In the Improving Head Start for School Readiness Act of 2007, federal lawmakers authorized the creation of the Centers of Excellence in Early Childhood to recognize programs of exceptional quality, and in 2009 they approved $2 million to fund 10 of these centers for a period up to five years. Through a competition, eligible applicants had to be nominated by the governor of the state or in the case of Migrant/Seasonal Head Start and American Indian/Alaskan Native Head Start program applicants by their respective Administration for Children and Families Regional Offices.
Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius on September 21, 2010 announced the 10 winning programs which were selected as the Centers of Excellence in Early Childhood. These programs serve as exemplary models for other programs by implementing comprehensive, innovative and targeted approaches to enhance program services. The recognized Centers of Excellence will provide opportunities for all Head Start programs and other early childhood organizations to benefit from their practices and innovative approaches by using at least 15 percent of their $200,000 per year bonus grant to disseminate best practices.
During the Research-to-Practice Symposium at the 38th Annual Head Start Conference in Kansas City, Missouri, Yasmina Vinci, NHSA Executive Director, described the origins of the Centers of Excellence, the application process, and the criteria used to select the 10 Centers of Excellence. Nine of the 10 Centers of Excellence made presentations about why they were selected and what their work is. The Chautauqua Opportunities, Inc. in Dunkirk, New York was the only Center of Excellence who did not present.
Yasmina Vinci, M.A., M.P.A.
National Head Start Association
Ben Allen, Ph.D.
Public Policy and Research Director
National Head Start Association
"SEEDS (Social Emotional Early Development Success) - Implementing the Incredible Years Curriculum in a Center of Excellence Project"
Division of the Private Industry Council of Westmoreland/Fayette, Inc. Head Start/Early Head Start
Brenda Cousins, M.A.
SEEDS Project Supervisor
Early Childhood Education Manager
The Y Journey to School Readiness
Y of Central Maryland Baltimore County Head Start
Ten years ago, the Y of Central Maryland Baltimore County Head Start began a journey that changed their children's school readiness scores from 21% to 81% fully ready to enter kindergarten. Learn how a research based curriculum, mentor teachers, professional development, summer programming and strong commitment from the administration added up to this programs success.
"We're All In This Together"-"Weaving Conscious Discipline Throughout Your Head Start Program"
Knox County Head Start
Mount Vernon, Ohio
Attendees will learn the basics of the Conscious Discipline® Brain Model and how to apply this information to themselves and others, so that they can be helpful to the children and adults they work with to be better able to learn, remember what they have learned and be more willing.
Renee Sutherland, M.SW., LISW-S
Mental Health Coordinator/Center of Excellence Coordinator
Creative and Innovative Approaches in meeting child and family needs through Head Start (HS) & Early Head Start (EHS)
Baraga Houghton Keweenaw Child Development Board, Inc.
The BHK Child Development Board, Inc. (BHK) mission is compatible with HS & EHS programming. Each year BHK performs a community needs analysis, which includes input from governmental and community based organizations. From this survey BHK adapts funded programs to meet the needs of the community, which results in creative approaches in implementing HS and EHS.
Former Executive Director
How Reggio Emilia Inspired Practices Transformed a KY Head Start Program
Audubon Area Head Start
The Reggio Emilia Approach has long been considered an example of best practice focusing on such core values as collaboration and democracy. Audubon has been studying these practices for ten years. This presentation will focus on how to implement this extraordinary approach in Head Start and how the core values of this approach permeate all aspects of the program and raises quality services for children and their families.Presenters:
Aubrey Nehring, M.A.
Head Start Director
A Capacity -Building Approach to Early Head Start
FIPP Early Head Start has developed a model for providing evidence-based supports to families through Early Head Start home visiting, group socializations, and parenting education that provide capacity-building opportunities. Participants will learn about these strategies as well as how to access on-going support for program improvement in this area.
Sarah Sexton, M.Ed.
The Alabama Center of Excellence in Early Childhood at JCCEO
Jefferson County Committee for Economic Opportunity, Inc.
During this interesting and fast paced session, the attendees will learn about the Alabama Center of Excellence and receive information on the continued quality improvement activities and innovations that led to the JCCEO application for the Center. Attendees will also discuss how these innovations might be replicated in their own programs. Another key topic that will be shared is the development of an Early Childhood Leadership Academy that is a cornerstone of the Alabama Center of Excellence in Early Childhood project.Presenters:
Calvin Moore, Ph.D.
Director of Child Development Services
Coaching-Centered Professional Development
Clayton Early Learning
Supervision support and professional development opportunities provided by Clayton Early Learning reflect a clearly defined coaching model that addresses both the fundamental knowledge base associated with teaching pedagogy and child development. The design is research-based and aligned with a growing body of evidence that teacher professional development is most likely to impact practice when it is a) focused on specific teacher and child outcomes and directly applicable to the classroom; b) sustained over time using a combination of training and coaching or mentoring; c) collaborative, providing teachers with the opportunity to reflect with and learn from peers; and d) supported by the integral involvement of program instructional leaders and administrators.
Geri Mendoza, M.Ed.
Program Manager for Professional Development Services
Achieving a Center of Excellence in Early Childhood Education through Dual Language Implementation
Youth Development, Inc. Head Start
Albuquerque, New Mexico
This workshop will focus on best practices in Early Childhood Education by implementing innovative teaching practices. These practices are culturally and linguistically responsive and effective in demonstrating that pre-school children are ready for continued school success. Emphasis will be placed on the Dual Language 50/50 Model and its focus on helping children reach the optimal level of language acquisition. Participants will gain knowledge and exposure to new techniques and methods to help strengthen their current Early Childhood Education experiences and outcomes.Presenters: