Young children who have disabilities, grow up in poverty, or are dual language learners often start kindergarten less prepared than their peers. But the research is clear—high-quality early education opportunities can make a lifetime of difference for these children and their families.
In Rhode Island, the Center for Early Learning Professionals, which is operated by EDC, is helping the R.I. Department of Human Services achieve its goal of improving early childhood education across the state, especially among dual language learners and children who live in poverty. The Center gives early childhood programs the support, tools, and resources they need to provide high-quality care and education to the state’s youngest children.
The Center works with program leaders and educators from a diverse range of early childhood programs that serve children from birth to age 5, including community-based centers, family child-care homes, and public preschool and Pre-K programs. Under the operation of EDC, the Center’s activities include the following:
- Offering high-quality professional development and technical assistance services in both English and Spanish to all early childhood professionals in Rhode Island
- Providing early childhood program leaders and educators with user-friendly information about strategies to improve the quality of care for young children
- Helping programs navigate and move up the state’s quality continuum for early care and education and meet the Department of Education’s Comprehensive Early Childhood Education Program Standards for Approval.
- The Center’s services have reached over 900 early childhood programs, including 90 percent of Rhode Island’s licensed providers and 100 percent of Rhode Island’s state-funded Pre-K programs.
- More than 5,000 early childhood educators, including family child-care providers, have enrolled in the Center’s professional development offerings.
- The Center has provided technical assistance to over 600 early childhood programs in Rhode Island.