Making Early Learning A Priority in Delaware
On May 8, the Delaware Readiness Teams hosted their Annual All Teams Meeting in Dover. Team members, early learning advocates, community members, and elected officials gathered together to learn more about Readiness Teams initiatives underway and ways to get involved with preparing every Delaware child for school and life. Read on for a detailed recap on all the topics discussed!
High-quality pre-K is linked to fuller, richer lives for students and their parents. This spring we surveyed over 500 Delaware parents to gauge their opinions and experiences with universal pre-K in Delaware. The results were shared at the Annual All Teams Meeting on May 8 and can also be found on our website here.
94% of Delaware parents agree the state should make free, public pre-K available for all three- and four-year-olds
92% of parents would take advantage of voluntary, full day, high-quality pre-K
55% of parents say they or their partner could get a job, expand to full time employment, go back to school, and/or get more career training
Given strong responses, the Delaware Readiness Teams announced their support of the First State Pre-K campaign this spring. The Delaware Readiness Teams are standing with First State Pre-K as they advocate for universal pre-K by 2024. To join the campaign or get involved, please visit www.firststateprek.com. First State Pre-K is a non-partisan issue campaign to ensure every child in Delaware has access to a high-quality pre-kindergarten program—and families can more easily afford these services for their children. The campaign calls on policymakers to enact high-quality universal pre-K in mixed delivery settings including community-based providers, center-based programs, Head Start, and public schools.
Screening children ages birth to five years old is an effective, efficient way to check a child’s development, celebrate milestones, and determine whether follow-up steps are needed.
It is also an essential first step toward identifying children with delays or disabilities in the critical early years, before they start school. Thanks to the partnership of Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Delaware and others, the Delaware Readiness Teams launched the first statewide developmental screening webpage, which compiles all of the known district screening tools into a central location for families to easily access. The website will be continuously updated as additional links are made available. This new webpage also provides access to a free community screening tool for those who do not have access to district tools. With this new webpage, every child and family in Delaware has access to a developmental screening tool and the opportunity for a strong start in school.
The community screening tools being used are Ages & Stages Questionnaires®, Third Edition and Ages and Stages: Social Emotional, Second Edition. These family friendly tools are used by school districts and childcare providers in Delaware. District and Department of Education leaders spoke to attendees about their commitment to this tool and plans to increase screenings in Delaware.
KINDERGARTEN REGISTRATION & READINESS
Mount Pleasant Readiness Team in partnership with the Mount Pleasant Elementary School completed their 5th Annual Kindergarten Academy. This academy provided families and children the opportunity to participate in kindergarten readiness activities taught by the kindergarten teachers at their school. Check a quick video on Kindergarten Academies here.