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Birth to Three

While all of early childhood requires a mix of approaches that help children within the context of family and community, this is particularly true when working with infants and toddlers.  On our staff we have people who have worked directly with infants, toddlers, and their families to provide care and services like Early On, home visitation, and high quality child care options.

Infant and Toddler Quality Improvement Consultation Project

The Investment Corporation is co-leading a project with the Michigan Department of Education, Office of Great Start to assess the provision of quality improvement consultation for early learning programs serving infants and toddlers and create a plan to address the findings of the assessment. The plan will include a review of both national and state best practices. Implementation of the findings from the assessment are expected to begin in 2014.

 

Quality Improvement Supports

The Early Childhood Investment Corporation through Great Start to Quality, Michigan’s quality rating and improvement system, and the statewide network of Great Start to Quality Resource Centers supports center-based and home-based programs and providers with professional development, resources and consultation.  The supports are specifically designed to improve quality for programs and providers with infants and toddlers.

 

Training and Technical Assistance for Great Start to Quality Resource Centers

Ten Great Start to Quality Resource Centers are located in eleven regions throughout Michigan to help support providers and educators improve the quality of their programs and care.  Available assistance includes:  coaching and consultation for developing quality improvement plans, financial assistance for improving the child care or preschool setting, information about professional development and training opportunities, Lending library of books, CDs, puzzles, and other learning materials and Learning kits. The Investment Corporation provides an annual planned program of technical assistance to Resource Center Directors, Quality Improvement Consultants and Quality Improvement Specialist across Michigan.   The planned program includes training, coaching, consultation, a weekly bulletin of information and resources, and peer-to-peer learning opportunities.  The Investment Corporation also hosts a technical assistance consultation phone line and email box to respond to day-to-day questions and provide immediate consultation on emerging issues.

 

Technical Assistance and Training for Great Start Collaboratives
Great Start Collaboratives are unique to Michigan and have been operating in Michigan since 2005.  Each intermediate school district (ISD) or consortium of ISDs that receives funding must convene a local Great Start Collaborative and a Great Start Parent Coalition to ensure the coordination and expansion of local early childhood infrastructure and programs that allow every child in the community to achieve Michigan’s early childhood outcomes.  The Investment Corporation provides an annual planned program of technical assistance to Great Start Collaborative Directors.  The planned program includes training, coaching, consultation, a weekly bulletin of information and resources, and peer-to-peer learning opportunities.  The Investment Corporation also hosts a technical assistance consultation phone line and email box to respond to day-to-day questions and provide immediate consultation on emerging issues.

 

Maternal Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Initiative (MIECHV)

Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting supports pregnant women and families and helps parents of children from birth to age 5 tap the resources and develop the skills they need to raise children who are physically, socially and emotionally healthy and ready to learn.

In Michigan eleven at-risk communities were identified through needs assessments: Berrien, Calhoun, Genesee, Ingham, Kalamazoo, Kent, Muskegon, Oakland, St. Clair, Saginaw, and Wayne.

The Investment Corporation provides technical assistance, coaching and consultation to the eleven communities to develop and implement a plan that addresses the necessary provisions for parent participation and the incorporation of required partners for their Local Leadership Groups.  The technical assistance for the Local Leadership Group includes the expansion of understanding the importance of authentic parent engagement, the development of policies and procedures that support parent engagement, and the convening of a learning community for the parent representatives serving on Local Leadership Groups.

The Investment Corporation also provides facilitation, coaching and consultation to the Local Leadership Groups related to the following projects:  Continuous quality Improvement (CQI), developing a continuum of models and sustainability planning.

 

Great Start to Quality

The Early Childhood Investment Corporation implements Great Start to Quality. Great Start to Quality is Michigan’s quality rating and improvement system.  It initially launched in the fall of 2011 and a new version (Version 2.0) launched in June 2013.  Version 2.0 incorporated changes that recognized Michigan’s early learning and care program diversity relative to quality, areas of strength, and additional monitoring and accountability.  Michigan’s state-of-the art, tiered quality rating and improvement system has been designed to increase the quality of early learning and care provided in all licensed and registered child care and preschool programs and includes unlicensed, subsidized providers within the quality improvement portion of the system.  Great Start to Quality provides a reliable, valid, easy-to-understand measure of quality for licensed and registered early learning and care programs. 

