PD Newsletter | May Edition

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The PD Newsletter!

Supporting the adult educators who care for and teach young children in Washington State.

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 & Early Achievers.

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In This Newsletter...

We are the Workforce Growth, Quality, and Recognition Team

New Team Name Banner: Workforce Growth, Quality and Recognition Team

You might have noticed the new banner at the top of our newsletter message. We’re excited to announce that we have a new team name, we are the Workforce Growth, Quality, and Recognition Team!

In October 2022, some DCYF early learning teams joined together, these teams included: Early Achievers, Professional Development, and Child Care Subsidy Training. Together, as the Workforce Growth, Quality, and Recognition Team, we’ll continue to serve our early learning provider community and workforce.

After many discussions, and taking multiple considerations into account, we are excited that we landed on a name that defines our collective work. Our focus continues to support the professional growth and learning of Washington’s early childhood professionals. 

Bookmark the Professional Development Homepage for the timeliest updates:

Professional Development

Thank You Child Care Providers

We recognize the central role you play in the success and well-being of children, families and communities.

Even though Child Care Provider Appreciation Day has passed, we wanted to say thank you for your hard work and dedication that you provide each day.

Thank you, you are appreciated. 

Read the full message here.

  Thank you Providers Message

Early Achievers Corner

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This section of the newsletter provides timely information and updates around the Early Achievers program.

Join June's Webinar: Early Achievers, What’s Changed and Why

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DCYF committed to updating Early Achievers implementation in 2020 and engaged with stakeholders and partners during 2020 and 2021 to guide those revisions.

The revisions to Early Achievers focused on the implementation approaches only, and the Early Achievers Quality Standards remain the same.

During this live webinar we'll be covering the following in detail: 

  • Hear how Early Achievers participants now have more ways to highlight quality in their program and get strength-based reflective feedback
  • Learn how Early Achievers components have changed, as well as stayed the same

Thursday, June 15 | 12-1 pm

Register Here

New Training Available for Outdoor Nature-Based Providers

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Are you an early learning provider in an outdoor nature-based (ONB) program or interested to learn more about ONB learning?

DCYF is excited to announce that a 10-hour training will be available on the DCYF Online Training site this summer 2023. This training will also meet the ONB specific training/education requirement for ONB lead teachers!

If you have questions about this training, please reach out to merit@dcyf.wa.gov. If have any questions about licensed outdoor nature-based child care, reach out to the Outdoor Nature-Based Licensing Team at dcyf.outdoornaturebasedchildcare@dcyf.wa.gov.

Learn More About PACE!

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Do you have questions about PACE?

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 by visiting our PACE webpage. 

For questions about PACE, reach out to our MERIT Team.

PACE Webpage

New Washington State Short Certificate Specialization

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Washington’s State Board for Colleges and Technical Colleges (SBCTC) has officially added the “Washington State Short Certificate of Specialization in Outdoor Education” to the list of available short certificates of specialization.

Who is this for?

This Washington State ECE Short Certificate of specialization is available for anyone who is interested, including those working in outdoor nature-based learning environments.

How do I earn this short certificate?

In addition to completing ECED& 115 Child Development, you will need to complete ECED& 137 Outdoor Education to earn this specialization.

When will this be available?

This course and specialization will be available starting fall quarter and will be offered through community and technical colleges across the state.

Use the ECE Career Planning Portal to find more information on how to contact a college near you.

ECE Career Planning Portal

Northwest Early Learning and Pyramid Summit- Registration Open

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The 2023 Northwest Early Learning and Pyramid Model Summit invites early childhood administrators, coaches, behavior specialists, educators and state teams to come together for in-depth learning and networking to promote young children's social emotional development and equity in early learning. 

Conference Details

  • Pre-Conference Dates: November 6-7, 2023
  • Conference Dates: November 7-8, 2023
  • Location: Seattle Airport Marriott, Seattle, WA

For more information, visit the University of Washington's, College of Education Website: 

Learn More About Enhancing Quality of Early Learning (EQEL)

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What is EQEL?

  • Enhancing Quality of Early Learning, or EQEL, is a 20-hour training that can be completed over the course of two years.
    • EQEL is completed after Child Care Basics and must be completed within three years of being hired or promoted into a role that requires the EQEL training. 
  • EQEL will meet the annual in-service training requirement.
  • Year 1 of the training comprises the first 10 hours of EQEL, including Responsive Caregiving and Brain Building.
  • Year 2 of EQEL comprises of the second 10 hours of this training series, including Engaging Interactions and Environments, and Positive Behavior Supports.

How do I find this training?

Who completes this training?

  • Early learning providers who were hired after August 1, 2019 and are in the role of assistant teacher, lead teacher, family home licensee, program supervisor, and center director will need to complete this training.
  • Early learning providers who were hired before August 1, 2019 and wish to meet their job role education through PACE must complete EQEL.

What else will meet my EQEL training requirement?

