Letter from the Chair - March 28, 2012
A tremendous amount of work has been completed by the Council in
the month of March. We have delivered presentations, signed
contracts, and completed drafts of deliverables. We have
moved the ball significantly on some of our major projects.
First, on our work to develop new voluntary Infant and Toddler Early Learning Guidelines, we
have signed a contract with Richards/Carlberg to conduct market
research on how new and expecting parents access, receive, and
utilize information on child development, and to design a marketing
approach for the guidelines to ensure they get into the hands of as
many parents as possible. Additionally, our volunteer writers
have completed drafting 3 major sections of the new guidelines,
which will be handed off to our stakeholder group for review in
early April. Secondly, the Council has finished the second
draft of its recommendations to the Governor on early
childhood data systems in Texas. The Council will work to
finalize these recommendations by mid May.
Next, the Council signed a contract and began work on developing
Quality Rating and Improvement System
recommendations for Texas. The Council selected ICF as a
vendor for this initiative, and we are really excited to work with
them on this important project. The QRIS initiative will
include three rounds of stakeholder events to discuss, vet, and
validate the vendor's findings. Please let us know if you
would like to participate in these events by emailing us: firstname.lastname@example.org. We
also have made major strides in developing new core competencies for early childhood
professionals in Texas. Our staff has developed draft
versions of competencies for Administrators and Practitioners,
which the Council will review this month. Look for these
competencies to be ready for public comment by this summer.
Our web developer has also moved the ball forward on the new Texas
Trainer Registry system for Texas, as well. The new system is
99% finished and will be debuted with the entire Council this
month. It should be ready for public launch by Summer
2012. Finally, our partners at the University of Texas at
Austin - Ray Marshall Center will be submitting their first
deliverable to the Council in their work to provide us with the
first early childhood needs assessment
in Texas in 40 years.
The Council has also gone to great lengths to reprioritize funds
that were originally reserved to build The On
Track System (TOTS), an interagency early childhood data
exchange system. The Council has finished its process in
making new funding decisions, and our new investments are described
in the A Closer Look
article. We hope you will take a minute to learn how the
Council is trying to improve school readiness in Texas. We
greatly appreciate all the feedback we received during this
As you can see we have been busy. Time is a serious risk
in completing the Council's projects, so we are moving at a very,
very rapid pace. It is important, if any of the Council's projects
are important to you or you have feedback to give, that you stay
aware of our timelines and stay connected to our communications.
Please stay tuned for continued updates on our progress.
Thank you for your continued interest and efforts in support of
the Council's work.
John W. Gasko, Ph.D.