PD Newsletter | May Edition

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Happy Spring 

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...

Child Care Basics and EQEL Year 1 Now Available in the DCYF Training Portal

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Students can now register for Child Care Basics and Enhancing Quality in Early Learning (EQEL) Year 1 in the DCYF Training Portal. These courses are available at no-cost to participants. 

to your DCYF Training Portal account at www.dcyftraining.com

  1. Select Licensed Child Care as the role.
  2. Click on the Cohorts tab on the left.
  3. Scroll down and the cohorts will show on the left-hand side. You can select the cohort and register for the training you wish to complete.

To learn how to create a DCYF Training Portal account, click here.

PACE is Now Available to Meet Licensing Education Requirement!

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Exciting news! PACE – Provider Access to a Community Equivalent – is here! Our first sessions have started but if this pathway interests you, there will be more opportunities to join in the near future.  

About PACE

PACE is DCYF’s new community-based pathway to complete your licensing education requirement for an initial certificate. PACE is considered a community equivalent because when you are done you will have an equivalent for meeting your licensing requirements.

What's Included in PACE?

PACE includes the following learning opportunities:

  • Child Care Basics……………………………………30 hours
  • Enhancing Quality of Early Learning………20 hours
  • *NEW* PACE Modules include:
    • The Field of Early Care and Education (ECE)………..20 hours
    • Supporting Child Development and Wellness……..20 hours
    • On-the-job Learning (on your own).……………………30 hours

Is PACE Right For You? 

  • You may feel unsure about attending college courses to complete your education requirement.
  • You want to receive individualized support from an experienced trainer.
  • You want to use learning on-the-job to practice what you learn and discuss the outcome with your trainer.
  • You want to select a cohort that follows a timeline that meets your needs.
  • You want to know you can continue on to college if you choose to and receive support to do this after PACE.

Plan Ahead...

If you haven’t already, be sure to indicate how you want to meet your education through your MERIT account. To learn more about other options and see which one is right for you, visit the DCYF website and scroll down to “Equivalents.” You can also find information about PACE here.

Still Unsure? 

Contact MERIT at dcyf.merit@dcyf.wa.gov to learn more about PACE and decide if it’s a good fit for you.

Dual Language Updates

In March, the Dual Language Advisory Group members and community partners helped distribute a survey to child care providers to better understand the dual language efforts happening across the state. Below is the data from the survey responses:


We received a total of 125 responses; 66 in Spanish, 58 in English, and 1 in Somali. Responses came in from all over the state, the stars illustrate location of respondents (see map):

map of respondents


Child care providers noted the most common languages represented in their child care settings other than English. 1 being the most common, 6 being the least common.

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Most Common Languages Spoken By Children

Most Common Language Spoken By Teachers

1.      Spanish (104 respondents)

2.      Indigenous Dialects (17 respondents)

3.      Chinese (9 respondents)

4.      Amharic (9 respondents)

5.      Somali (8 respondents)

6.      Arabic (8 respondents)

1.      Spanish  (101 respondents)

2.      Indigenous Dialects (17 respondents)

3.      Amharic (7 respondents)

4.      Somali (6 respondents)

5.      Arabic (6 respondents)

6.      Chinese (3 respondents)

Additional Supports

When asked what types of supports child care providers wanted access to, responses included: 

  1. Classroom Materials (110 respondents)
  2. Training and Professional Development (92 respondents) 
  3. Increased Wages (86 respondents) 
  4. Planning Time (77 respondents) 
  5. Dual Language Focused Training  (73 respondents) 
bar graph of supports needed

Next Steps

In May, we’ll speak with more providers and families to finalize the dual language designation criteria and standards. 

If you missed April's Dual Language Designation webinar, view the recordings: English | Spanish | Somali 

Stay tuned for more Dual Language Designation updates!

Updates to the Facility/Site Details page in MERIT

We are updating the Facility/Site Details page in MERIT for licensed Child Care Centers and Family Homes. This update includes a new “Licensed Job Roles” tab with the following features:

  • A preview of the dashboard for each staff member working in a licensed early learning role. The dashboard provides a snapshot view of where an individual is in completing staff qualifications.
  • Filters that allow an employer to refine staff information by job roles, specific staff qualification, and status of qualifications (i.e., met, unmet, in-progress).

This new feature will be available June 2022.

Trauma-Informed Care Supports

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With the passage of the Fair Start for Kids Act (FSKA), DCYF has an opportunity to grow trauma-informed care supports for child care providers. Review the latest updates around this important work: 

  • Engagement: DCYF facilitated the first couple external stakeholder meetings in April to discuss how best to use FSKA trauma-informed supports to serve providers, children, and families. The group has started articulating recommendations for how to implement trauma-informed supports, and DCYF is also working with partners to convene providers and coaches to make recommendations as well.
  • Training Analysis: In preparation for growing trauma-informed supports, DCYF is reviewing early learning training curricula from partners to evaluate to what extent it aligns with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration’s Key Principles of Trauma Informed Care. This effort will help DCYF identify areas for expanding upon existing trauma-informed educational offerings.
  • Alignment: DCYF is evaluating performance standards and policies related to the Early Childhood Education and Assistant Program (ECEAP), Early Achievers, and Head Start to identify areas of alignment with Key Principles of Trauma-Informed Care and associated practices. Identifying performance standards and policies that are already aligned with key principles and practices will enable DCYF in partnership with community stakeholders to build new trauma-informed supports upon existing foundations.

