Letter from the Chair - April 29, 2013

Greetings!  We spent the month of April reaching out to stakeholders across Texas to share a great opportunity with you - reserving free, printed copies of the Infant, Toddler, and Three-Year-Old Early Learning Guidelines.  We'd had over 1500 people and 60 state and local organizations request copies, more than 20,000 copies so far!  In other news related to the Guidelines, we released a Spanish language version of the Guidelines earlier this month, known as Las Directivas de Texas para el Aprendizaje Temprano de Bebés, Niños Pequeños y Niños de Tres Años de Edad.  This is a great resource for early childhood professionals, caregivers, and parents who are more comfortable receiving information in Spanish.

I am thrilled to share some updates on the Texas Early Childhood Professional Development System (TECPDS).  As you may recall, earlier this year we released a Request for Proposals (RFP) to hire a contractor for TECPDS.  The system will host a new, online Texas Trainer Registry, a new workforce registry, and new professional development resources.  This month, we started working with our contractor to design and build TECPDS.  Council staff reviewed several proposed layouts for TECPDS and we selected a great design.  The project will be complete in the summer, so stay tuned for updates next month!

Another major undertaking for the Council is a public awareness campaign on school readiness. Council staff and John Gasko, the chair of the Parental Outreach and Communications Subcommittee, met with the marketing firm that is designing the TV and radio commercials for the campaign to view some drafts for the ads.  So far, they look great!  These ads will be airing in several Texas markets in late Summer.  We will have everything from the campaign online at a dedicated website, www.littletexans.org, which will launch in early Summer.  Look for more updates on this project next month!

I'm also happy to share some news about a great new resource that will be available for early care and education programs soon, a new toolkit that will support programs in creating their own in-house mentoring programs.  We are working with a skilled contractor to develop this Professional Mentoring and Coaching Toolkit, which will be ready in the next few months.  We've been reviewing drafts of the toolkit over the past few months, and we're very pleased with the progress of it.

The next public meeting of the Texas Early Learning Council will take place on Friday, May 31 in Austin.  We will send an email announcing the meeting soon, so stay tuned for details on the location and time.  I hope you will be able to join us!

Thank you for your continued support of the Council and our work to improve school readiness in Texas.

Sincerely,

LaShonda Y. Brown

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