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Statewide Initiatives

Statewide Initiatives

Early Learning Performance Funding Project

The success of four years of a special project, to see whether specific training and teaching approaches improve how well children do in school readiness, resulted in funding for a fifth year. The project gives eligible child care providers and their instructors an opportunity to earn additional compensation for improving school readiness program outcomes. To be eligible, providers must have at least 20 percent of their enrollment made up of children in the School Readiness Program. The project tracks the results of special training and teacher-child interaction through the school year.

CLASS Program Assessment

A voluntary statewide capacity-building Classroom Assessment Scoring System™ (CLASS™ ) Initiative offers CLASS trainings to early learning coalition staff, Head Start/Early Head Start staff, OEL staff, training partners and early education provider association representatives. CLASS is an observation-based program assessment instrument that measures teacher-child interactions in three broad areas—emotional support, classroom organization and instructional support. It describes multiple teaching components linked to student achievement and social development. More than 750 participants statewide have received this training, which includes these components—Pre-K Observer Training, Pre-K Observer Train-the-Trainer, Making the Most of Classroom Interactions Train-the-Trainer, Toddler Observer Training and Toddler Observer Train-the-Trainer. All 30 early learning coalitions participated in the training and can now offer these courses to local providers.

For more information on the CLASS Initiative, contact Antrica Morgan at Antrica.Morgan@oel.myflorida.com or 850-717-8550. For CLASS training opportunities, contact your local early learning coalition.

Developmental Screening

All children birth to 5 who participate in the School Readiness Program must receive a developmental screening. The purpose of a developmental screening is to capture a snapshot of a child’s development at a single point in time. When screenings are given regularly, they provide information for tracking a child’s developmental progress. That helps identify children who may not meet the milestones appropriate for their age and might benefit from further assessment and follow-up. Parents, coalitions or providers can complete the screenings. Results are shared with parents.

For more information, contact Lisette Levy at Lisette.Levy@oel.myflorida.com or 850-717-8657.

Early Learning and Developmental Standards

Florida’s Early Learning and Developmental Standards have information about how young children explore, create and think, based on age. Florida created the standards knowing that children’s early experiences determine later success in school, career and life. Parents, caregivers and teachers can use this information to guide their interactions with young children and build upon the children’s emerging talents and strengths.

The standards address five developmental areas reflecting a child’s expected age-appropriate progress—physical development, approaches to learning, social and emotional development, language and communication, and cognitive development and general knowledge.

For more information, contact Antrica Morgan at Antrica.Morgan@oel.myflorida.com or 850-717-8550.

Professional Development

OEL’s network of lead trainers, representing each of the 30 early learning coalitions, delivers professional development statewide. Lead trainers are chosen for their education, early education and training experience, and status as an outcomes-driven training facilitator. Professional development incorporates core knowledge, qualifications and credentials, quality assurance, and access and outreach.

At this time, lead trainers may schedule Florida Early Learning and Developmental Standards, Florida Core Competencies for Early Care and Education Practitioners, Florida Core Competencies for After-School Practitioners, Florida Core Competencies for Early Care and Education Directors, Florida Core Competencies for Early Care and Education Technical Assistance Specialists, Outcomes-Driven Training and the Pyramid Model for Positive Behavioral Support training modules.

For more information about the professional development initiative, contact Antrica Morgan at Antrica.Morgan@oel.myflorida.com or 850-717-8550.

School-Age Network

Each early learning coalition and the Redlands Christian Migrant Association have designated representatives assigned to the School-Age Network, where they get training, technical assistance and resources. Network representatives pass on information and resources to local providers to help improve overall quality in K-5 school-age programs. The network holds monthly meetings to discuss training opportunities and needs, research, resources and best practices in school-age care. All after-school providers should be familiar with the Florida Core Competencies for Afterschool Practitioners, the Florida Standards for Quality Afterschool Programs and the Quality Self-Assessment and Improvement Guide.

For more information, contact Katie Dufford-Melendez at Katie.Dufford-Melendez@oel.myflorida.com or 850-717-8564.

School Readiness Curriculum Approval

Florida Statute 1002.88(1)(f) requires school readiness providers to implement curricula approved by the Office of Early Learning that meets Florida's Early Learning and Development Standards. You will find more information on our provider resources page. Please contact Gregory Allerellie at Gregory.Allerellie@oel.myflorida.com with any questions.

School Readiness Child Assessments

One of the ways Florida helps ensure quality early learning is by considering how well children do before and after receiving school readiness services. State law requires the Office of Early Learning to review and select child assessments that are valid, reliable and developmentally appropriate. While the statewide assessment system is voluntary, it can help improve school readiness, benefiting more than 135,000 children, 10,000 providers and 15,000 teachers. It provides teachers, child care providers and parents a tool to guide instruction, document learning and development over time. School Readiness child care providers who meet eligibility requirements may receive a differential for conducting child assessments during the three child assessment periods. Please contact your local ELC for more information. The Office has contracted with the following companies for child assessments: Assessment Technology, HighScope, and Teaching Strategies. Please see the Child Assessment link for more information.

For more information, contact Gregory Allerellie at Gregory.Allerellie@oel.myflorida.com or 850-221-8839.