The Colorado Office of Early Childhood is convening short term work groups. See the information below if you are interested. Applications are due by August 13, 2019.
Dear Early Childhood Professionals,
As previewed earlier this summer, we are excited to announce that the Office Early Childhood (OEC) has launched a collaborative work group process as part of Colorado Shines Brighter, the State’s Preschool Development Grant Birth through Five Initiative (PDG B-5). This message contains details on the process and an invitation to participate in three upcoming work groups.
The Work Groups: As you will recall, we set out to create four work groups, each focused on different goals related to the overall Colorado Shines Brighter vision. Steering the work groups will be Stacey Kennedy - Director of Child Care Quality Initiatives, Jennifer O'Brien fro the Early Childhood Workforce Team, and Carin Rosa from Child Care Licensing.
Over the past month, the Early Childhood Professional Credential Work Group has been meeting to develop a set of recommendations to simplify and align the Early Childhood Professional Credential with Child Care Licensing requirements. Stay tuned for more information on the work from this committed group of professionals.
The Next Three Work Groups: The next three work groups will focus on the following topics:
- Professional Qualifications: This work group will examine the current system of early childhood qualifications for Child Care Licensing Personnel (as defined in 12 CCR 2509-8), Early Childhood Professional Credential, and the alignment to educator licenses for Early Childhood Educators serving children birth through age five. Review of alignment will include endorsements for the K-12 educational system, including Early Childhood Educators (birth – age 8), Early Childhood Special Education Educator (birth – age 8), Early Childhood Special Education Specialist (birth – age 8), Elementary Educator (Kinder – Grade 12), and Special Education Generalist (Kinder – Grade 12). Upon the review of alignment, the work group will make recommendations for revised goals of this system, and possible improvements for a system that is research-driven and provides clear career pathways for early childhood professionals serving children birth through five years of age.
- Colorado Competencies: This work group will recommend revisions for the Colorado Competencies for Early Childhood Educators and Administrators to align with current research. The work group will develop specialized competencies that address business practices in early care and education settings and ways of serving vulnerable children, including infants and toddlers. Eight core competency domains will be revised including updates, where appropriate, to competencies embedded throughout the domains. Embedded competencies are specific to cultural competence, social/emotional health, as well as the inclusion of all children.
- Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS): This work group will make recommendations to align Colorado Shines Quality Rating and Improvement System framework to focus on outcomes versus outputs and the reinforcement of a theory of change for early learning and care that encourages, enriches, and empowers human interactions within all quality indicators (child health, family partnerships, learning environment, leadership management and administration, and workforce qualifications and professional development). This work group will work with national experts to conduct a review of ways to strengthen the existing quality indicators associated with child development and direct outcomes. The new indicators will be paired with observational indicators already encompassed in Colorado Shines through coaching to better support child learning and human interactions between the teacher, child and parent.
Ways to Participate: Making improvements to these areas of focus will take a concerted effort from dedicated professionals. At this time, we are asking for volunteers to participate either as an expert resource or as a work group member. Below is a summary of what is involved in each role:
- Expert Resource: As the work groups develop options, weigh trade-offs, and seek consensus, members of the work group may call on you for your guidance. The time commitment for this role is limited to on-demand response to specific questions, estimated to require between 2-4 hours over the next several months.
- Work Group Member: Each work group will be comprised of 6-8 members representing a wide variety of stakeholders that are committed to excellence in early care and education. Our goal is to build small but mighty teams that bring diverse experiences and perspectives to bear. They will be tasked with 1) engaging stakeholders to identify issues, 2) reviewing research to distill best practices, and 3) formulating recommendations that will make a real difference in the early childhood education field and to children and families across Colorado. Below are additional details on the expertise we on the expertise we’re seeking, selection criteria, and the time commitment for the work group.
- Expertise—We will select 6-8 people with these specialties:
- One or more representatives from family child care home providers in urban and rural environments across Colorado
- One or more Center Directors with expertise in operating child care centers in urban and rural environments across Colorado
- One or more representatives who teach or work at higher education institutions (2 year and 4 year institutions)
- One or more representatives from an Early Childhood Council in urban and rural environments who has experience in supporting early childhood educators in navigating workforce and Colorado Shines QRIS requirements
- One or more representatives from a public school district
- One or more representatives from Head Start
- Expertise—We will select 6-8 people with these specialties:
- Greatest alignment to the areas of expertise as outlined above
- Availability to commit to full participation in work group intensives (see time commitment table)
- Representation of rural and urban environments across Colorado
- Ability to support and advocate for final recommendations, including
relationships and outreach capabilities with key institutions, curriculum
developers/organizers/experts, national organizations and other identified
Thanks in advance for your continued dedication to excellence in early childhood education. Together, we are making a difference!