The following alternative options will meet EQEL when recorded in MERIT:

  • Washington State ECE Short Certificate (any specialization)
  • Washington State ECE State Certificate
  • Associate degree in ECE or higher
  • DCYF-recognized education/credential equivalents for Washington State ECE Short Certificate or higher
    • See the Equivalent Options for Education guide for a list of education/credential equivalent examples.
    • PACE and the experience-based competency equivalent options are not eligible alternatives for meeting EQEL.
  • Head Start, ECEAP, and School District Partnerships

For more information about EQEL, check out the Training Requirements webpage:

Training Requirements Webpage

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

FSKA Banner, child playing with blocks with the text: Fair Start for Kids Act Washington's bold plan for child care and early learning

The Workforce Growth, Quality, and Recognition 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 and Trauma-Informed Care. To learn more visit: 

Current Initiatives Webpage

Dual Language Designation

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TheEarly Achievers Dual Language Designation recognizes programs that support multilingual children and families in dual language learning environments.

The Designation will help families find child care to meet their language and culture strengths.

Who Can Receive a Dual Language Designation?

  • Programs participating in Early Achievers can receive a Dual Language Designation.
  • Programs that are interested will commit to meeting the Dual Language Standards & Best Practices.
  • Programs that indicate their commitment will demonstrate their practices during the Early Achievers Quality Recognition Cycle.

What is a Dual Language Designation Award?

The Fair Start for Kids Act directed DCYF to establish a Dual Language Designation Award for eligible providers to build and/or enhance linguistic support in learning environments.

Dual Language Designation funding awards are available for

  • Early Achievers programs accepting child care subsidy. This means the program must have claimed a payment in the last 12 months.
  • ECEAP and Early ECEAP contractors

Funding is limited and will be prioritized based on the Child Care Stabilization Zip Code Factors.

When will the Dual Language Designation be Available?

Providers can request a Dual Language Designation at any time. The application is located in CECI, Washington’s Coach and Educator Community Interface (formerly known as Coaching Companion).


Providers are encouraged to work with their coach on the application process. Providers can also contact our QRIS team. To learn more visit: 

DCYF's Dual Language Learning webpage

Awards for Trauma-Informed Care Training and Education

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As funds are available, DCYF will provide one-time financial awards, up to $1,200, to eligible individuals with trauma-informed knowledge and skills gained through DCYF-recognized training and education verified in MERIT.


To find a list of DCYF-recognized trauma-informed care trainings, visit DCYF Trauma-Informed Care Trainings. 

To learn all about trauma-informed care awards, visit: 

Trauma-Informed Care webpage

DCYF's New Training Site- Coming in 2023!

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DCYF's New Training Site is coming sometime in 2023 and will replace the current LMS, DCYFtraining.com.

We will continue to provide status updates as we progress toward the launch.

For the latest information, including monthly status updates, visit:  

DCYFs New Training Site

Spring Webinar Series

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The Spring Webinar Series kicked off in April. If you missed the webinars, you can find the recordings on our Webinars webpage. 

  • April: Financial Awards for Trauma-Informed Care
  • May: Washington's Substitute Pool 
  • June: Early Achievers, What’s Changed and Why
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When registering, please ensure sure you type your email address correctly, otherwise you will not receive the Zoom registration information. 

If you cannot find a webinar, we're most likely working to upload. If you have questions about a specific webinar, email Marlene White.

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 for State-Approved Trainers.

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

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

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Early Achievers Grant: Stories of Success

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"Our center is an Early Achievers site and we have benefited from the school grant in the past, and we currently have staff who are using money from the grant this quarter.

With the current WAC requirements, our teachers need to have either an Initial Certificate or a Short certificate. The certificate they need depends on if they are an Assistant Teacher or a Lead Teacher. The WAC also requires someone in your facility to have an ECE
Certificate. These classes and the books that are required can be expensive. We have been grateful to have access to a grant that allows our teachers to go to school to fulfill those requirements. This allows them to stay employed without having to take out loans or pay out of pocket for schooling that the state is requiring them to take to be employed at a childcare facility.

Please continue giving our field the funding that is needed to help our teachers, not only keep their jobs, but become better teachers by learning what makes children the way they are and learning more skills to teach the children in our care. Thank you."

-Tabitha, Assistant Director 

Education Recording Now Easier for Early Achievers Grant Recipients

woman holding up a diploma very happy

We are excited to announce an update for child care providers on the Early Achievers Grant. The updated process reduces stress and time for providers. 

Education Recording Now Easier!

Students/providers on the Early Achievers Grant (EAG) will no longer need to submit documentation of completed education into MERIT. As an Early Achievers Grant recipient, the completion data will automatically be sent to DCYF. When the data is received by DCYF, A DCYF Credentialing Specialist will record the completed education on behalf of providers, liberating providers from doing this step themselves. 

About the Early Achievers Grant

The Early Achievers Grant is a DCYF funded student financial aid program to help employed child care providers and early learning educators complete certificates and associate degrees in early childhood education.

Learn what funding opportunities are available to you by visiting our Scholarships, Incentives & Awards webpage. For questions on this process or to learn more about grant opportunities, email MERIT.

Tell Us Your Story

We love hearing success stories, they give us hope and motivation!

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

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

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