GreatStartToQuality.org is Michigan’s online searchable database for licensed child care and preschool.  Families can search by selected criteria to find programs that best fit their needs.  It also houses a professional development registry for center-based staff and home-based providers.

The Early Childhood Investment Corporation designed an online platform to support implementation of Great Start to Quality.  The Great Start to Quality STARS platform is where licensed child care and preschool programs complete their self-assessment using the Great Start to Quality Program Standards criteria, utilize resources, and create quality improvement plans.

Assessment Specialists and Approved Raters are responsible for the administration of the Program Quality Assessment (PQA)® for Great Start to Quality.  The Investment Corporation is facilitating biennial peer learning opportunities in 2014 for these individuals.  The convenings are designed to increase shared understanding of the PQA, particularly the indicators form Tool Form A, and to ensure that Great Start to Quality program ratings are valid and reliable.

Early Childhood Standards of Quality for Infant and Toddler Programs

The Early Childhood Investment Corporation in conjunction with the Michigan Department of Education, Office of Great Start (MDE-OGS) worked with nationally recognized consultants to update and revise the Early Childhood Standards of Quality for Infant and Toddler Programs.  The revised standards were provided to MDE-OGS and adopted by the State Board of Education in 2013. Read more about the standards here

Detroit Public Television Early Childhood Vignettes

The Early Childhood Investment Corporation partnered with Detroit Public Television to create 40 one-minute vignettes about early childhood development and the importance of nurturing early childhood development.  The vignettes were recognized with a Michigan Emmy, were broadcast statewide on public television stations, distributed statewide through DVDs, and are still available online.  Additionally, Detroit Public Television created a one hour special about the importance of high-quality early learning and care.

 

Crib Exchange Initiative

The Early Childhood Investment Corporation partnered with Lowe’s Home Improvement and Kaplan to support child care providers with replacement cribs manufactured after June, 2011.  This effort supported child care providers who care for vulnerable infants and was in response to a federal mandate that all licensed programs caring for infants must use cribs manufactured after June 2011.  The Crib Exchange was a statewide event, held on August 27, 2011 and allowed eligible providers to bring their old, unsafe cribs to be exchanged for new safe models.  The exchange eliminated the possibility the unsafe cribs would remain in circulation.  Over 5,600 cribs were exchanged.

 

Early Start Scholarships

The Early Childhood Investment Corporation partnered with the Women’s Caring Program to create a scholarship for families with infants and toddlers.  The scholarships were specifically designed to support families’ access to high-quality early learning. 

 

Infant and Toddler Quality Improvement Specialists

The Early Childhood Investment Corporation established a statewide network of quality improvement specialists within the Great Start to Quality Resource Centers to support center-based and home-based programs and providers with specific on site consultation to improve quality.  The effort was supported with American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds and became the foundation for the current Quality Improvement Consultants in Great Start to Quality.

 

Infant and Toddler Quality Improvement Funds

The Early Childhood Investment Corporation supported center-based and home-based programs and providers with infants and toddlers with specialized consultation designed to improve quality.  One of the quality improvement supports was access to funds.  Programs and providers working with Quality Improvement Specialists detailed a quality improvement plan and received funds to support achievement of the plan. This effort was supported with American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds and became the foundation for the proposed Quality Improvement Grants in Michigan’s Race to the Top – Early Learning Challenge application.

 

Child Care Enhancement Program

The Early Childhood Investment Corporation supported the Michigan Department of Community Health to implement the Child Care Enhancement Program (CCEP).  CCEP is an early childhood mental health consultation program that served high-risk children experiencing social-emotional-behavioral challenges in early learning settings.  CCEP consultants coached and trained center-based staff and home-based providers to promote the social-emotional health of children in their care and improve quality, and ultimately prevent long-term mental health problems.

 

Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning

The Early Childhood Investment Corporation partnered with the Michigan Head Start Collaboration Office and the Michigan Department of Community Health to conduct a series of Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning trainings statewide, increasing the capacity of trainers and increasing awareness and knowledge about social and emotional development.

 

Great Start to Quality Orientation Training

The Early Childhood Investment Corporation worked with Michigan State University Extension to design a comprehensive, six hour training for unlicensed subsidized providers that included First Aid and CPR certification, child development, health and nutrition.  The Investment Corporation led the effort to train over 21,000 unlicensed subsidized providers statewide in eight months and improve quality.  Great Start to Quality Orientation training remains a requirement for all unlicensed subsidized providers.