Letter from the Chair - June 28, 2013

Summer is here!  I hope you are enjoying the Texas heat with your family and friends across our great state.  We’ve been very busy this month, completing projects and sharing resources in the final months of our grant, which ends on August 31, 2013.  I hope you were able to join us at our Council meeting in Austin on May 31.  After the public meeting, the Council had a lively discussion about our upcoming recommendations for a statewide Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS).  We just started writing the recommendations, which will be ready later in the summer.

I hope you had a chance to view the new Spanish version of the Texas Core Competencies for Early Childhood Administrators and Practitioners, las Competencias Básicas de Texas de la Primera Infancia para Profesionales y Administradores.  We are pleased to offer the Core Competencies to the Spanish-speaking and bilingual early childhood professionals in Texas.

In the past month, I have traveled to several conferences in Texas to discuss the Infant, Toddler, and Three-Year-Old Early Learning Guidelines.  In fact, this week we’re presenting on the Guidelines at the 3rd Annual Texas School Ready! Early Childhood Summer Institute in San Antonio.  I am happy to report that the Guidelines have been very well received across Texas.  If you ordered copies of the Guidelines, look for a delivery in the next few weeks.  More than 37,000 copies are being mailed out across Texas!  Be sure to download your copy in English or Spanish on our website, and look for a new version in Vietnamese next month.

Next month, we will be releasing two new documents, the new Professional Mentoring and Coaching Toolkit and a research report on compensation and benefits of early childhood professionals in Texas.  The Professional Mentoring and Coaching Toolkit is a great resource for early childhood programs who would like to set-up in-house mentoring programs for their staff.  The Texas Early Childhood Workforce Compensation Study will also be released in the next few weeks.  This is a report of a recent research study that the Council funded to gather information about the compensation and benefits of early childhood professionals in Texas.  We will send an email as soon as the Professional Mentoring and Coaching Toolkit and the Texas Early Childhood Workforce Compensation Study are available!

Finally, our upcoming public awareness campaign is progressing very well.  Last week, the television ads for the campaign were filmed; we will have 6 in English and 2 in Spanish, all featuring information based on the Infant, Toddler, and Three-Year-Old Early Learning Guidelines.  View some photos from the set at our Facebook page!  These ads will be airing in Houston, Dallas, and the Rio Grande Valley in August and September, but will also be online at a new website, along with lots of new resources for parents: www.littletexans.org.  We will have lots of information on the public awareness campaign in the next few weeks.

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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