Ensuring that every child in the District has access to high-quality child care, early education and health care plays an important role in helping them to thrive in their first five years of life. Many District agencies are working to provide resources to support them as they work to help the children they serve have the best start possible.
- Access to Quality Child Care Expansion Grant
- Behavioral Health Training Institute
- Early Learning Quality Improvement Network
- First Step
- Peer Specialist Certification
- T.E.A.C.H. Scholarship
State Early Childhood Development Coordinating Council (SECDCC)
SECDCC was created improve collaboration and coordination among entities carrying out federally-funded and District-funded Pre-K and other early childhood programs. Comprised of early childhood stakeholders, they support and advocate for policies and practices to ensure a comprehensive early childhood education and development system for infants, toddlers, and young children in order for all children and families in the District to thrive.
Access to Quality Child Care Expansion Grant
The Access to Quality Child Care Expansion Grant seeks to increase the supply of child care services for infants and toddlers in the District by adding a total of 1,000 new infant and toddler slots to DC’s infant and toddler child care supply by Sept. 2020. Grant applications will be accepted from organizations interested in (1) developing and implementing a sub-granting mechanism for enabling child development providers to improve the supply of such child care services and (2) providing technical assistance for the same purpose.
Early Care and Education Providers
Early Learning Quality Improvement Network
The Early Learning Quality Improvement Network (QIN) is a neighborhood-based quality improvement system for early childhood development providers in the District of Columbia. This new initiative will result in more children and families benefiting from early, continuous, intensive, and comprehensive child development and family support services.
The First Step pilot program was implemented in 2016 in response to the increased need for qualified early learning professionals in the District of Columbia. First Step students earn the nationally recognized CDA while simultaneously completing their high school diploma. The program name reflects the truism that attaining a CDA is the best first step that a student can take on the early childhood education career pathway.
Quorum is an online professional development resource for early childhood educators, which offers courses based on developmentally appropriate practices for young children, cutting-edge scientific research and best practices in adult learning. Child care providers have unlimited access to a catalogue of engaging and interactive training courses for their CDA credential assessment, as well as the health and safety training required for those working with families receiving support from the Child Care Development Fund (CCDF).
T.E.A.C.H. (Teacher Education and Compensation Helps) Scholarship
T.E.A.C.H. provides comprehensive scholarships for early childhood center teachers, family providers, and directors to work toward earning an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education or a related field. T.E.A.C.H. improves the quality of teaching as well as the overall quality of early care and education by increasing teachers’ education, compensation and retention, and decreasing turnover.
Early Childhood Education Help Desk
Child care staff can contact OSSE to receive support and get their questions answered about the new education requirements, professional development opportunities, and general assistance with connecting to resources and planning. OSSE is also providing presentations at child development facilities focused on the new requirements and the resources and supports that are available to support staff in attaining their credentials and degrees. By meeting staff where they are, these presentations allow individualized customer service and counseling to child development staff needing credentials and emphasize high-quality customer service. Providers can request a workshop or help by contacting [email protected] or (202) 478-5903.
Health Care Providers
Behavioral Health Training Institute
The Training Institute coordinates events for DBH employees, provider staff and District residents and has established a reputation as a high-quality source for behavioral health-related classroom and e-learning courses throughout the Metro DC area and as one of the largest producers of continuing education courses for licensed clinicians.
Peer Specialist Certification
Peer support is meant to enrich behavioral health services through the participation and expertise of people who share their experience with behavioral illness and journey to recovery. The Office of Consumer and Family Affairs works with consumer led partners to enhance the training and role of peer specialists. To learn more about peer specialists training opportunities, contact the Office of Consumer and Family Affairs at (202) 673-4377.