EDC has been awarded a $5 million contract from the State of Rhode Island’s Department of Human Services (DHS) to operate the Center for Early Learning Professionals (Center) through 2024. For over seven years, EDC has led the Center, providing professional development and technical assistance (PDTA) in English and Spanish to over 8,500 early childhood education (ECE) professionals in Rhode Island who work with children from birth to age five.
The Center’s team provides highly responsive, high-quality services to RI child care centers, family child care homes, public school inclusion preschools, and state-funded pre-K programs. Services include free training series and support to help programs meet state regulations and reach benchmarks within the state’s quality rating improvement system (QRIS) standards.
In addition to designing and delivering training, the Center administers the state’s PD approval process. Each year, the Center’s experts review approximately 200 courses and workshops offered by other Rhode Island trainers and organizations to ensure all PD for Rhode Island ECE professionals meets the state’s high-quality standards.
Since 2014, the Center has accomplished the following:
- Provided over 500 courses and events
- Reviewed and approved over 1,000 PD applications
- Provided over 7,000 TA sessions
“We are thrilled to continue the Center’s critically important work, especially during these challenging times” says Brenda Potter, Center director. “Our programs support and elevate the vital work of our state’s ECE workforce and ultimately improve outcomes for children and families.”
As part of the new award, Potter and her team will build on and expand the Center’s work, including developing new PD training and resources to support ECE professionals in learning about career pathway options.
“It is exciting to continue our collaboration with the state of Rhode Island, the child care community, and our community partners!” says Sharon Terreault, PDTA manager. “We look forward to further evolving the Center’s work to meet the field’s rapidly changing needs.”