Early Childhood Learning Opportunities from DEED


We know that STEPS AK communities, along with early childhood teachers in our state, are working hard to prepare and equip children with the skills needed for kindergarten and beyond. Programs range from language nests, home-based programs, Head Start, district pre-school programs, and other programs. Students within STEPS AK communities may access these program unevenly due to economics, geography, collaboration with state and federal funders, and other areas impacting positive outcomes for children in each community. While the purpose of STEPS is to expand access to and deepen the quality of early childhood programs to our most vulnerable students in the neighborhood, STEPs partners are also working to support each early childhood provider to have a learning community and have opportunities to expand professional development and supports.

As a part of the collaboration with the Department of Education and Early Development, STEPS AK partners are invited to attend monthly webinars offered to pre-elementary program grantees.  These monthly webinars are an opportunity to build community and capacity for those working in the early childhood field. Partners can share lessons learned or challenges that they have encountered.

These calls provide an opportunity to reflect on ways that each early learning provider can promote positive outcomes in all areas of child development. Webinars provide tools to:

  • Identify and support  children in your community who are most in need of support
  • how to work with parents to maximize parental choice
  • how to enhance community-based collaboration for early childhood
  • use of developmentally appropriate observation-based assessment systems and tools to ensure programs are effectively measuring children’s progress across all the domains of development
  • support the transition of pre-elementary children to Kindergarten through partnership and strong school and family relationships.
  • ensure that early childhood professionals have excellent preparation, ongoing professional development, and compensation commensurate with their qualifications and experience.

Upcoming Department Webinars: 

Project ECHO Kick Off with Dr. Doug Fisher
Monday, February 18, 2019 from 11:00 AM to 12:15 PM AKST

An ECHO session does not actually provide education to students. Instead, it provides our educational leaders with specialty knowledge and practice they need to manage districts and schools. We are kicking off Project ECHO with Dr. Douglas Fisher, a well-known author and educator. ECHO networks will be piloted this spring with an Early Learning Focused one happening on Thursdays at 9:30. Contact Carey Grey gray_carey@nullasdk12.org for more information.

Project ECHO Session 2 with Deanna Beck
March 7, 2019
9:30-10:45 a.m.  Join by phone
Access code: 475 961 541

Didactic Presenter: Deanna Beck – Resiliency: Helping Our Children Be Ready for School and Life

Objectives: Provide resources and information to educators for themselves and to share with families on how to help young children develop resiliency even during times of adversity or students impacted by trauma so the children will be better prepared for school and in life

Impact: Provide knowledge of how ACEs can be applied to our younger students and how parents, caregivers, and educators are able to help students build skills to calm and feel safe

Join Zoom Meeting: https://zoom.us/j/475961541

Learn and Grow Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) Feedback
March 7, 2019
3:00-4:00 p.m.  Join by phone
1-855-244-8681 or 1-650-479-3207
Access code: 802 386 288

Learn about Alaska’s QRIS (Quality Recognition and Improvement System) Learn & Grow, which is a framework to increase quality in programs.

Kindergarten Readiness & Transitions
March 15, 2019
Call in number: 1-855-244-8681
Meeting ID: 288 876 427

This will be a webinar for Administrators, Kindergarten Teachers, & Preschool Teachers to talk about the Alaska Developmental Profile, Alaska’s Kindergarten Entrance Assessment. This webinar will share the crosswalk between the ADP and Teaching Strategies and how it relates to the AK CLIMBS framework on bridging success from Early Learning programs who utilize Teaching Strategies to elementary schools that children transition to.

Family Engagement
April 11, 2019
3:00-4:00 p.m.  Join by phone
1-855-244-8681 or 1-650-479-3207
Access code: 805 652 294

This is a webinar showcasing innovative family engagement practices from around the state.

Save the dates for Upcoming Conferences: 

SE-AEYC Conference – February 22-23; Juneau, AK

Infant Early Childhood Mental Health Conference – April 1-5; Anchorage, AK

Subscribe to our Early Learning Updates (Bi-monthly) Newsletter to stay up to date on all of our webinars, training sessions, and news!  The newsletter is for anyone interested in updates relating to early learning or contact supanika.ackerman@nullalaska.gov.

Have other early childhood training interests? Share your ideas with STEPS@nullaasb.org

Content provided to the AASB by Supanika Ackerman at the Department of Education and Early Development