PD Newsletter | July's Edition

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Welcome, Summer! 

This quarterly newsletter from the Washington State Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) is designed to keep those working with Washington's children, youth, and families informed of all of the great work pertaining to Professional Development.


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In This Newsletter...

COVID-19 Provider Toolkits

Toolkit contents

Earlier this year, DCYF used CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act funding to develop and distribute classroom toolkits for licensed early learning providers. 

Thank you to the local Child Care Aware offices for helping distribute the toolkits across Washington. You were a huge help!  

Request a Toolkit

If you did not receive a COVID-19 toolkit, please fill out this survey so we can connect with you. DCYF will work to support getting them out, but it may take some time to coordinate. We appreciate your patience.

Request a Toolkit

Substitute Pool Hours - Beginning July 1

Child Care Center Providers 

Effective July 1, licensed child care center providers participating in Early Achievers will have access to paid substitute time, up to five days (50 hours). Hours are first come, first served, and available until funding runs out.

Licensed child care center providers who do not participate in Early Achievers can access the State’s Early Care and Education Substitute Pool at their own expense through a private pay option. Click here to read the full update (in English, Spanish, and Somali).

Family Child Care Providers

For Licensed Family Home Child Care Providers Accepting State Subsidy: Effective July 1, all licensed family home child care providers who have served a child receiving state subsidy within the last 12 months at the time of substitute scheduling, will have access to five days (50 hours) of paid substitute time per fiscal year (July 1, 2021 – June 30, 2022).

For Licensed Family Home Child Care Providers Not Accepting State Subsidy­: Effective July 1, all licensed family home child care providers who are participating in Early Achievers and have not served a child receiving state subsidy within the last 12 months will have access to paid substitute time, up to five days (50 hours). Hours are first come, first served, and available until funding runs out.

Licensed child care providers who do not accept state subsidy or participate in Early Achievers can access the State’s Early Care and Education Substitute Pool at their own expense through a private pay option. Click here to read the full update (in English, Spanish, and Somali).


For questions, email the State’s Substitute Pool Administrator, The Imagine Institute, at subpool@imaginewa.org or call 206-492-5249.

Dual Language in Early Learning

Dual Language (DL) or Multilingual (ML) education is a form of education in which students are taught literacy, culture, and content in two or more languages. Dual language supports were formerly guided by House Bill 1445 which is now RCW 43.216.105.

Shortly after House Bill 1445 passed in 2017, DCYF created the Dual Language Learners (DLL) training in collaboration with community and the University of Washington’s Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences (I-LABS).

Update on DCYF's Dual Language Work 

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Dual Language Leadership at DCYF. Welcome, Athena!

The Professional Development Team is excited to welcome Athena Jiménez-Manalo to lead the efforts in developing the early learning workforce with an emphasis on those who are working with children who are dual language learners.

Part of Athena’s role will be to collaborate with state and community agencies on developing and aligning policies and practices, curriculum development and delivery, and workforce preparation needs related to DLL.

Additional Updates

  • DLL trainings delivered live via Zoom from January to June 2021, and will continue in the future
  • Each training participant receives toolkits with classroom materials to support language and culture
  • Online training is in development and will be available soon
  • Customized tribal dual language training is in development in collaboration with DCYF's Indian Policy Early Learning (IPEL)
  • Expanding dual language toolkit options to reflect more languages and cultures

What to Learn More? Tune into August's Webinar on Dual Language!

Fun Facts About Dual Language

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  • DLL and ML are frequently used interchangeably to describe learners whose first language is a language other than English. Multilingual is a more inclusive term that includes learners who may speak two or more languages other than English.
  • ML have flexible brains that are always processing two or more languages and making cross-cultural and cross-linguistic connections.
  • Myth: DLL are slower to learn language than children who only learn one language.
  • Fact: Research tells us that learning more than one language does not slow language acquisition in any way.
  • Myth: exposing children to multiple languages may cause delays in speech or language development and/or confuse the child.
  • Fact: Even if a child has a language learning delay, adding another language will not confuse the child or lead to further delays.
  • Fact: people who are multilingual are faster and more accurate at switching between tasks, paying attention, and inhibiting impulses.

New Qualifications Webpage Now Available


After months of work and implementing feedback from the community, the new Qualifications and Role Requirements webpage is here! 

Community Engagement Efforts

Since 2019, shortly after the Staff Qualifications WAC took effect, the PD team heard significant feedback to have a better way to provide and explain staff qualifications for providers. A previous webpage was created and a handful of resources were published but additional updates to the WAC made the information so extensive, the work needed its own place to live.  

