CCR and City of Seattle Collaborate for Children!
In February 2013 State the City of Seattle announced the creation of a new Early Learning Academy (ELA), an investment by the City to improve kindergarten readiness and long-term school success. The ELA will provide professional development for preschool teachers and caregivers to improve outcomes for all children.
The City’s Office for Education has collaborated with Child Care Resources and other early learning stakeholders, including early learning providers, the Washington State Department of Early Learning, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the University of Washington’s College of Education, in designing the ELA. As the agency contracted to implement the ELA, CCR launched the work in the fall of 2013 with an institute designed to communicate the ELA’s vision and approach to the early learning community.
The ELA uses a curriculum known as HighScope, an evidence-based, active learning model with a strong emphasis on adult/child interactions. Classroom activities are designed to build upon children’s natural curiosity and are matched to a child’s current and emerging abilities.
The ELA HighScope Training series was launched on December 13th with two Cohorts; Preschool Curriculum Course, 20 participants (teacher certification) and Trainer of Trainers, 16 participants (trainer certification). Participants will attend up to 1 week of training a month through June of 2014. Following completion of the training and all required coursework participants can apply for Certification at which point they will participate in a site visit/observation to demonstrate implementation and thorough knowledge of the HighScope approach.
Current participants include teachers, program supervisors, administrators and directors from the following Step Ahead and Cooperative Child Care Programs in Seattle:
Ø Community Day School Association - Beacon Hill, Leschi and Madrona
Ø Causey’s Learning Center – Van Asselt
Ø Chinese Information Service Center
Ø Creative Kids
Ø Denise Louie – Beacon Hill
Ø Northgate Early Learning Center
Ø Seed of Life
Ø Sound Child Care Solutions
Ø South Shore
Ø Tiny Tots
Using a consistent and proven curriculum, the ELA offers culturally relevant training to early learning teachers and to family, friend, and neighbor caregivers in Seattle. Depending on future funding, the ELA will also be offered to kindergarten through 3rd grade teachers as part of the City’s commitment to invest in a well-aligned educational continuum that provides access to high quality programs for children from pre-kindergarten through 3rd grade.