Growing the Workforce Newsletter | April Edition

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Through the Power of Learning


Growing the Workforce is a monthly resource from the Washington State Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) for all individuals who are in the business of delivering professional learning supports to the early learning and school-age workforces.

What's in This Issue?

Welcome, Adriana!

Many of you already know Nora Adriana Terrones through her work providing technical assistance in the training inbox, processing new trainer applications, and supporting the community engagement effort for our program revision. The State-Approved Training program has been borrowing her time for about half a year to support our work. Nora (she goes by Adriana) is moving on from her position with Electronic Attendance and fully immersing herself into our training world.

We are so excited to welcome her into a full-time role as a Professional Development Specialist! Adriana is a native Spanish speaker and will be able to provide assistance in Spanish. There is no limit to what we can accomplish with her positive attitude, commitment to improvement, and her focus on the individuals touched by the program.

You have also likely worked with Diana Stokes. Diana will transition into a new role overseeing Staff Qualifications. Diana will no longer be a contact for state-approved training-related questions.

Please send all inquiries to We do not want anything to get missed during the transition.

Are You Interested in a Monthly Training Webinar?


Many of you have reached out to let us know that you would like more opportunities to connect with the PD Team and each other around training-related topics. We are working on several different strategies to better support you!

One of the strategies involves a monthly trainer webinar in English and Spanish so we can share information, answer your questions, and gather input.

Help us determine the best day/time and structure for this resource by taking this quick two-question survey. We are planning to record sessions for those who cannot attend. 

Take the Survey

Important Update to the Training Template

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We recently discovered a glitch in the training template. The glitch made it possible for trainers to create training templates that were beyond their approved core competency areas and training delivery levels. For example, a trainer with an approval of level 1-2 in Child Growth and Development may have previously been able to create a level 4 training in Child Growth and Development.

This glitch has been corrected in MERIT. Trainers will no longer be able to deliver trainings outside of approval levels. Please make sure your core competency approvals match your approved levels to avoid any disruptions to your training delivery. 

The Approved Core Competency Areas & Levels are listed in your trainer tab in MERIT in the lower right hand section of the page.

I’m training beyond my approval, what can I do?

  1. Attempt to increase your approval level by submitting another state-approved trainer application.
  2. Adjust the training template and content so that it is within your approval levels.

Entering Live Virtual Trainings in MERIT

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The online training option in MERIT is only currently suitable for unscheduled, asynchronous learning. This means that is it not possible to enter an online training with a specific date and time.

As a workaround, you can enter your live virtual training as an in-person training event.

This will allow you to put in the date and time of the trainings, as well as all of the relevant descriptive information to make sure that participants are able to log in.

Thanks for your patience as we work on improving the training functions in MERIT.

Data Entry Requirements – Trainer Renewal Year 1

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We are now in the 2021-2024 trainer approval period. Last year, we introduced the revised trainer approval process (see Part IV).

This year, we will begin to monitor the data entry requirements. This is the only active trainer indicator we are introducing this year. Our random monthly quality assurance checks will look at:

  • Accuracy in training templates:
    • Were all of the fields filled out accurately?
    • Did you create a three-part learning objective?
    • Were the learning objectives connected to the core competencies and levels?
    • Was the training description connected to the agenda?
  • Was the training roster completed within 30 days of the training end-date?
  • Was your training associated to your organization? This is only applicable to trainers associated with an organization.  
  • Was MERIT updated to reflect training changes? This can include updating location(s), time of training, cancellations, etc.
  • Was the training entered into MERIT three weeks prior to the start date of the training session?

You will receive an email from us if you were selected for a quality assurance check, and another follow-up about how everything went.

You can learn more about what happens if you have data entry issues here.

Awarding Child Care Basics Credit from ECED&100

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The ECED&100 course is a recognized alternative to the Child Care Basics training.

If you’re a college instructor who delivers ECED&100 and would like to meet your students’ Child Care Basics requirement, you need to do the following:

  1. Become a Higher Education State-Approved Trainer.
  2. Contact to get the Child Care Basics training template assigned to your trainer account.
  3. Go to your trainer tab and create a training using the Child Care Basics template.
  4. Enter all of your students into the training roster once they have completed your course within 30 days.

This process does not apply to college instructors who deliver ECED&107.

Policy Updates and Clarifications

  • The training delivery window is limited to one calendar year and should not expand to the next calendar year. Beginning this spring, MERIT will reflect this update.
    • If you have entered any training that extend into the next calendar year (February 2022, for example), the MERIT update will automatically end-date your training on 12/21/2021. 
    • You will need to re-enter your trainings each calendar year. To save time, you can re-create training for existing templates in your trainer account. 
  • If you are a state-approved trainer and missed the renewal deadline, please complete a new trainer application. You will not need to complete a trainer observation or submit a recommendation letter to be approved. 

What Are We Working on Now?

  • Finalizing the Trainer Standards
    • We are in the process of reviewing the feedback that we received during the public comment period for the Trainer Standards. You can find the survey summary here. We will consider and incorporate as much of the feedback as possible, and send the final draft for review to the Trainer Standards workgroup. To all of you who participated in this project: thank you for shaping this important document!

  • Community Engagement Efforts
  • Region X States 
    • We are working with other Region X states (Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Nebraska, Oregon) to learn about each other's training programs. We will explore how we can create reciprocity between our states. We have found similarities and key differences in our programs. We will share more on this soon.

Online Training Resources

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Land Acknowledgment

Racial Equity Resources

Resources for Virtual Learning

Subscribe & Access Previous Newsletters

A complete list of previously sent Growing the Workforce Newsletters and updates can be found on our Newsletters and Webinars webpage. 

If you know someone in the business of delivering training, please share this newsletter and don't forget to subscribe! 


Have Questions or Need Help?

We would like to make this a useful resource for you. If you have any questions or ideas for improving the newsletter, reach out to the Professional Development Team.

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