2021 Q1 Newsletter

A New Focused Topics Course is Now Available
Published: 04 Mar 2021

Highlights from VLS in Q1 2021:

New Focused Topics Course, Using the VLS: Coaching to Enhance Practice Is Now Available

A newly released Focused Topics course, Using the VLS: Coaching to Enhance Practice introduces Training and Curriculum Specialists (T&CSs) to the foundational mission, structure, and goals of the Virtual Lab School (VLS), and demonstrates how T&CSs can effectively implement the VLS professional development learning system.

Learn More: https://www.virtuallabschool.org/news/using-vls-course-launch

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Highlights from the Field and Recent Research

  • A Seat at the Table: Conversations on Leadership, Equity, and Innovation

    Child Care Aware of America (CCAoA) has launched a new podcast, “A Seat at the Table: Conversations on Leadership, Equity, and Innovation,” focused on the key traits required to be an equitable and innovative leader. Hosted by CCAoA’s CEO, Lynette M. Fraga, Ph.D., the podcast features diverse leaders from across the public sector speaking on their challenges and successes in leading and driving change in their respective fields. Listen to the podcast here: https://www.childcareaware.org/resources/a-seat-at-the-table-podcast/.
  • New Report Examines the Professional Characteristics of the ECE Workforce

    The Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (OPRE) in the Administration for Children and Families in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Child Trends recently released a new report, Professional Characteristics of the Early Care and Education Workforce: Descriptions by Race, Ethnicity, Languages Spoken, and Nativity Status. The report found that child care professionals who identified as a person of color, spoke another language besides English, and/or were born outside of the U.S. were more likely to access continuing education or professional development opportunities than their colleagues who identified as White, spoke only English with children, and/or were born in the U.S. Read the full report here: https://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/documents/opre/professional-characteristics-ECE-dec-2020.pdf.
  • A Home-to-School Approach for Teaching STEM in Preschool

    In a recent article published by NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children), researchers shared strategies for how early child care providers can incorporate knowledge from children’s homes and communities to incorporate STEM-based lessons in the classroom. The strategies were findings from the Readiness through Integrative Science and Engineering (RISE) project, which is based on the premise that by understanding, appreciating, and connecting with the knowledge and supports already available to children in their homes, child care providers can increase learning outcomes for children in their care, and especially children from culturally marginalized backgrounds. Read more: https://www.naeyc.org/resources/pubs/yc/dec2020/incorporating-knowledge-communities.
  • Analysis Shows Improvements in Child Care Supply and Attendance, but Still Far from Full Recovery

    In an analysis published by Child Care Aware of America (CCAoA), researchers discovered that while child care centers have re-opened to provide care, attendance still remains low. Compared to December 2019, nationally there are 13% fewer child care centers and 13% fewer family child care programs currently open. However, low attendance, combined with the increased cost to keep staff and children safe, is putting child care providers in a difficult situation. In a survey completed by NAEYC in late 2020, 42% child care providers reported taking on debt to keep their programs afloat this past year. Read more: https://info.childcareaware.org/blog/analysis-shows-child-care-supply-attendance-better-but-waivering.