Two Years Down, One Year to Go...
The end of August 2012 is the end of the second year of the Council's three-year grant. We have accomplished a great deal in the past two years, but there are still many goals to be reached. The Council has been very active during the second year of our grant. We have one more active year ahead of us as we work to complete our initiatives. Learn more about the current status of all our initiatives and the work we will complete in the next year.
Organized by Subcommittee, the following is a listing of our initiatives with the work that is currently underway and the work that will be completed in the next year. There will be multiple opportunities for stakeholders to participate in our initiatives, from public stakeholder meetings to reviewing documents in public comment periods.
The On-Track System (TOTS) Recommendations
Based on information collected in the feasibility study on TOTS, the Council is currently finalizing early childhood data exchange system recommendations. The finalized TOTS early childhood data systems recommendations will be sent to Governor Perry in Fall 2012 and will be available to the public on our website.
Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) Recommendations
Currently, the Council is working with Texans Care for Children to host several QRIS stakeholder meetings in Fall 2012. The Council is also working with our QRIS contractor to complete the development of a QRIS Strategic Plan and QRIS recommendations to the Governor for a statewide QRIS. A final report of these recommendations will be released to the public in Spring 2013.
Standards and Accreditations Comparison Tool
Using feedback from our focus groups and an online survey, the Council is currently developing features of the new standards and accreditations comparison tool. In early 2013, the Council will pilot the comparison tool online and solicit feedback on the tool from the public. The comparison tool will be launched in late Spring 2013.
Infant and Toddler Early Learning Guidelines (ITELG)
The new ITELG were posted for public comment in July 2012. The Council is working with the ITELG Steering Committee to finalize the ITELG in Fall 2012. We are also finalizing the marketing research for a public outreach campaign on the ITELG, which will announce the ITELG to Texas parents and providers in Fall 2012.
Professional Mentoring and Coaching Toolkit
The Council will release an RFP in Fall 2012 to hire a consultant to conduct research on effective mentoring and coaching strategies in early childhood, and develop a toolkit for Texas providers. The toolkit will assist providers with setting up a professional mentoring program in their program to support staff. The toolkit will be available for download on our website in Spring 2013. Research from this project will be used in the development of the Core Competencies for Mentors and Coaches.
Beginning Education: Early Childcare at Home (BEECH)
After the successful completion of the first cohort of BEECH with English-speaking providers, the second round of the professional mentoring study will begin in Fall 2012 with a new cohort of providers. 90 English-speaking home-based child care providers in Harris County will complete the study in Spring 2013. Researchers at Children's Learning Institute will begin to analyze the data from the BEECH study after the completion of the second cohort.
BEECH en Espanol
In 2012, the Council funded a second BEECH research study with 180 Spanish-speaking home-based child care providers. Researchers at Children's Learning Institute are currently recruiting 90 providers for the first cohort of the study. A second cohort will also complete the study during 2013. All data will be collected for both cohorts of the English-speaking and Spanish-speaking providers for the BEECH studies by the end of the Council's grant in August 2013.
Statewide Early Childhood Needs Assessment
The needs assessment and gap analysis will be completed in Fall 2012. This information will be used to determine target groups for the statewide public outreach campaign, which will begin in 2013. The final report of the needs assessment will be released at a public conference in Fall 2012 and will be available on our website.
Texas Community Campaign for School Readiness
The four TCCSR communities are currently working with their local stakeholder groups to analyze the data collected from the Early Development Instrument (EDI) assessment during the 2011-2012 school year. During the Council's third year, a second round of the EDI assessment and final data analysis will be conducted in each community. Also, each community stakeholder group will develop an early childhood systems improvement plan using the EDI data.
Statewide Public Outreach Campaign
The Council is currently developing a strategic plan for the public outreach campaign to inform decision-making. The Council will release one or multiple RFPs to contract elements of the multi-lingual, multimedia public outreach campaign on school readiness during the third year of our grant. The public outreach campaign will begin in 2013.
Texas Early Childhood Professional Development System
During year three, the Council will develop and launch the components of the Texas Early Childhood Professional Development System (TECPDS), including the main features - the updated Texas Trainer Registry and an all-new Workforce Registry - and brand-new resources for professionals.
The Council is developing a new career ladder, a document that allows professionals to chart their professional development, experience, and education, to be included into TECPDS. The career ladder will be completed in Spring 2013. It will be posted for public feedback before final approval and integration into TECPDS.
Core Competencies for Practitioners, Administrators, Trainers, and Mentors
The Council released the Core Competencies for Administrators and Practitioners for public comment in August 2012. We will release the Core Competencies for Trainers for public comment in Fall 2012. After the public comment periods close, the Council will finalize all three sets of Core Competencies and publish them on our website. The final set of Core Competencies for Coaches/Mentors will be developed after the research is completed on the Professional Mentoring and Coaching Toolkit. These Core Competencies will be released for public comment and then finalized by the Council in 2013.
The compensation study of early childhood workers in Texas will be implemented in Fall 2012. The compensation study final report will be posted on our website in Spring 2013, including information on salary, benefits, and retention of early childhood workers. This information will also be available on TECPDS.
Assess the Capacity of Two and Four-Year Institutions of Higher Education
In August 2012, the Council released the RFP for a consultant to conduct an assessment of the capacity and effectiveness of the ability of institutions of higher education to meet the needs of the Texas early childhood workforce. This project will be complete in Summer 2013.
T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood TEXAS Project
The Council partnered with the Texas Association for the Education of Young Children in the second year of our grant to provide funding to the T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood TEXAS Project to provide scholarships to early childhood professionals in Texas. The Council's work on this initiative is complete.
Higher Education Articulation Agreements
The Council released an RFP to hire a consultant to research and collect model articulation agreements from communities and higher education sites that offer early childhood education programs. After researching model articulation agreements, the consultant will create a toolkit to assist other institutions to use as examples to better align their programs. The toolkit will be available in Spring 2013 on our website.