PD Newsletter | April Edition

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PD Newsletter updated

Spring is Here!

This quarterly newsletter from the Washington State Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) is designed to keep Washington's early learning community informed of all of the great work pertaining to Professional Development.

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In This Newsletter...

COVID-19 Early Learning Provider Toolkits

We know it has been hard for early learning providers to adjust to a new way of providing care during the last year. As a way to offer support, DCYF used CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act funding to purchase materials to develop classroom toolkits for licensed early learning providers across Washington.

Toolkit contents


Toolkits include materials, books, and resources to help implement COVID-19 guidance in early learning settings to: 

  • Promote social distancing.
  • Learn about germs and handwashing.
  • Support social-emotional needs.


  • Toolkit distribution will be coordinated by local Child Care Aware offices throughout Washington State. Distribution will be done either through delivery to the provider’s place of business or through distribution events (such as drive-through events).
  • Distribution will begin in April and last until all toolkits are delivered. 
Thank you!

This project was made possible thanks to the help of many. A special thank you to the DCYF licensing division for helping assemble toolkits, Child Care Aware of Washington for helping deliver the toolkits, and the rest of our partners for making this project a reality. Thank you!

DCYF Licensing Division

Washington State Department of Health

Oregon Department of Early Learning

Child Care Aware of Washington

School’s Out Washington     

Washington Child Care Centers Association

Cultivate Learning   

The Imagine Institute

Washington Federation of Independent Schools

COVID-19 Tip Sheets

DCYF partnered with the State of Oregon Department of Education and Cultivate Learning to develop a series of Two-Minute Tip Sheets.

These tip sheets are designed to provide tips on implementing COVID-19 guidance in early learning settings and include images and additional resources. Topics include:

tip sheets in multiple languages
  • Cleaning and Building Maintenance
  • Daily Activities
  • Responding to Possible and Confirmed Cases of COVID-19
  • Drop-off and Pick-up
  • Family Engagement
  • Group Size and Stable Groups
  • Handwashing and General Hygiene
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for Children and Adults
  • Professional Development
  • Transportation
  • Daily Health Checks

Learning Stories Conference 2021 | April-June 2021

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Learning Stories Conference 2021, hosted by Hilltop Children’s Center in Seattle, is a capacity-building opportunity to empower and equip adults working with and on behalf of children and families with the tools to transform how we approach our work with young children through the art of storytelling.

The conference will be held virtually on multiple days beginning in April through June. 

  • Price: $100 (scholarships and group discounts available)
  • ProgramReview and Download Program 
  • Questions? Email Mike Browne, Sr. Community Engagement Manager at Hilltop Children's Center and Educator Institute.  

To learn more or register: 

Learning Stories Conference 

Farm to Early Care & Education

Children farming

Farm to Early Care and Education (Farm to ECE) promotes child health and well-being through a collection of strategies that are centered on experiential learning, as well as family and community engagement.

Connect through a Community of Practice

Learn and share ideas, resources, questions, and best practices with other network members across Washington about gardening, sourcing local food, education, and other food and agriculture topics in ECE settings.

The Community of Practice cultivates connections among farms and ECE settings to work toward an equitable and environmentally responsible food system.

Connection is driven through a listserv and regular conference calls. This program is led by the Washington State Department of Health. 

Learn More & Get Involved

Training Corner

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  • Community-Based Training Pilot
  • Coming: EQEL Training
  • Now Available: School-Age Orientation 

Community-Based Training Pilot

Community Based Training multiple ways to train

DCYF is excited to offer a condensed pilot for the Community-Based Training Model. 

The pilot consists of early learning providers that need the initial or short certificate for their role. Pilot participants work in licensed family home and center-based programs across Washington State.

One hundred participants who speak English, Somali, and Spanish will provide feedback about the training model by sharing what was helpful, challenging, and what they would change or keep based on their experiences.

DCYF will work with Cultivate Learning to incorporate feedback to improve the program for statewide implementation.

Stay Informed

For questions, reach out to Diana Stokes. To learn more about the pilot, visit the recently sent Community-Based Training Model Pilot communication. 

New Sessions of Child Care Basics Available Online!

CCB online

New Child Care Basics (CCB) training sessions are now offered on the DCYF training portal! The online CCB is offered at no cost to providers. DCYF is currently working with training partners to deliver the CCB content live online.

There are still several options for completing the CCB training, including temporary alternatives due to COVID-19. To learn about your options, visit Completing CCB.  

To find these new opportunities and additional CCB trainings, use the Find Training tab in MERIT

EQEL is Coming Soon to DCYF’s Online Training Site

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In partnership with Child Care Aware of Washington and the Imagine Institute, DCYF launched the first year of the Enhancing Quality of Early Learning (EQEL) training series in January 2021.

DCYF is excited to announce that the year one modules will be available online on DCYF’s Online Training site in May.

