PD Newsletter | November Edition

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Hello Winter!

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...

Early Learning Division Update

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We're excited to announce a new organizational structure for our Early Learning Division that took effect October 16, 2022.

This change will improve the experience, access and services for children, families, providers, and communities. This update removes silos and reduces barriers in order to better serve our audiences. 

Professional Development and Early Achievers Now One Team!

This exciting change brings together two early learning teams: The Professional Development Team and the Early Achievers Team. Together, we will focus on workforce supports, quality, teaching and learning!

The updated Early Learning Division includes four key areas, which all hold a specific focus on quality and advancing racial equity. To learn more about each area read the full update.

Early Achievers Corner

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As our two teams work through this internal change, we are excited to venture into this change together in order to better serve our audiences. 

We understand internal workings effect external experience, and our goal is to make it a good one. How can we better serve you? Where are supports needed?

We’re planning to create multiple opportunities to receive feedback as we continue to grow into a unified program. If you have initial thoughts or wonderings about this change, we'd love your participation during December’s webinar. The December webinar will be conducted in English, Spanish and Somali and will be a gathering space to help us shape the way we engage with our audiences in 2023.

We hope to see you there!

Workgroup Seeking Members!

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The Early Achievers Values and Processes Workgroup meets regularly and would love to hear from you!What is the Values and Processes Workgroup?

The workgroup’s goal is to improve Early Achievers through equity and collaboration. During meetings, they review data, discuss challenges and successes and make recommendations to improve the program.
The workgroup includes providers; partners and stakeholders.

The group meets the third Tuesday of every other month from 12:30 to 2 p.m.

If you are interested in contributing to quality improvement in early childhood settings, please contact Ellen Zito.

Early Acheivers Communications Café

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We are excited to announce the launch of Early Achievers Communications Café!

On November 1st, several Early Achievers partners, contractors, and providers came together for the first Communications Café. We received great feedback about what communication needs we need to focus on.

The Communications Café will help us improve communications related to Early Achievers. The group will help plan, design and prioritize messages that meet the needs of providers, families and partners. 

We would like more provider input! If you’re interested in participating, contact Jill Strom. The group meets the 1st Tuesday of the month from 1:30 to 3 p.m.

Early Achievers Participant Operating Guidelines Updated

The Early Achievers Operating Guidelines were recently updated to include a new "extension" policy and exceptions to Video Highlights.

The guidelines are available in English, Spanish and Somali and can be found on the Early Achievers Supports & Resources webpage.

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Exciting Updates to the Education Verification Process!

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The Department of Children, Youth & Families (DCYF) is excited to announce a couple of updates to:

  • The education verification process for child care providers on the Early Achievers Grant
  • Child care providers who have an international degree. 

The updated process reduces barriers, time and costs to providers. 

Read the full update!

Qualifications & Resources for ECE Professionals

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Early learning professionals are essential to our children's future. Professionals provide knowledgeable, high-quality care and education to help young children achieve their full potential. 

Our goal as an agency is to have pathways for everyone to meet their professional goals. This message outlines some key resources and reminders to help professionals achieve those goals. 

We appreciates everything that you do in supporting the children, youth, and families in Washington State. Thank you!

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Staff Qualifications Resources

DCYF continues to develop resources for early learning professionals to understand their options to meet their licensing staff qualifications. Check out the latest resources!

  • Guide to Professional Development Plans (PDP) for Early Learning Providers: This guide provides an overview of each educational pathway and creating a plan to meet that pathway. English | Spanish
  • Guide to Training Requirements for Licensed Early Learning Providers: This guide provides an overview of the licensing training requirements for early learning providers. English | Spanish
  • Professional Development Plan (PDP) Worksheet: Early learning providers have 5 years or more to meet their licensing education requirement. This worksheet helps the provider to map out a plan to meet the education. English | Spanish

Questions about PACE?

Do you have questions about what PACE is?

How do you know if PACE is right for you?

Want to know how to complete PACE as an equivalent for your job role education requirement?

Find the answers to your questions and learn more about PACE, including how to get registered for PACE trainings on our updated webpage! 

PACE Webpage

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Annual In-Service Training

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Licensed child care providers need to complete 10 hours of In-Service training annually after the initial training requirement (Child Care Basics, School-Age Basics, or Outdoor Nature-Based Basics) has been completed.

When do I need to complete my training hours by?

  • 10 hours of In-Service training must be completed by December 31, 2022.

How can I find approved training to complete?

  • Use the “Find Training” tool in MERIT to find state-approved training.

Can I get In-Service hours for training that was not offered by a State-Approved Trainer?

