Letter from the Chair - November 29, 2012

I hope that each of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday with your friends and family.  Throughout this year, the Council has been very thankful for all the support and participation we receive from you, our stakeholders.  Please accept our sincere thanks for all that you do to advance early learning in Texas and your support of the Council's work.

This month, we've had a strong commitment to our work in early childhood workforce and professional development.  The development of the Texas Early Childhood Professional Development System (TECPDS) is progressing rapidly.  The Council staff, with help from the Texas Head Start State Collaboration Office, is currently writing the requirements of the system and creating mock-ups of the webpages, for practitioners, administrators, and trainers.  Look for more information on the development of the system soon - we'll be releasing the RFP for the project early in the New Year.  Also, the Council is finalizing the new Core Competencies for Early Childhood Practitioners and Administrators.  This document was open for public comment last summer, and we've received great feedback from stakeholders about the Core Competencies.  We have also reorganized the new career lattice for early childhood practitioners and administrators, incorporating the new Core Competencies.  Both the career lattice and Core Competencies will be integral pieces of TECPDS, further supporting the development of the early childhood workforce in Texas.

Also supporting professional development and the early childhood workforce, the Council recently signed contracts and started work on two important research studies for our state.  The first, on higher education articulation agreements, is discussed in the Closer Look article.   The second will study the capacity and effectiveness of higher education to meet the needs of the early childhood workforce in Texas.  Both of these research studies will provide information on higher education in Texas, and in the case of the articulation agreement study, a toolkit for higher education institutions.

Another major project that has been active this month is the Council's work to write recommendations for a Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) for Texas.  After initial work by our Data and QRIS Subcommittee and two very productive meetings with stakeholders, the Council will review the final draft of the QRIS Strategic Plan at our meeting next month.  If you're interested in the statewide QRIS recommendations, we'll be posting the strategic plan on our website in the next two weeks.  The Council will begin work on the QRIS recommendations to the Governor after the strategic plan is finalized.  Check out more updates on this project on our QRIS webpage, recently updated with information on each element of this extensive project.

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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