We are pleased to announce that Brenda Potter has been named the Center’s Director, following the retirement of longtime leader Sue Washburn.
Brenda has served as a technical assistance specialist since the Center opened in 2014. For the past two years, she has led our technical assistance and quality improvement work with programs. She has extensive experience in higher education, center-based and home-visiting programs serving high-risk populations, public school inclusive early childhood classrooms, family engagement programming, and systems development.
Before joining the Center, Brenda was the Title I Program Officer of Early Childhood, Family Education, and Engagement and a Program Manager with the North Kingstown School Department Office of Family Learning for over 16 years. She is a Certified Family Life Educator, served as a professional development trainer and technical assistance consultant with the Rhode Island Department of Education for over 10 years, and was an instructor at the University of Rhode Island for 14 years.
Brenda holds an M.S. in Child Growth and Development and Early Childhood Education from Wheelock College.
In taking on this new role, Brenda is most excited about the Center’s distinction as the workforce development hub for the early care and education workforce in Rhode Island. She looks forward to working with the Center’s talented team of early childhood specialists as they continue to provide high-quality professional development and technical assistance to support our state’s early childhood administrators, teachers, and family child care providers. You can contact Brenda at 401-734-1282 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
We would like to thank Sue for her dedicated leadership over the past several years, and for her commitment throughout her career to improving early care and education for Rhode Island’s youngest and most vulnerable children. We wish her the best in her well-deserved retirement!
Our Fall 2019 professional development (PD) calendar is now online. Browse our offerings, and register for a series that aligns with your PD goals.
Our offerings include a wide range of high-quality PD opportunities for all early learning professionals, including administrators, teachers, teacher assistants, and family child care providers. We also offer PD specifically for infant and toddler teachers and for preschool and Pre-K teachers. Classes begin on October 5.
Before you register for a PD series, please check the dates carefully to make sure you can commit to attending all of the sessions. Each individual may register for no more than two series each semester, so choose wisely!
Highlights of this semester include:
New Offerings on the ECERS-3 and ITERS-3 Tools — We have separate series for program administrators and for classroom teachers!
Enhance Daily Routines and Transitions Using Math, Language, and Library Resources — This three-hour training is offered in English and in Spanish.
Supporting Teachers’ Professional Development — This series for education coordinators helps them strengthen teacher practice and improve classroom and program quality.
Understanding and Responding to Challenging Behaviors — This popular series is for preschool educators, Pre-K teachers, and family care care educators.
This school year, Center staff will be working with the Rhode Island Department of Education to train RIDE Pre-K teachers, teacher assistants, and education coordinators in Conscious Discipline, which is a social-emotional learning and classroom management program that uses everyday life events to teach children self-control, conflict resolution, and social skills.
The training began on August 21 and 22, as part of the annual State Pre-K Kick-off Event. Conscious Discipline Master Instructor Lety Valero provided a two-day overview of the trauma-informed program’s philosophy and practice. From September through May, Center staff will facilitate 10 two-hour professional development (PD) sessions with Pre-K educators, each focused on a different online module that is part of the Conscious Discipline training curriculum. Center staff also will support teachers in implementing the Conscious Discipline practices in their classrooms. About 200 RIDE Pre-K teachers and administrators are participating in the training, and they have been divided into seven groups, or cohorts. Each cohort will work with two Center PD facilitators throughout the year.
RIDE increased the number of state-funded Pre-K classrooms from 60 last year to 78 this year, adding 320 new seats. The state currently funds Pre-K for 1,420 children in 13 communities.
Due to high demand, we’ve added a second session of our new, three-hour training, The ITERS-R vs. the ITERS-3: What Are the Key Differences?
This one-session offering is open to program administrators as well as teachers who have familiarity with the ITERS-R and have had a previous ITERS-R observation in their classroom.
Center staff will provide an overview of the most essential differences between the two versions of the tool. Participants will learn about key concepts, terms, and teaching practices in the tool, and discuss strategies to prepare for a BrightStars ITERS assessment within their program.
The new session is on Tuesday, September 10, from 1:30–4:30 pm, at our office in Warwick. If you are currently on the waiting list for the original session on August 20, you will receive priority for enrollment. However, you must register for the new session to guarantee your slot.
The Center has added an additional session of our new training, The ECERS-R vs. the ECERS-3: What Are the Key Differences?
