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Early Childhood

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Children’s early experiences have a profound impact on their future physical, cognitive, emotional, and social development. Studies indicate that providing high quality education in the early years is the best investment we can make as a society to ensure future success. MAEC provides technical assistance and training to state departments of education, districts, schools, childcare centers, community organizations, and parents on key developmental and school readiness milestones.

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Community Resource Mapping – Early Childhood

MAEC uses a strengths-based approach because we have learned that often times the best solutions come from within the communities in which our districts/schools reside. These key stakeholders include early childhood providers, districts, schools, communities, and families all who are seeking to improve school readiness. To this end, MAEC conducts community walks and community resource mapping to identify potential partners and allies for effective and efficient delivery of early childhood services.

Comprehensive Needs Assessment – Early Childhood

Beginning with a disaggregated data analysis of school readiness, program quality indicators, and demographic information, MAEC is able to effectively determine client strengths and areas of need. This collaborative inquiry approach enables MAEC to examine multiple sources of data. Using a culturally responsive and equity framework, further creates opportunities to develop operational action plans to tackle complex challenges that pose barriers to gains in early childhood.

Culturally Responsive Family, School, and Community Engagement – Early Childhood

A family is a child’s first teacher. When families’ partner with early childhood centers, schools, and community organizations, children thrive. To produce the best results for children, MAEC builds the capacity of families, early childhood providers, schools, and community organizations to collaborate, exchange ideas, and develop and implement policies and action plans. We build on the collaborative strengths of families, educators and early childhood providers so they can each contribute to the development and success of diverse young children.

Culturally Responsive Leadership – Early Childhood

Leaders set the tone and expectations of any organization. They do this by responding effectively to the diverse communities that they serve, being asset-focused, and proactive problem solvers. Culturally responsive leadership technical assistance provides a multi-dimensional framework that builds capacity of early childhood leaders who are culturally informed and highly skilled in culturally responsive practice.

Culturally Responsive Pedagogy – Early Childhood

Culturally responsive pedagogy is a method and practice of teaching in which early childhood educators and providers build on the assets that their children and families bring into the classroom. As the populations of our students grow more diverse, early childhood educators and providers must be better prepared to respond to their needs. This requires a greater understanding and knowledge of their students’ communities’ culture, strengths, and socio-political contexts. With this practice, childcare centers and schools can become hubs of learning focused on the well being of the children and families being served.

Policy & Procedural Reviews – Early Childhood

In educational systems, policies and procedures often inform practice. However, some policies or procedures may have unintended consequences when implemented that serve to further silo organizational efforts to close opportunity gaps. To address this challenge, MAEC provides state departments, districts, early childhood centers, schools, and organizations with policy and procedural reviews to ensure they are equitable, effective, and comply with federal, state, and local laws and regulations.

Entre Nosotros, Between Us: Transitions into Kindergarten: Trainer-of-Trainers

Entre Nosotros was developed as a trainer-of-trainers curriculum to prepare childcare providers, early childhood centers, preschools, and kindergarten educators with parent workshops aimed at easing the transition into kindergarten. The five two hour lessons cover topics such as: (1) Importance of family engagement in student success; (2) Tips for School Success, including explanation of cultural expectations for new immigrant parents; (3) Communication & Positive Discipline; (4) Home Support for Learning; and (5) Family Literacy & Celebration! This curriculum is available in English and Spanish.

Informed Parents, Successful Children: Trainer-of-Trainers (IPSC)

Originally developed in partnership with the Maryland State Department of Education, IPSC promotes the positive development and school readiness of young children by delivering training to parents, family day care providers, and community based organizations serving linguistically diverse families. IPSC materials include a Trainer of Trainer’s Guide in English and Spanish and Child Development Pamphlets for parents in English, Spanish, Korean, Mandarin, Vietnamese, and French. The culturally responsive workshops aim to encourage children’s cognitive, physical, socio-emotional, language, and literacy development. The curricula is divided into activities for ages 0-6 months, 6-12 months, 12-18 months, 18 months-3 years, and 3 yrs-5yrs old. The user friendly materials provide trainers and parents with developmentally appropriate and fun activities using items commonly found in parents’ homes.

Maryland State Department of Education

MAEC partnered with the Maryland State Department of Education’s Early Childhood Family Engagement Coalition to create a Family Engagement Framework. MAEC has begun work to develop and implement a state-wide Family Engagement Plan aimed at:

  • Assisting service providers in self-assessing their family engagement capacity and quality;
  • Improving the ability of families to navigate systems and achieve goals in the areas of education, health, and economic security;
  • Supporting effective child/family transitions from early childhood programs (Infant/Toddlers, Home Visiting, childcare, preschool, etc.) to school;
  • Implementing equitable policies, procedures, and practices into early childhood programs; and
  • Supporting early childhood providers to work effectively with culturally and linguistically diverse families and students so that they feel welcome and their cultural backgrounds are valued.
Implementation will focus on four key areas: 1) Development of training and technical assistance resources to implement strategies from the Framework; 2) Development of family leaders; 3) Support to other states in the development of statewide family engagement practices to establish and share relevant and innovative family engagement strategies through the use of the technology and social media; and 4) Development and implementation of effective methods for evaluating the positive impacts of family engagement to promote  healthy child development and school readiness.

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