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2023 Q1 Newsletter

New professional development opportunities, Foundational Course updates, celebrations, and research highlights

Selected Content Updates in Q1 2023

The VLS integrates the latest research and best practices into its professional development system on an ongoing basis. Our content team reviews new research and updates to national guidelines. Selected content updates over the last three months include:

  • Targeted Professional Development for both Direct Care and Leadership Roles

    Last year the VLS launched a new content type, Targeted Professional Development (TPD) for program leaders. To kick off 2023, we recently released our first TPD offerings that were aimed at supporting direct care staff and providers. Promoting Safe Sleep Practices for Infants and Universal Supports: Routines that Support All Children are two TPDs that help direct care staff and providers support safe sleep practices and establish strong routines in child and youth programs. Included in the January release was a TPD; Collaborative Goal Setting: Developing Strong Goals to Support Success, that was designed for program leaders and highlights key strategies and tools for supporting staff in the goal setting process. Available TPD can be accessed by logged-in military-affiliated users via the Progress Dashboard.

    For specific details regarding the new content, see the January 2023 Targeted Professional Development update announcement.

  • Live Leadership Webinar

    The VLS team offers one-hour virtual, specialized professional development for Training & Curriculum Specialists and Program Managers on a quarterly basis. These live webinars highlight evidence-based information on a centralized topic, strategies to enhance program leader’s practices, and tools and resources from the VLS to support implementation. In February 2023, we offered our first live leadership webinar of the year, Time Management & Organization in Leadership. This webinar examined the research on time management, strategies on how to manage your time more efficiently and effectively, and organizational systems that support the successful operation of your program. Registered and authenticated users can view previously recorded webinars via the Live Leadership Webinar page.

  • FCC and SA Track: Foundational Courses Updated

    To support the professional development needs of all direct care staff and providers, the VLS team continues to focus on updating the Foundational courses including the School-Age (SA) and Family Child Care (FC) tracks for the following courses; Self & Cultural Understanding, Social Emotional Development and Family Engagement. Revisions included new content and activities, and updates to the CDC Developmental Milestones. Some highlights include: 

  • Problem Sexual Behavior (PSB) Non-Clinical Referral Tool

    The Problem Sexual Behavior (PSB) Non-Clinical Referral tool is now available to military-affiliated CYP professionals in Lesson 9 in the Focused Topics course, Sexual Development and Behavior in Children and Youth. Embedded links to the tool are also available throughout the course. This tool is intended to assist program leaders and direct care staff in determining if a referral to FAP is necessary. Refer to your Service specific guidance and training from FAP for appropriate implementation of this tool.

  • New Child Abuse Training in Development

    In collaboration with the U.S. Department of Defense’s Office of Military Family Readiness Policy’s Children, Youth, and Families (OMFRP’s CYP) division, the VLS team is developing three new supplemental trainings for CYP personnel focused on child abuse prevention, identification and reporting. These trainings will enhance CYP staff’s knowledge of appropriate expectations, positive interactions, protective factors, and required child abuse reporting procedures. The training topics will include:

    • Appropriate Expectations and Responses to Behavior
    • Reporting Child Abuse in your Program
    • Enhancing Protective Factors of Children & Families

Highlights from the Field and Recent Research

  • March is National Nutrition Month

    Good nutrition plays a crucial role in our emotional, mental and physical health. This year the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics will celebrate the 50th anniversary of National Nutrition Month. During March, the Academy hosts resources on its website that promote learning how to make informed choices and develop sound eating and physical activity habits. This year’s theme, “Fuel for the Future”, highlights the importance of fueling our bodies at every age and eating with the environment in mind. This is a perfect time to think about ways you can support good practices for yourself and the children and families that you serve.

    View resources and ideas for celebrating National Nutrition Month and ideas for promoting nutrition practices at

    Explore the different resources available from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics that promote nutrition and physical activities for children and families:

    Learn more about supporting healthy habits in the Healthy Environments and Physical Development courses within the VLS.

  • Week of the Young Child

    The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) is preparing for its annual celebration of The Week of the Young Child April 1–7, 2023. NAEYC’s Week of the Young Child is an opportunity to focus public attention on the needs of the children and their families and to showcase high quality early learning and the critical role that teachers and families play in children’s learning and development. Learn more about the upcoming Week of the Young Child’s themes and resources at

  • First National Early Care and Education Workforce Center

    The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), announced the new National Early Care and Education Workforce Center (the ECE Workforce Center). The ECE Workforce Center is the result of a $30 million investment to support research and technical assistance for states, communities, territories, and Tribal Nations to improve the recruitment and retention of a diverse and qualified workforce across early care and education programs. The ECE Workforce Center is made up of six core partners and lead by Child Trends. It will examine and address the need for changes to career advancement systems, compensation, and ECE workplace policies. 

    For more information, read “HHS Establishes New National Early Care and Education (ECE) Workforce Center” via