From the Chair - May 31, 2011
The Texas Early Learning Council has taken remarkable strides
towards accomplishing our major goals over the last month. We
began critical work on investigating the feasibility of building an
integrated early childhood data system for Texas, which we are
calling The On-Track System (TOTS).
Recently, Council members and I joined leaders from every state
agency involved in early childhood for a kick-off webinar on the
vision of the TOTS system, and the steps we need to take to get
Our Council's Quality Rating and Improvement
System (QRIS) recommendation efforts took a great leap forward
this month, as staff and Council members began putting the final
touches on an important paper charting the Texas early care and
education landscape and its readiness for a QRIS. Look for
that paper to be available on our website in mid June, 2011.
The Workforce and Professional Development Subcommittee met for
a day-long working session in Austin, where they continued their
efforts to create new, enhanced core competencies for the early
childhood workforce. This group is moving closer and closer
to a new comprehensive early childhood professional development
system for the state.
Our Collaborations and Standards Subcommittee just finished an
exciting meeting in Austin on the development of new Infant and
Toddler Early Learning Guidelines for the state of Texas.
Twenty-five leaders, stakeholders, and invested advocates joined
the Council subcommittee to take the critical steps of laying out a
vision, mission statement, and guiding principles for our state's
Infant and Toddler Early Learning Guidelines. As you may
know, the Council is also working very closely with ZERO-TO-THREE to develop our guidelines, and we
are very excited about the expertise and experiences they bring to
I am also pleased to announce that our Outreach and
Communications Subcommittee is on the verge of signing a contract
with a prestigious group to conduct the first comprehensive early
care and education needs assessment in our state in forty
years. We will announce this exciting partnership as soon as
the agreement is final.
Finally, our staff is working hard to reach out and communicate
the efforts of the Council. Look for important new
opportunities coming soon, such as public webinars, informative
publications, and critical and current news items.
We are working very hard to improve school readiness in
Texas! The entire Council and myself are grateful for all the
contributions made so far by stakeholders, subject matter experts,
and other partners in the important work we are doing. As the
Council moves forward, we will continue to call on you and others
who work so hard to support early care and education in
Texas. If you are interested in participating in specific
Council projects, please let us know.
John W. Gasko, Ph.D.