Below are resources for early childhood professionals and those serving the early childhood community.

Essential Supports for Improving Early Education: The Ounce of Prevention Fund is releasing the series, Essential Supports for Improving Early Education that explores our field-tested approach to strengthening early education settings and leadership for achieving continuous quality improvement. This series provides a deep dive on what we learned during our Investing in Innovation (i3) work about how to cultivate inclusive and instructional leadership practices and systems of job-embedded professional learning. Two new briefs are posted.

What Do Preschool Teachers Need to Do a Better Job? (The Hechinger Report – August 16). Making the changes needed to usher our current early educator workforce from where it is to where it needs to be to provide every child with the opportunity to attend a high-quality program won’t be simple or easy. Read more.

Preschool Pay for Success Pilot: A new grant competition, the Preschool Pay for Success (PFS) Feasibility Pilot, is an opportunity for state, local and Tribal governments to explore how to use Pay for Success to expand access to proven programs. PFS is not a substitute for government funding, but a different way of providing government funding –one based on rigorous evidence of impact once positive outcomes have been achieved. The Notice Inviting Applications for the pilot is available in the Federal Register.

EDI Pilot: This fall, Erikson Institute is launching a pilot project featuring the Early Development Instrument (EDI), a tool that will help communities measure how young children are developing and ultimately advocate for more effective early childhood policies, systems and funding. Erikson has issued a request for participation to communities and school districts across Illinois to participate in the pilot, and will provide support throughout the process. Learn more about how your community can participate in the Early Development Instrument pilot project. Pilot communities will be selected through an application process ending on October 10, 2016. Find the application here.

Classroom Quality and Social Skills: Researchers with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Utrecht University in the Netherlands published “Classroom quality at pre-kindergarten and kindergarten and children’s social skills and behavior problems” in the Early Childhood Research Quarterly. The paper found associations between higher quality pre-k and kindergarten classrooms and more social skills and fewer behavior problems.

Making kindergarten more fun, less stressful: Elgin U-46 is highlighted for their efforts in play-based learning. Blocks, jigsaw puzzles, a kitchenette, a cash register and many more toys now fill kindergarten classrooms in Elgin Area School District U-46 — accenting the role of play-based learning as full-day kindergarten was launched districtwide last week.

New Survey Development Brief: The Ounce of Prevention Fund, together with the University of Chicago Consortium on School Research, is pleased to share with you our co-authored brief, Essential Organizational Supports for Early Education: The Development of a New Survey Tool to Measure Organizational Conditions. This paper briefly introduces the field to the need to broaden our understanding, definition and focus of quality and quality improvement, then chronicles the rigorous survey development methodology and initial pilot results we employed.

Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS): The Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (OPRE) at the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) published “Best Practices in Creating and Adapting QRIS Rating Scales – Brief & Report” outlining the three principles of scale development-dimensionality, item selection and item scoring.

Ages and Stages: Online home visiting training you can depend on. Ounce of Prevention Fund introduces a new self-paced Achieve OnDemand course: Ages and Stages Questionnaire-3 (ASQ-3) Overview and Best Practices. Through this self-paced training, home visitors will acquire the information and skills to administer and score the ASQ-3, discuss the results with families, and use that information to make appropriate referrals.