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

Implementation of Tiered Quality Rating and Improvement Systems in States that Received Race to the Top—Early Learning Challenge Grants  The Race to the Top–Early Learning Challenge grants program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, aimed to improve children’s access to high quality early learning and development programs. The grant program was designed to help states develop and implement systems that rate early learning and development programs on quality and help them improve. These systems are known as tiered quality rating and improvement systems (TQRIS). TQRIS rate programs based on state-defined quality standards. Programs at the lowest level meet a basic level of quality, whereas programs at the top levels meet the highest standards of quality as measured by one of these rating systems. States differed substantially in how they promoted TQRIS participation, defined quality standards, verified that programs met standards and calculated ratings. TQRIS participation in the nine earliest implementing states increased by 10 percentage points from 2014 to 2016. Just under half (48 percent) of all center-based programs (that is, programs operating in the community- or school-based settings) participated in TQRIS by 2016. While most states increased the percentage of programs rated at top TQRIS levels, most center-based programs (68 percent) remained at the same rating level during the study period.  (National Center for Educational Evaluation and Regional Assistance)

Study finds breaking cycle of poverty could start in the preschool classroom  New research from one of the country’s leading experts in childhood development shows high-quality educational interventions in a child’s first few years of life can result in lasting economic, health and social benefits that extend beyond a single generation.

Sharing A Vision (SAV) 2019 registration is now open! SAV will be held at the Embassy Suites and Conference Center in East Peoria, October 2-4 and will host approximately 63 sessions in alignment with DEC Recommended Practices.  View the registration brochure for more information.  Or if you prefer, visit the website for online registration information and conference details, including an attendee FAQ and full preconference descriptions. Be sure to register early! This conference SOLD OUT in 2017!

Preschool Has Enduring Benefits for Disadvantaged Children — and Their Children, New Research Finds  The potential for preschool to lift multiple generations out of poverty is one of the key findings from a pair of new studies from University of Chicago professor James Heckman, known for his groundbreaking research on the economics of early childhood education.