This one-session offering is open to program administrators and to teachers who have familiarity with the ECERS-R and have had a previous ECERS-R observation in their classroom. Center staff will provide an overview of the most essential differences between the two versions of the tool.
The new session will be held on Monday, August 19, from 1:30–4:30 pm at the Center’s office in Warwick.
The Center’s summer calendar is filled with a wide range of high-quality professional development opportunities for all early learning professionals, but one series is coming directly to Aquidneck Island.
We are offering our popular PD series, Science Teaching in the Preschool Classroom: Exploring Water,at Sandpiper’s Early Learning Center in Middletown. The series begins Thursday, July 18, from 5:30 to 8 pm, and includes three evening sessions and three application assignments.
Come explore the physical properties of water flow and build your skills in implementing an inquiry-based approach to science in the preschool setting. This fun, hands-on experience teaches strategies to maximize children’s science learning. You also can earn 12 PD hours.
This summertime offering is sure to get you and the children outside together!
Our Summer 2019 professional development (PD) calendar is now online. Browse our offerings, and register for a series that aligns with your PD goals.
Our offerings include a wide range of high-quality professional development opportunities for all early learning professionals — administrators, teachers, teacher assistants, and family child care providers. Classes begin on June 20th.
Before you register for a series, please check the dates to make sure you can attend all of the sessions. Each individual may register for no more than two series each semester, so choose carefully!
Highlights include the following offerings that will get you and the children outside:
Science Teaching in the Preschool Classroom: Exploring Water — Come explore the physical properties of water flow while learning how to implement an inquiry-based approach to teaching science.
The Outdoor Classroom: Creating Outdoor Learning Environments for Young Children — Learn how to design spaces, choose materials, and facilitate meaningful experiences in the outdoor classroom.
Developing a Standard of Care for Your Outdoor Space— Learn about the important role that child care facilities play in overall program quality. This two-hour session is back by popular demand!
We also have two offerings on the new ERS-3 Tools! Sign up to explore the key differences between the ECERS-R and ECERS-3 or the ITERS-R and ITERS-3. These sessions are open to program administrators as well as teachers who have familiarity with the ERS tools and have had a previous ERS observation in their classroom.
On Friday, June 7, teachers and leaders from State Pre-K Programs across the state came together at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Warwick to celebrate 10 years of State Pre-K in Rhode Island! Each program put together an amazing poster display, where participants could see a sampling of the incredible growth that students have made in just 180 days!
Department of Human Services Director Courtney Hawkins and Department of Education Deputy Commissioner Mary Anne Snider attended the Pre-K Wrap-Up event and spoke about the continued importance of the State Pre-K Program. We also heard from a group of programs and public school districts that have been working together to improve the transition from Pre-K to kindergarten for children and families.
Thank you to all who participated! We’re already looking forward to working with next year’s State Pre-K teachers and programs!
AshleyRhode Island Celebrates 10 Years of State Pre-K!
Would you like to earn college credits in early childhood education for free?
Applications are being accepted for the Rhode Island Early Childhood Education and Training Program Grant, which pays for early childhood educators working with children ages birth through 5 to earn 12 college credits in Early Childhood Education at the Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI).
To qualify for the grant, applicants must be employed for a minimum of 20 hours in a DCYF-licensed child care center or family child care setting that is enrolled in BrightStars and approved as a DHS-Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) provider.
The grants are administered by CCRI and funded by the Rhode Island Department of Human Services. Applications are being accepted for the Fall 2019 Cohort, and the deadline to apply is June 30.
Our Spring 2019 professional development (PD) calendar is now online. Browse our offerings, and register for a series that aligns with your PD goals.
Our offerings include a wide range of high-quality professional development opportunities for all early learning professionals — administrators, teachers, teacher assistants, and family child care providers. Classes begin on April 18th.
Before you register, please check the dates to make sure you can commit to attending all of the sessions. Each individual may register for no more than two series each semester, so choose carefully!
Highlights of this semester include:
Spotlight on Science: Using Library and Local Community Resources in Early Childhood Settings — A new series for family child care providers!
Supporting Teachers’ Professional Development — A new series for education coordinators!
Three offerings on the Classroom Assessment Scoring System® (CLASS) — We have series for administrators, classroom teachers, and family child care providers.
Developing a Standard of Care for Your Outdoor Space— Learn about the important role that child care facilities play in overall program quality.