Early Education Newsletter

November 2021

CASY office will be closed:

Veterans Day:

Thursday, November 11th


Thursday, November 25th

Friday, November 26th

Provider recognition program

Starting in October 2021, OECOSL is pleased to launch a provider recognition program to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of Indiana child care providers. Nominations for this award can be entered starting on Monday, Oct. 18, 2021, at 8 a.m. EST until Monday, Nov. 5, 2021, at 6 p.m. EST.


  • Five individual educators or professionals will be recognized per quarter with nominations beginning in October 2021 (one from each service delivery area):
  • Four educators receive a $500 award to Lakeshore/Kaplan • One educator receives a $1,000 award to Lakeshore/Kaplan
  • Every attempt will be made to ensure that providers across all settings are selected (e.g., ministries, homes, centers, OST).
  • A provider may not receive the recognition award twice.
  • A provider must have a current background check and consent on file and have been employed at least 90 days with their current program.
  • The program must be in good standing with no active enforcements in the last year.
  • The PTQ rating for program cannot be expired (if applicable).
  • Providers will be recognized at their local regional advisory council meeting.
  • Individuals may nominate up to two providers per quarter.

If you have questions, please contact OECOSL at OECOSLproviderinquiry@fssa.in.gov and put “Provider Recognition Program" in the subject line.

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The Indiana Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning released new Build, Learn, Grow Stabilization Grants to help early childhood education and out-of-school care programs continue recovering from the effects of the pandemic and strengthen their businesses for the future.

Grants are non-competitive and are calculated per site based on each provider’s program type, average attendance, staffing costs, quality level and geography. Grant awards for the first round of funding will cover approximately three months of a provider’s monthly operating costs.

Providers can view grant details and review frequently asked questions to begin preparing to apply. Visit brighterfuturesindiana.org/build-learn-grow/stabilization-grants.

Build, Learn, Grow Scholarships

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


CCDF changes occurred for some Indiana counties effective October 1st, 2021. Review the new Eligibility Map with contact information, for families to start reaching out to the new agencies on Monday, October 4, 2021.

How to Invite Educators in I-LEAD

Connecting your educators to your child care program in I-LEAD can be challenging if you don't know where to start. Click here to review the steps to inviting educators.


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.

In Case You Missed the Exciting news about T.E.A.C.H.

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Professional Development

Coaching and Supervising Staff for Social Emotional Development Growth: Prioritizing SEL in Your Program, by Jacky Howell

November 3, 2021

2:00 PM Eastern Time

We all understand the importance of Social/Emotional Learning for children in early childhood programs. Yet, one of the biggest challenges administrators face is ensuring all children in their programs are offered the best opportunities for social-emotional development. Join this paradigm-shifting webinar by early childhood education expert Jacky Howell to explore the most current thinking about social-emotional development and how to ensure the staff you supervise are applying best practice in their classrooms. Jacky will share her insights about how you can plan, set expectations, provide day-to-day coaching, and hold staff accountable for SEL. Learn more here.

Child Care Stabilization Grants and New Tax Changes for 2021, by Tom Copeland

November 11, 2021

2:00 PM Eastern Time

This webinar, presented by child care business expert, Tom Copeland, will cover all the new tax changes affecting family child care providers for 2021. These include the Child Care Stabilization Grants, SBA forgivable loans, new child tax credit, what’s deductible in the era of COVID, calculating your Time-Space% if you have been closed, and more. Learn more here.

Applying Loose Parts in Learning Environments: A Playful, Standards-Based STREAM Approach

Loose parts are open-ended, natural, and manufactured materials that can be manipulated with limitless possibilities. In this edWebinar, you will discover that a loose parts mindset:

  • Supports invention
  • Promotes imagination
  • Inspires innovation
  • Instills problem-solving skills
  • Builds confidence

How can this be used in learning settings? During this edWebinar, you will explore the development and application of a loose parts mindset in our classrooms and schools. Learn more here.

Program Resources

The Project Approach for All Children:

A preschool class with a wide range of abilities can be very challenging. How can you successfully reach and teach learners of all backgrounds and abilities?

The Project Approach, a popular and proven teaching method, provides a framework that can work well in an inclusive classroom.

Rather than providing a cookie-cutter solution, project-based learning can be individualized to meet the needs of each of your students. No matter what their ability, with some creative scaffolding, learning can become an exciting and authentic adventure. Read more

4 Key Factors for Laying a Foundation for Rich Science Inquiry with Young Multilingual Learners

Luis, a multilingual learner who speaks Spanish at home, sits at the back of his first-grade classroom and watches his monolingual classmates talk excitedly about the worms they observed the day before. The worms had wiggled, stretched, and almost escaped! Ms. X, Luis’s teacher, indicates some sentence starters on the board with a wave of her arm and tells students to copy them on their papers. Luis carefully copies the emergency exit chart that is posted next to the sentence starters. When the teacher sees what he’s written, she smiles and says, “Luis doesn’t know English yet, but he’s a smart boy! He’ll get the hang of it!” Continue reading here.

Understanding the Power of Parent Involvement

As their children’s first teachers, parents have an amazing opportunity to nurture their children’s growth and development and to advocate for their education. And many parents want to be involved in their children’s education. I realized early in my teaching career, however, that families often face obstacles to engaging in the school experience. Learn more here.

Parent Resources


Do you wish for stress-free holidays? Join CASY's Family Engagement Specialists for tips and discussions to help your family navigate the holidays with less stress.

Register here.

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 webinar will demonstrate ways you can engage your young learner in STEM-based hands-on activities using objects you can find in your own home.

Register here.


Claire Rivron, Community Wellness Coordinator in Shelby/Rush/Decatur Counties, recently partnered with CASY's Family Engagement Specialists to present a webinar on encouraging you to make healthy choices within reach for your family. This webinar covered practical, research-based tips for incorporating nutrition and physical activity into your family’s lifestyle.

Watch the recording here.


Jessica Herzog-Hall, Director of the ACEs Indiana Coalition, recently discussed Adverse Childhood Effects and the impact it can have on children.

Watch the recording here.


Sleep is critical to children’s everyday functioning. A good night’s sleep helps prepare children to attend to new experiences, positively engage with others, and build memory and attention skills. When children sleep, their brains are actively working to form new connections, allowing them to be more physically relaxed and mentally alert when awake. These positive effects can be observed over time, and as a parent you play a critical role in helping your child establish healthy sleep habits. Read more here.


Biting is a typical behavior often seen in infants, toddlers, and 2-year olds. As children mature, gain self-control, and develop problem-solving skills, they usually outgrow this behavior. While not uncommon, biting can be an upsetting and potentially harmful behavior. It’s best to discourage it from the very first episode. This article will help you to understand the reasons young children bite and give you some ideas and strategies for responding appropriately.