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Archive for the ‘Social-emotional development’ Category

Last week — and part of this week — people across the nation celebrated the Week of the Young Child (WOYC).

This annual celebration was launched by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) in 1971.

“The purpose of the Week of the Young Child is to focus public attention on the needs of young children and their families and to recognize the early childhood programs and services that meet those needs,” NAEYC says on its website.

Here’s a roundup of some WOYC events.

 

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Photo: Somerville Public Schools Twitter feed

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Photo: Alessandra Hartkopf for Strategies for Children

 

Early educators now have access to this year’s version of the “Massachusetts Infant & Early Childhood Mental Health Professional Development Resource Guide 2018,” a listing of hundreds of training programs that can be downloaded here.

(The guide can be downloaded as a booklet or as a spreadsheet. If you download the spreadsheet, be sure to click on the tabs at the bottom of the spreadsheet so that you can see all the training sessions. You might have to scroll left or right — using the arrows in the lower left corner — to access all the tabs.)

The resource guide includes training programs for “para- professionals and professionals with a variety of educational backgrounds… from trainings for individuals with associates degrees to offerings geared towards advanced-practice clinicians with masters and/or doctoral degrees.”

Training session topics include: (more…)

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Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. 

 

“We have to change the conversation so that those who are suffering feel freer to talk about their circumstances and receive treatment,” Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito said to a roomful of early educators and staff members from home visiting and early intervention programs who were all there to participate in a groundbreaking training session on the opioid crisis.

This was the first of six training programs that will be held across the state in an effort to reach 600 professionals who work with young children. It’s also a sad but necessary recognition that the opioid crisis takes a toll on infants, some of whom are born addicted to opioids, as well as on toddlers and young children whose parents struggle with addiction.

Massachusetts has been hit hard by this crisis. According to the state’s Opioid epidemic website: (more…)

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Photo: Alyssa Haywoode for Strategies for Children

 

This is the year that the federal education law ESSA – the Every Student Succeed Act — could have a big, positive impact on early education.

ESSA calls on states and school districts to boost children’s learning by expanding high-quality early education.

“On its face, this is very promising,” Harvard Graduate School of Education professors Nonie Lesaux and Stephanie M. Jones write in a recent article on WBUR’s Edify website.

But first schools have to resolve the tension between two goals: one, providing rigorous academics and two, promoting social-emotional skills.

“Often, in the field, these two goals are viewed as in opposition to each other, and frequently one is chosen over the other.” To move beyond “this false dichotomy” educators and policymakers can “refine — even redefine — what is meant by high-quality early education.” (more…)

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Photo: Kate Samp for Strategies for Children

Worcester, Mass., wants to do more for its children by offering trauma-informed care.

The city’s goal is to look at what scientists call ACES — adverse childhood experiences — and understand their impact on children and how these impacts can cause health problems once children are grown.

“We had been thinking about the vulnerability of our populations in Worcester,” Kim Davenport says of work that was going on around the city. Davenport is the managing director for Birth to 3rd Grade Alignment at Edward Street Child Services.

Among the city entities that were thinking about children was Worcester Hears, a local coalition focused on bringing together “advances in brain science, child development, and best practices to address childhood adversity” to help public school students. (more…)

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“We will build on the House’s ongoing commitment to providing high-quality early education and care, in large part by supporting our EEC workforce. This means developing an action plan to build a sustainable workforce development system… one that is responsive to the distinct needs of the EEC field.

“We know that the EEC years provide a unique opportunity for us to impact learning outcomes for children.

“We also know that it is an equally vital time for addressing mental health. I am currently working with the Chairs of Education and Mental Health, as well as the Child Advocate, to coordinate efforts as we again prioritize children’s long-term social, emotional and academic success by investing in early childhood mental health services.”

From a speech by House Speaker Robert DeLeo, January 31, 2018

To read the entire speech, click here.

For news coverage of the speech, click here.

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Photo: Kate Samp for Strategies for Children

From Alaska to Maine, states all have their own early education policies – and these policies are changing all the time. To help advocates keep up, the Ounce of Prevention Fund has released its latest state-level policy update.

It’s “a snapshot of early childhood care and education budget and policy changes in states during the 2017 legislative sessions as of September 2017.” The policy update also doubles as a playbook of good ideas that states can borrow from each other.

A national nonprofit, the Ounce, “gives children in poverty the best chance for success in school and in life by advocating for and providing the highest quality care and education from birth to age five.”

Among the policy update’s key themes:

“The groundswell of support and acknowledgment of the importance of a child’s social-emotional development continues.” And a majority of states have “strong leadership, burgeoning champions and increased interest in supporting high-quality early learning and development.” (more…)

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