To find available training options to complete EQEL, use the “Find Training” tab in MERIT.

Learn more about the EQEL training series by watching the video: in English or Spanish.

School Age Orientation Now On DCYF’s Online Training Site

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DCYF is excited to announce that the licensing school-age child care orientation is now available on DCYF’s Online Training site.

If your role requires you to complete the school-age child care orientation, you can log into your training account and find the school-age orientation under the “Administrative (for FFN, Licensed, ECEAP)” training topic.

Once the training is complete, the orientation will be recorded on your professional record in MERIT.

Note: This training will be updated once WAC 110-301 is implemented.

State-Approved Trainers and Training Program

Are you curious to know what is happening in the State-Approved Training world? The latest Growing the Workforce Newsletter covered the following topics: 

  • Trainer Renewal Year One Requirements 
  • Virtual Trainings in MERIT
  • Policy Updates
  • Supporting Washington's Trainers
  • Other Resources

Want to check it out? Read the April Newsletter

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Spring Webinar Series

The Spring Webinar Series will focus on new topics, including a sneak peek of the new Staff Qualifications Webpage, School-Age Qualifications, and the COVID-19 Toolkits and Contents.

Full information and registration details are below.

Spring Webinar Series picture tree with flowers

May: Sneak Peek New Staff Qualifications Webpage

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We need you! Join us for this live and interactive webinar as we navigate the new Staff Qualifications webpages.

We heard your feedback and have worked hard to organize and update the Staff Qualifications information to be easier to navigate and understand.

The webpages are currently not live, and we'd love to hear your thoughts before we open them up widely. 

During this webinar, we will: 

  • Navigate the new Staff Qualifications webpages
  • Explore content
  • Seek feedback 

Tuesday, May 18 | 6 p.m.

Register Here

June: Staff Qualifications for School-Age Programs

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DCYF's PD team will cover the staff qualifications for school-age programs that were updated with WAC 110-301. During this webinar, we'll cover the following topics in detail: 

  • Understand how to meet the staff qualification requirements for your role and the steps to complete during the timeline for your role.
  • Understand how to complete the training requirements for your role.
  • Quick walk-through of the new qualifications webpage. 

Tuesday, June 15| 6 p.m.

Register Here

Did You Miss the April Exploring the COVID-19 Toolkit Webinar

During this webinar, the PD team went over the toolkit materials and discussed ways to use the materials in the classroom.

Webinars are always recorded and live on our Newsletters and Webinars page

If you cannot find the webinar you're looking for, we're most likely working to record and upload. We appreciate your patience. If you have questions about a specific webinar, email Marlene White.

Toolkit contents

Supporting the ECE Workforce Through Education


DCYF knows the value of education and works diligently to partner with the higher education community to design and provide various educational programs and scholarships to support the early learning workforce.

To keep updated on these programs and other education resources, visit DCYF's Education and Scholarships page.

Early Achievers Scholarship: Story of Success, Gladys Santillan

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Gladys Santillan | Santillan’s Daycare

I have been part of the Early Achievers Program for the last four years. I really appreciate the extra support we receive from our coaches. They make sure that we are informed and up to date on any new information that comes directly from the state. They also give us additional training or classes so that we comply.  

As a daycare provider, I am approaching my four years, and in my educational career, I am approaching one year. I am eternally grateful for receiving financial support through the Early Achievers Grant. This has given me the opportunity to better myself educationally as I gain better skills and strategies that I can implement in my daycare center setting. Due to this opportunity, I can better serve the children that are under my care.

I feel extremely fortunate to be part of this educational process because Washington State requirements are always changing to provide high-quality care for the children of Washington. To do this, it is important to continue with this grant and helping daycare providers. Personally, it has helped me financially, and I do not feel the strain of paying for these classes to meet the educational requirements to continue my daycare business. Thank you for the continued support of your program.


Gladys Santillan

Santillan’s Daycare

Share Your Story!

Have you received the Early Achievers grant and want to share your story? Send your story to our ECE Education Specialist, Sharene Leek, to be featured in the next newsletter. 

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Tribal Updates

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Did you know DCYF has an Office of Tribal Relations? 

DCYF offers various subscription topics. Check out the full list of subscription topics.

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Growing the Workforce is a resource for all individuals who are in the business of delivering professional learning supports to the early learning workforce.

The PD Newsletter is designed to keep Washington's early learning community informed of all of the great work pertaining to Professional Development.


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Messages from DCYF Secretary

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DCYF Secretary Ross Hunter shares monthly messages to provide updates and news about the work of the agency. Read his latest messages below and click here to subscribe.

If you have any questions or comments, please contact DCYF's Office of Communications.

How Are We Doing?

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Please let us know how we're doing by taking this quick three-question survey.

If you have questions or topic suggestions reach out to Marlene White.