More Money for More Local Food!

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Applications for the next round of Farm to School Purchasing Grants are scheduled to open soon! 

The Farm to School Purchasing Grants are available to schools, child care centers, and summer meal program operators for the purchase and use of Washington-grown foods in child nutrition programs. This is a competitive reimbursement grant.

Not sure where to start? Contact Annette Slonim, WSDA Farm to School Purchasing Grant Specialist, at farmtoschool@agr.wa.gov or 206-714-2757.

For updates and key information, visit the Farm to School Purchasing Grants website:

Farm to School Grants

PDs Engagement Efforts: Get Involved!

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The PD team is committed to having the public and stakeholders engage and contribute to our work.

Currently, our team has multiple opportunities to get involved in around:

  • PACE (Provider Access to a Community Equivalent)
  • Multilingual/Dual Language in Early Learning
  • State-Approved Training Program

Visit PD's Engagement Efforts webpage to learn how to get involved in different work areas for the team. We'd love to hear your voice! 

Learn More & Get Involved

Spring Webinar Series

This series focuses on access and resources! Topics include language access efforts, Dual Language in early learning, and an update around the Early Learning Career Planning Portal.

Don't miss out!

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May: Language Access

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Join us to meet the Early Learning Division’s Language Access Coordinators and get the chance to inform strategies to strengthen language access for early learning professionals.

The following topics will be covered in detail during this webinar: 

  • Introduction to the early learning division language access coordinators  
  • Learn about current work and future goals to address language access needs  
  • Engage in discussions to provide guidance on the strategies to improve language access supports

Tuesday, May 17 | 6 p.m.

Register Here

This webinar will be held in English, Spanish, and Somali.

June: What's Going On with the Career Planning Portal?

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Do you remember seeing this message earlier in March? Well, the results are in and we'd like to share them! Join us to learn more about the Early Learning Career Planning Portal project and our next steps. We'll be discussing the following topics in detail:

  • Quick tutorial of the site and its purpose 
  • Share the results from the user-centered research that was conducted in March
  • Next steps for this project 

Tuesday, June 21 | 6 p.m.

Register Here

Missed April's Dual Language Webinar?

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April's webinar focused on DCYF's Dual Language (DL) Designation for early learning programs.

What does this mean? DL Designation is a specialization awarded to programs that meet specific dual language criteria. 

The webinar is available in English, Spanish, and Somali and can be found on our "Webinars" webpage under "General Professional Development."

View Webinars

State-Approved Trainers and Training Program

Are you a trainer or are you curious to learn more about Washington's State-Approved Training program? The latest Growing the Workforce Newsletter is geared toward State-Approved Trainers.

A complete list of the Growing the Workforce Newsletters can be found on DCYF's Newsletters webpage:


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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 Scholarship: Stories of Success

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Rita's Story

I have received the EA scholarship from the Early Achievers funding for the past three years. This really helped me with the funds I needed to go to school. Early Achievers funding makes a difference to so many students to help them achieve their dreams. I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity EA generosity has provided me. Grants and opportunities like this make it possible for students like me to afford a quality education during these difficult economic times. Being the recipient of this scholarship support has without question pushed me to do my absolute best in the classroom and when I go out on the field.

From the research and experiences I have known that a high-quality early childhood program provides a safe and nurturing environment while promoting the physical, social, emotional, and intellectual development of young children. This means that teachers provide challenges that are not too hard or too easy for the students. I have created an environment to meet those requirements such as soft carpets, comforting family photos, colorful toys, and everything is so cozy. With the education at Lake Washington Institute of Technology in Early Childhood Education, I have learned to create an effective classroom design that is organized in a familiar way that encourages children's learning and home like environment. I also performed regular assessment of children’s skills, implementing curriculum, everyday interacting with children, building relationship with families, and individualized teaching for every child. This all became possible because of the financial EA scholarship I was awarded.

It is especially important to me to get scholarship funding because I am planning to get my BAS degree and it is not possible without funding.

The more I become educated my teaching will be more effective for the children, and their families.


classroom materials

Samantha's Story

The Early Achievers Grant that I have received has helped me immensely. While I have had this scholarship, it has helped me as a teacher in a huge way. I have grown more as a teacher through the courses I have taken and have gained so much useful knowledge. It makes having classes extremely beneficial rather than looked at as a chore. My classroom has also improved greatly through this. I can work with children in a much better and more impactful manner. I now know so much more than can help them progress and have more meaningful days at school.

I have worked at my center for 6 years and I wish I would have had this scholarship available sooner. What I have learned in my college classes has helped me grow so much more than the 6 years at a center in learning how to work with children. There is no possible way that I would be able to take these classes without this scholarship; my own income is not enough. I am so very happy to be able to have this opportunity and further my education for myself, the children in my class, and the center. I believe it is very important to keep funding this scholarship in the future cause I have never been more grateful.


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. 

whats your story

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 PD. Bookmark the PD webpage!

Bookmark the PD Page

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.