Changes at ChildSavers: Your Update on Child Development Services

September 13, 2017

Child Development Services (CDS) looks a little different. But don’t worry! We continue to offer high quality services to our early child care educators and professionals. This service ensures children and families in Central Virginia have access to quality early care.

Pathways to Quality Early Child Care and Education

ChildSavers’ CDS program is launching Pathways to Quality. Pathways to Quality enables child care providers to reach higher levels of professional development and quality improvements. Studies by the Department of Education and the Department of Health and Human Services have shown that having access to professional development improves the quality of life for child care providers. Further, it also results in staff retention and higher quality of care.

 

If you are a parent with a child in preschool, ask your child care provider if they know about our services. If you are a child care provider yourself, here are two ways you can participate:

1. The first Pathway leads directly to Virginia Quality. Virginia Quality provides a higher level of development that guides programs to reach quality through regulations, staff qualifications, curriculum development, child/adult interactions, and classroom environment.

2. The second Pathway mirrors the first, but meant for programs that are not quite ready to enroll in Virginia Quality or for those that may not be eligible. It is a Pathway to test new things, develop new relationships, and guide child care providers on their journey to quality.

Those enrolled in Pathways to Quality, no matter the Path, have someone guiding them every step of the way. We are here to assist child care providers in reaching goals that are right for their unique programs. This allows ChildSavers to build a pipeline to quality for all early care professionals, ensuring families have access to quality care.

Access to Pathways to Quality is through three avenues:

  • Workforce Development;
  • Nutrition Program;
  • or Outreach Services.

Developing the Early Care Workforce

Whether a provider is new to their career or has been working in the field their entire career, our Workforce Development program provides training aligned by experience level. Providers can take a short, two-hour class on a specific topic, participate in a Virginia Quality learning community, or earn a Child Development Associates Certificate.

Through Workforce Development, there are opportunities to learn in a hands-on learning classroom or through traditional training. Both avenues expand knowledge and development in early childhood.

Ensuring Children Have a Healthy Start

Our food and nutrition program continues to offer support and reimbursement for those providing nutritious meals and snacks while children are in care. This is accomplished through the Child and Adult Care Food Program with USDA. In addition to being a reimbursement program, we are committed to making sure that children are growing up with a healthy start.

Did you know that children spend many hours in early care, and receive more than half of their nutritional components during this time? That is why it is extremely important that early care professionals are serving nutritious meals and snacks so that children can focus and concentrate on learning.

Our nutrition program is expanding staff so there will be more availability to provide nutrition training, menu planning, and shopping tips to assist early care professionals in making healthy choices.

It’s (Still) All About Relationship-Building

Outreach Services provides free, basic-level technical assistance, information sessions to parents on quality care, advocacy work, and community events through our Child Care Aware of Central Virginia resource center. These tools give early care educators and parents the tools they need to be successful in providing and finding quality care for children.

Last but not least, ChildSavers is adding a new Trauma-Informed Early Care program to our Outreach Services that will be in full swing by October 1st, 2017. We will provide Trauma-Informed Early Care Training, Social Emotional Training, and onsite Technical Assistance for building a resilient early learning environment. We will impact both regulated and unregulated programs through outreach.

New Faces: Our Staff is Expanding to Meet Your Needs

ChildSavers is growing! We are adding staff over the next few months to meet our community’s needs. If you have any questions, as a parent or child care provider, please feel free to contact Lisa Thompson at lthompson@childsavers.org.