In May of this year, the PD team hosted a webinar, Sneak Peek of the New
Staff Qualifications Webpages, and sought out initial feedback on the draft webpage, and then proceeded to conduct seven individual user-testing to seek additional feedback on content, flow, and language.

Thank You!

A big thank you to everyone who helped advise on the new webpages, this work couldn't have been done without you! Thank you to the following folks for your time and efforts: 

  • Reinette A. at Child Care Resources
  • Brenna L. at The Goddard School for Early Childhood Development 
  • Jennifer M. at the Woodland Hall Preschool 
  • Heather C. at Green Lake Preschool
  • Kayli T. at ESD 112
  • Maria R. from the DCYF Licensing Team
  • Mariela L. from the DCYF Licensing Team 
  • Debbie D., DCYF's Webmaster
  • Emily B. from DCYF's Communications Team
  • Diana S. & Erin S. from the PD Team
  • Everyone who joins our webinars and continues to provide feedback. We appreciate you and what you have to say

Check It Out 

Please note: this is not a one-and-done effort. If you have questions, suggestions, or need clarification on content, contact Marlene White.

Training Corner

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Training Updates Include:

  • DCYF Approved Training Equivalent 
  • School-Age Resources
  • Child Care Basics (CCB)
  • Enhancing Quality Early Learning (EQEL)

DCYF Approved Training Equivalent: Community-Based Training

Community Based Training multiple ways to train

DCYF is excited to announce that the pilot for the community-based training has completed and we are learning from the participants. Check back on the Community-Based Training webpage to see the feedback from the pilot. Now that this has been finished, DCYF is working with Cultivate Learning to incorporate the feedback into the training model to improve the program for statewide implementation.

DCYF held a webinar in July with an update about this work. If you weren’t able to join us live, you can watch a recording of this here. DCYF will work with Cultivate Learning to incorporate this feedback into the training model to improve the program for statewide implementation.

While the revisions are being made, DCYF is working with SBCTC to establish a process to receive college credit for this training pathway. More will be available in early 2022 about this work.

Visit the website to stay current on this equivalent option for licensed early learning providers needing the initial or short certificate for their role. For questions, reach out to Diana Stokes.

What Can I Expect in DCYF’s CCB Online?

CCB online

The online CCB is available on the DCYF online training site. This online CCB is offered at no cost to providers. As DCYF continues to scale the delivery of the online CCB, additional training cohorts will continue to be added in MERIT.

This training is completed at your own pace within the 30-day window. During this timeframe, you’ll:

  • Review the content
  • Respond to the discussion prompts that are reviewed by your trainer
  • Interact with fellow participants in the final module

Use the “Find Training” tab in the workforce registry, MERIT, to find available options.

To find the DCYF CCB, search for “Child Care Basics” and look at the available trainings under “online.” There, you will find how to register for the training and the associated trainer. Note: This will not be visible in your DCYF online training account until the trainer has completed the registration process on their end.

Additional options for completing the CCB training, including temporary alternatives due to COVID-19, are still available.

Enhancing Quality Early Learning (EQEL)

Year 2 for EQEL is coming soon! If you completed year 1, you can find year 2 offered in MERIT by the fall. Do you want to complete EQEL online? We are in production now to make this available on the DCYF online training site – watch for opportunities available starting in fall.

A reminder, once you finish CCB, the next step is to complete EQEL as part of your in-service hours – you can see more in the outline below:

EQEL training logo

School-Age Resources Now Available

school-age teacher

WAC 110-301 for licensed school-age providers went live on June 1, 2021. Behind the scenes, DCYF has been busy putting together resources for the new Professional Development requirements. These resources are now available on the new Staff Qualifications webpage for School-Age providers. On this webpage, you will find resources such as:

State-Approved Trainers and Training Program

Trainer in front of board

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

  • Revision to trainer standards
  • Future of state-approved trainer observations
  • Supporting trainers through a new webinar series

The full list of the Growing the Workforce Newsletters can be found on DCYF's Newsletters and Webinars page. 

Washington's Farm to School Network

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Farm to Early Care and Education (ECE) Community of Practice Call – Learn from your peers!

Join the next farm to ECE Community of Practice call on July 27 from 3-4 p.m. to hear from champions across Washington State on how they have built and grown farm to ECE programs in their communities. Speakers will represent three new farm to ECE success stories recently published online. There will also be time for participants to ask questions and share stories and updates about their work. Click here to register.

NEW Farm to Early Care and Education (ECE) Training: Growing Minds and Healthy Appetites

This new, free online professional development course is hosted by Nourished and Active in Early Learning through the University of Washington. Learn about the three components of Farm to ECE with a deep dive into experiential education, how to apply farm to ECE in CACFP, and how to engage your early learning community. Training offers 2 STARS credits.

