Press Release: Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation and EdAdvance Partner to Support Early Childhood Development in the Northwest Corner
March 16, 2017
Sheffield, Mass. — For the second year, Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation and EdAdvance are working together to boost early childhood development and parent engagement in northwest Litchfield County through trainings and professional development for the region’s nonprofit child care providers.
In 2016, professional staff from the nonprofit daycare centers in eight towns—Canaan, Cornwall, Falls Village, Kent, Lakeville, Salisbury, Sharon and Warren—began receiving hands-on training to help them meet state and national standards for the delivery of high-quality, research-based instruction.
In the year ahead, directors and teachers will expand their use and understanding of the Connecticut Early Learning and Development Standards, which were introduced in April 2014 and developed after years of study by a state-appointed advisory council to improve services for Connecticut’s estimated 200,000 children from birth to age five.
Staffs will also receive additional training in The Creative Curriculum, a widely used, research-based approach to preschool education that addresses four areas of development: social/emotional, physical, cognitive and language.
These activities are made possible by two consecutive $30,000 gifts from a group of anonymous local donors, and are part of Berkshire Taconic’s regional Early Childhood Development initiative. EdAdvance is coordinating or conducting all trainings.
Additional grant-funded activities will include the purchase of curriculum resources and technology such as tablet computers to assess and monitor children’s progress; peer-to-peer learning cohorts to improve instructional practices and student outcomes; and direct support to directors and teachers through one-on-one coaching.
"Our goal is to collaborate with child care providers and families to incorporate the latest evidence-based strategies that promote early learning and school readiness," said Juleen Flanigan, director of early childhood services at EdAdvance. "Parents and providers are working together as a team to prepare children for success in kindergarten and beyond."