to learn how play spurs cognitive development. Dr. Hirsh-Pasek will explore the evidence for the importance of free and guided play as a catalyst for learning in social and cognitive development. Using science as a base, she will show how play offers a successful midway position between the warring factions of playful and didactic approaches to early childhood education. We thus propose a prescription to reinstate PLAY as an important part of children’s everyday life and of their daily school curricula. Click here for more information.
Trauma-Informed Leadership: Practical Strategies for Lead Educators to Support Teachers
Mind Mapping for Ideas in Early Childhood Programs
February 17, 2022
2:00 PM Eastern Time
Have you ever used mind maps in your practice? Mind mapping is the process of graphically organizing emerging ideas and interests as they evolve, like they might if you were brainstorming ideas. Mind maps are intuitive frameworks that will help you build connections and see relationships. Referred to webs as they resemble a spider’s intricate creations, mind maps have so many possibilities. In fact, you can use this layered approach to support your professional learning, planning for your program, and even with the children as young as 4 or 5. Presented by emergent curriculum expert and author, Diane Kashin, this interactive webinar will lead you through the theory and application of this non-linear strategy in an engaging way designed to activate your minds and those of the children with whom you work! Click here for more information.
Build, Learn, Grow Scholarships Available for Your Families
Top Five Benefits of Early Childhood Education
One major benefit of early childhood education is the freedom it gives parents. Without childcare, it's extremely difficult for parents to secure full-time work or attend school. But with early childhood education, parents are able to take back some time for themselves.
Early childhood education programs give parents a safe and secure place to leave their kids during the day. The positive impact of early childhood education on families can be seen by looking at the way Washington D.C. handles early learning.
In 2009, Washington D.C. began rolling out its universal preschool program. Today, three-quarters of preschool-aged kids are enrolled in the district. Once they introduced free preschool, labor force participation for women with young children increased nearly 10%. The impact for low-income mothers was even higher, at 15%.
While Indiana doesn't have the same universal preschool program, there are many early childhood education programs to choose from. There are also funds available to help make early childhood education accessible to all families. Read more.
Painting with Plastic Wrap
This is one of my favorite process art activities. Since it works best if you apply the paint fast and generously, it is a great way to loosen up tight artists!
The results may vary greatly depending on the technique used, but generally you end up with a uniquely patterned and textured paper reminiscent of frosty window panes.
How to Engage Families in Their Child’s Learning
10 Tips for Finding Nature to Bring into Your Classroom
Family Webinar- When Grandparents Become Parents … Again ~ Thursday, February 17th at 1pm
Raising grandchildren can be a challenge – but many grandparents take on that responsibility every year. In 2020, more than 7 million grandparents lived with at least one grandchild. Join CASY's Family Engagement Specialists as we welcome Gail Wright, Extension Educator with Purdue Extension - Parke County, to discuss how to better care for your family by better caring for you.
Family Webinar- Sweet, Loving, and Kind One to Another ~ Thursday, February 24th at 2pm
Being kind is important every month of the year, but can often become more of a focus during February. Join CASY's Family Engagement Specialists as we discuss tips for teaching kindness to your children.
Recorded Family Webinar- Indiana First Steps Is Here to Help - Child Development Is Important
First Steps early intervention services are happening in family homes and childcare settings all across Indiana. This recorded presentation will explain how to monitor and encourage infant and toddler development, and what First Steps can do to help you if a baby’s development is delayed.
Recorded Family Webinar- Observe, Explore, Discover! Engaging Young Children in STEM
STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education can begin before children are in a classroom setting and it is likely your child is already engaging in some STEM principles through play. This recording demonstrates ways you can engage your young learner in STEM-based hands-on activities using objects you can find in your own home.