Building Provider Capacity
After parents and other primary caregivers, the adults who provide early childhood services can have a major impact on a child’s development. Data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study tells us that between the ages of 2 and 4, the majority of children shift from spending most of their time with parents and primary caregivers to spending most of their time in childcare (this includes family, friend and neighbor (FFN) and center-based childcare). Given this, Bridgespan’s 2015 report on priorities for funding in early childhood has identified improvements in training, continuing education and professional development for childcare providers as major areas of focus for investment. In order to support the delivery of their care and services at the highest level possible, the Trust will invest in:
Professional Development for Providers (pregnancy through kindergarten)
Knowledge in the fields of child development and early care and education has expanded during the past 10 years, but some early childhood providers approach the current challenges with decade-old practices and outdated research. Modifying practice and improving programming requires changing the established beliefs that many providers hold and connecting them to current research and scientific evidence about what works best. Great Expectations will work to shift provider practices by supporting ongoing professional development and coaching for providers that emphasizes evidence-based practices that have been successfully implemented nationally.
If we are to improve early childhood outcomes over time, then we must commit to learning together as a core part of our ongoing work. To foster ongoing learning and improvement, MDC will develop and foster the use of “learning networks” that bring together engaged professionals who share an understanding of how a two-generation approach will impact school readiness. Neither one-time trainings nor implementation of new curricula can take the place of connecting providers with thought leaders and creating communities of practice where providers can share their ideas, tackle challenges, and learn together.
The families likely to be served by Great Expectations will often be receiving services from or participating with multiple agencies at once. We will greatly enhance our chances of success if we make this process of multi-agency involvement as family-friendly as possible. The Trust will invest in the adoption of evidence-based care coordination practices to assure that families get the maximum immediate and long-term benefit from services that are already being provided.
Current Opportunities to Engage
- Check the calendar for upcoming professional development opportunities that are available to providers working with young children and their families in Forsyth County
- Send us information about presentations, trainings and other professional development opportunities that would be useful for providers working with young children and their families