  • Yes! For learning experiences completed through non-state-approved training, such as out of state conferences, you may submit a Continuing Education Proposal (CEP) application to request annual In-Service training hours.
    • To learn more about this option or step-by-step instructions, visit our MERIT Resource webpage under 'Training'. 
  • You can also receive In-Service training hours for college coursework related to the WA State Core Competencies for Early Care and Education or School-Age Professionals. You must submit an education application in MERIT and provide a copy of your unofficial transcript. There is a limit of up to three courses submitted per calendar year. All courses for In-Service  hours must be completed within the past three years.
    • To learn more about this option or step-by-step instructions, visit our MERIT Resource webpage under 'Education'. 

What if I didn’t complete 10 hours of training during 2020 or 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic?

  • Licensors will not cite for missing hours for prior years.
  • Providers resumed completion of the annual 10 hours of In-Service training hours beginning January 1, 2022.
    • See the Training Modifications in Response to COVID-19 for the latest updates. [English] [Spanish] [Somali]



Fair Start for Kids Act Corner: Dual Language Designation & Trauma-Informed Care

The PD Team holds two major components of the Fair Start for Kids Act (FSKA) that support advancing the quality of child care in Washington through the early childhood workforce, they are:

  • Dual Language Designation
    • Dual language/multilingual education is a form of education in which students are taught literacy, culture, and content in their home language and one or more other languages.
    • Under FSKA, DCYF is directed to establish a dual language designation for licensed or certified providers accepting state subsidy.
  •  Trauma-Informed Care
    • Positive relationships between children and adults are critical to creating the brain architecture to grow healthy social, emotional, and intellectual development.
    • Under FSKA, the department is launching a comprehensive effort to grow trauma-informed and healing-centered supports for early childhood professionals. Supports include financial awards for providers who grow their trauma-informed knowledge, skills, and abilities; professional development opportunities, including training; and increasing availability of developmental screening tools.

Never miss an update! For the timeliest information on this work, check out the Fair Start for Kids Act section on our Current Initiatives Webpage:

Current Initiatives Webpage

Dual Language Designation Updates & Professional Development Resources 

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Making Connections Resource Kit

This comprehensive resource offers suggestions, tools, and sample lessons for teachers who use the Washington State Early Learning and Development Guidelines and WIDA Early Years resources to plan equitable learning opportunities for young multilingual children.

Access the Making Connections Tool

WIDA Resource Kit Webinar

WIDA Early Years & DCYF are partnering to host an interactive webinar about the Essential Actions Resource Kit. The Kit offers guidelines and practical suggestions for direct service providers supporting multilingual children and families.

Register & Join! Tuesday, Dec. 13 | 1-2 p.m.

Register Here

During the one-hour webinar, the following information will be covered resource kit: 

  • Guidelines for supporting multilingual children and families
  • Practical suggestions and voices from the field
  • Opportunities for self-reflection
  • Examples of individual pathways for self-study
  • Support for data-informed decision-making

Dual Language Learner Training

DCYF’s Dual Language Learner Training is going through a revision and expansion process. We expect the revisions to be completed by Summer 2023.

Dual Language Designation Application 

DCYF is working with UW Cultivate to build the application for the Dual Language Designation. More information about this coming in Spring. Announcements will be made through the PD Newsletter. Subscribe here.

Trauma-Informed Care Update

FSKA (Senate Bill 5237), DCYF is growing  Trauma-Informed Care supports for eligible providers.

This includes financial awards for Trauma-Informed education and training recognized by DCYF.

To learn more about the financial awards, watch October’s Webinar: Trauma-Informed Care and Healing Centered Supports.

Additional information about the financial awards will become available soon on our Current Initiatives webpage.

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DCYF's New Training Site- Coming in 2023!

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We are excited to announce the implementation of a new Learning Management System (LMS) coming in 2023!

DCYF’s New Training Site (which will be renamed later), will be a place to find training, complete training, manage training and conference/special events, and apply to become a state-approved trainer.

We’re taking a user-centered approach to help transition to the new training site. During each step of the way, we will be working closely with our audiences to learn from them, in order to offer the best support. There will be several ways to provide input:

User-Centered Testing & Feedback Sessions

  • State-Approved Trainers & Training Organizations: Currently, we are working with trainers and those who administer trainings on the new site. We are working through User-Centered Testing to learn how the training community uses the site and where supports are needed.
  • Child Care Providers/Coaches and other early learning audiences: We’ll be working with these audiences some time in the new year. We’ll announce recruitment for feedback sessions and User-Centered Testing via our PD Newsletter. If you'd like to get involved in these sessions, contact Marlene White or subscribe to the PD newsletter.