Summer Webinar Series

The Summer Webinar Series will focus on the Community-Based Training, Dual Language in Early Learning, and the new MERIT dashboard demo. Full details below.

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August: Dual Language in Early Learning

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Dual language/multilingual education is a form of education in which students are taught literacy, culture, and content in two or more languages.

Join this webinar to learn what the PD team is doing to develop the early learning workforce with an emphasis on those who are working with children who are multilingual learners. We'll cover the following topics in detail:

  • Update on House Bill 1445 concerning dual language (now guided by RCW 43.216.105)
  • Dual Language versus Multilingual
  • RCW & Fair Start for Kids Act deliverables
  • PD's engagement efforts and next steps for this work

Tuesday, August 17 | 6 p.m.

Register Here

September: New MERIT Dashboard Demo!


The MERIT dashboard for licensed early learning professionals is getting a facelift.

The new dashboard will allow people to easily track qualifications and professional development progress and is expected to be available in the fall.

During this webinar, the PD team will:

  • Demo the updated dashboard
  • Navigate and show how to track qualifications progress

Tuesday, Sept. 21 | 6 p.m.

Register Here

Missed July's Webinar: Update on the Community-Based Training?


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.

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

Scholarships, Incentives, and Awards

Early Achievers Grant & Other Scholarships

DCYF provides early learning scholarships for those employed at a program that participates in Early Achievers. Check out what options are available for you: 

Early Learning Scholarships


Early Achievers Scholarship: Stories of Success

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Supraja's Story

I am Supraja P. and I run a home daycare. I have been participating in Early Achievers program from summer 2019 and it is so helpful to improve my career. We are getting more knowledge and support from professionals. Textbooks and tuition funding help me to finish my courses and help provide children with good quality of education and setting up a high-quality learning environment. It helps us understand how to help children in their learnings and I have improved my teaching techniques. Thank you for helping us. 

Genesis' Story

Before starting college, I was indecisive of what I should do for my career. The only thing I wanted is a career that involves kids. I started and currently working at La Petite Academy (LPA) in Kirkland. LPA gave me an awesome opportunity to grow more in my career and helped me with the Early Achievers Grant. I started at Lake Washington Tech spring of 2019 and I will be graduating in winter of 2021. Since I started, my center has been supportive throughout my schooling. Before starting, I did have some knowledge of child development but not as much as I have now.

Genesis and family

Throughout the quarters of ECE program, I have learned a lot. From infant-toddler care to school age care, this program has truly impacted my learning and my point of view in this career. With the learning, I gained a strong relationship with my families, kids, and coworkers. I have become more communicative with the family by talking to them about their child’s day, helping them with their needs, updating the curriculum, etc. Like I mentioned, I have been with LPA since I started my schooling. They challenge me to do my best in the classroom. My director, assistant director, and coworkers have seen a big growth in my abilities.

This funding is important to me and my family. My siblings did not get the chance to have funding for college. Both of my parents are immigrants and with this funding, I can be the first one in my family to graduate college. Also, this funding gave me an opportunity to do something I love to do. I work hard for what I want in life and this is one of them. I am truly grateful for this funding. If it weren’t for this funding, I wouldn’t have the chance to go to college.

Monika's Story

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The Early Achievers grant helped me take ECE college courses and connected me to mentors, personal development, and training tools. These helped me grow both personally and professionally and started building my skills and qualities to reach my potential. I feel more focused and can handle challenges with confidence.

As a teacher, it is my responsibility to provide better learning to the children, and when I received positive feedback from their parents, I find myself in the right direction. I am helping children in improving their knowledge and skills. I feel rewarded when I see my children gaining skills from what I am teaching them. Not only in my profession, but it also helps me in raising my own kids too. I believe that one who wants to get further knowledge and want to make a career in this field and pursue their education must connect with the Early Achievers grant. Thank you.

Share With Us!

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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Community Engagement at DCYF

DCYF’s Community Engagement team provides oversight and support in working with external stakeholders and advisory bodies to ensure there is consistent and effective communication between constituents and the agency.

Get Involved!

DCYF has numerous opportunities to make sure your voice is heard. Some include: 

For a full list of advisory boards and councils or to get involved, visit DCYF's Community Engagement Webpage.

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.

Bookmark the Professional Development Webpage

Don't miss the latest updates related to training and Professional Development. Bookmark the Professional Development webpage!

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Subscribe to the PD Newsletters

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.


A complete list of newsletters can be found on our Newsletters and Webinars page

Messages from DCYF Secretary

sec. ross hunter

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.