Renaming the new training site

  • We're planning to take a collaborative approach to naming this new Training Site and we want your input. More details on this coming soon! 

Fall Webinar Series

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October's Webinar focused on Trauma-Informed & Healing-Centered Care: watch the full update here!

Please note: we are working to make this webinar available in Spanish. Once recording is available it will live on Webinars webpage.

November & December Webinars

The November and December webinars will be a two-part series focused on feedback gathering to shape the future of the webinar series. We want to change the way we run our webinars and learn how to best engage with our audiences. The webinars will be held live in English, Spanish and Somali.

If you missed November's webinar, please join us in December to provide your input.

Register Here! 

Looking for Previous Webinars?

Webinars are recorded and live on our Webinars webpage. 

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.

Visit PDs Webinars

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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

Words from Lake Washington Institute of Technology's ECE Dual Language Program

Early Achievers Scholarship: Stories of Success

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These classes have meant a lot to me because I have learned a lot about the skills, abilities, development, nutrition, behavior, and challenges of children, it has been a very nice experience for a whole year. I met very nice people, teacher René and teacher Samantha are excellent people with very good feelings and they encourage the students a lot to move forward, they are people with a lot of wisdom. It was a pleasure for me to have been in your class.

Estas clases an significado mucho para mi por que e aprendido mucho sobre las destrezas las habilidades, el desarrollo,la alimentación, el comportamiento y desafío de los niños, a sido una experiencia muy bonita durante todo un año. Conocí personas muy lindas, la maestra René y la maestra Samantha son unas excelentes personas con muy buenos sentimientos y animan mucho a los estudiantes a seguir adelante, son unas personas con mucha sabiduría. Para mi fue un placer aver estado en su clase.

-Aurelia D.

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The bilingual classes I have taken at LWtech have made me embrace my culture and appreciate others'. I have learned how inclusivity opens so many doors starting to practice it at a really young age and how it’s is never too late to start educating yourself on something you have passion for.

Las clases bilingües que e tomado en el LWtech me an echo acoger mas mi cultura y apreciar la de los demás. E aprendido como la inclusión abre muchas puertas especialmente practicada desde muy pequeños y también aprendí que nunca es demasiado tarde para empezar tu educación y en algo por lo cual tienes una pasión.

-Mitzi R.

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The classes have been a great help to me since they have made my work with the children more productive and fun. The teachers have done an excellent job, they make each class very interesting, and they have done it in a that it is easy to understand without mentioning that they are very funny which makes the class not monotonous and despite being online I feel as if you were present. Now I talk to everyone about how excellent this LWTech school is.

Las clases para mi han significado de una gran ayuda ya que han hecho que mi trabajo con los niños se vuelva mas productivo y divertido, Las maestras han echo un excelente trabajo, hacen que cada clase se vuelva muy interesante y lo han hecho de una manera que es facil de entender sin dejar de mencionar que son muy divertidas lo cual hace que la clase no sea monotona y a pesar de ser en-linea se siento como si estuvieras presente. ahora yo hablo con todos de lo excelente que es este colegio LWTech.

-Silvia C.

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Taking classes at Lake Washington Institute of Technology, signifies "Door of great opportunities", has given my profession as a teacher, security, confidence, becoming a channel of learning in new teaching techniques, and improving the approach to Early Childhood Education.

El tomar las clases en Lake Washington Tecnology, singifica” Puerta de grandes oportunidades”, han brindado a mi profesión como Maestra, la seguridad, confianza, convirtiéndose en un canal de aprendizaje en nuevas técnicas de enseñanza y mejorar el enfoque hacia la Educación de la Primera Infancia.

Yenny R.

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For me, the classes I have taken at LW Tech mean the possibility to open new doors and opportunities for my professional life. These classes have helped me to learn more about Early Childhood Education, to improve my job skills. To learn new techniques that aren't only helpful for the children under my care, but also to improve my personal wellness in the classroom. This way, I can provide a better quality of care for my children in the classroom.

Para mí las clases que eh tomado en LW Tech significan la posibilidad de abrir nuevas puertas y oportunidades en mi vida laboral. Estas clases me han ayuda a prender más sobre el cuidado de los niños, a poder mejorar en mi trabajo, y aprender nuevas técnicas que son utiles no solo para mis niños si no para mí como cuidadora y maestra. Para así poder ofrecer una mejor calidad de cuidado a mis niños.

Elizabeth L.

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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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 page

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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.

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