• What’s New in Professional Development?

    U.S. Departments of Education and Health & Human Services Announce Birth to 5: Watch Me Thrive!  National Initiative to Encourage Developmental and Behavioral Screening for Young Children 

     The U.S. Department of Education and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) have announced the launch of Birth to 5: Watch Me Thrive!, a collaborative effort with federal partners to encourage developmental and behavioral screening for children to support the families and providers who care for them.

    By raising awareness of child development, Birth to 5: Watch Me Thrive! will help families look for and celebrate milestones; promote universal screenings; identify delays as early as possible; and improve the support available to help children succeed in school and thrive alongside their peers.   This initiative encourages early childhood experts – including practitioners in early care and education, primary health care, early intervention, child welfare and mental health – to work together with children and their families.

    Birth to 5: Watch Me Thrive! resources include:

    • A list of research-based developmental screening tools appropriate for use across a wide range of settings;
    • Guides on how to use the screeners for a variety of audiences, from early learning teachers to doctors, social workers, and families;
    • Toolkits with resources and tip sheets;
    • Guidance on finding help at the local level; and
    • A screening passport that allows families to track a child’s screening history and results.

    Visit Watch Me Thrive to get more information and resources.


    REVISED Milestones of Child Development: A Guide to Young Children’s Learning and Development from Birth to Kindergarten

    Virginia’s revised (2013) Milestones of Child Development are now available online.  These revisions are described in the document introduction: “As of August 2013, the Milestones have been revised to reflect current research that shows children’s need for positive, responsive relationships with adults who use effective strategies to stimulate language development and boost self-regulation. The ability to take turns, get along with others, follow directions and control emotions helps children more easily gain the cognitive skills that will help them thrive in school. Children who can regulate emotions and delay gratification will be better able to focus on learning and adjust to the expectations of social situations. In the same way, children who enter school with strong language skills will be able to do much more than communicate with others. They will be able to use thinking skills (words) to direct their plans and actions, remember what worked for them in the past, and be more able to solve problems with others. The new focus on language and self-regulation will help ensure that all children have an equal chance to develop to their full potential.”


    Virginia’s Early Care and Education Learning Collaboratives: Taking Steps to Healthy Success

    The Virginia Early Childhood Foundation is looking for programs interested in participating in Virginia’s 2014 Early Care and Education (ECE) Learning Collaboratives project.  This exciting project brings together directors, educators, and care providers to learn about and discuss the most effective ways early care and education settings can prevent childhood obesity.  Programs selected to participate will send a leadership team to five exciting learning sessions, held over the course of the year.  Leadership teams will share the information they learn with their program staff and develop strategies to create healthier environments for children.

    Child care centers, preschools, and Head Start/Early Head Start programs located in the following communities are eligible to participate:  Richmond, Petersburg, and Hopewell; Hampton, Newport News; and Suffolk, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Virginia Beach, Portsmouth.  Large programs (serving 40 children or more) will be given preference, but all programs are encouraged to apply.

    Benefits for Participating Programs include:

    • Evidence-based strategies that prevent childhood obesity and improve children’s health
    • Dynamic, interactive training; networking with ECE professionals
    • Professional development clock hours
    • FREE training materials to share with staff
    • FREE toolkits & resources to use with children
    • $500 stipend/program
    • FREE technical assistance and mentoring on-site between Learning Sessio

    For more information, contact Emily Keenum, Health Initiative Coordinator, at the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation at 804-358-8323 or Emily@vecf.org


    2014 National Institute for Early Childhood Professional Development

    Registration is now open for the National Association for the Education of Young Children’s annual institute focusing on professional development.  The 2014 Institute will be held in Minneapolis, MN from June 8-11, 2014.

    The theme is Excellence for Every Child: Standards without Standardization.  It focuses on the use of standards in a way that does not lead to inappropriate standardization of practices, i.e., a “cookie-cutter approach” to program implementation.  The Institute’s plenary and one- and two-hour sessions will offer opportunities to address the use of standards as the foundation that leads to excellence forevery child—with and without disabilities, in homes in which English is the primary language as well as dual language learners, in rural and urban communities, and so on.

    In addition to theme-related sessions, the Institute also covers topics such as professional development systems, program administration, linguistic and cultural diversity. Sessions address early childhood education content areas and domains, including general cognition and executive functioning, language and literacy, math, science, the arts, and social, emotional, and physical development.


    Celebrating All Babies and Tots 2014

    Registration is now open for Celebrating Infants and Tots 2014, professional development institutes offered by the Virginia Infant and Toddler Specialist Network.  The cost is $30  until filled.  The Saturday sessions run from 8:30-4:30.  Remaining dates and locations are:

    April 26 – McLean

    May 3 – Roanoke

    May 17 - Richmond

    For additional information and to register, please go to www.va-itsnetwork.org .


    Child Care Aware of Virginia: First Annual Child Care Awards:  Nominations Extended!

    Child Care Aware of Virginia is sponsoring the first annual child care awards on May 3, 2014! Nominations are now open at www.va.childcareaware.org  Categories include Infant/Toddler, Preschool, School Age Creative, STEM, Health & Safety, Family Engagement, Nurturing/Inclusive, Communication, Lifetime Achievement, Military, and Just Because.

    America’s Supernanny, Deborah Tillman, will be the Guest MC at the CCAV Awards Event on May 3 in Richmond!  Registration for the Awards Event is open until April 20, 2014.


    Ages and Stages–3rd Ed. (ASQ-3) Train the Trainer and Train the Coach Opportunity

    The Virginia Commonwealth University’s Partnership for People with Disabilities is pleased to announce that the two-day ASQ-3 training event will be held in in western Virginia on May 8 & 9, 2014. Northern Virginia’s training will be held in January of 2015.  The Ages and Stages Questionnaire – 3rd Edition (ASQ-3) Train the Trainer and Train the Coach is a two-day training event. Everyone who is trained in how to train others in using ASQ-3 will also be trained in how to coach others using the ASQ-3.  The exact locations of the training are still being finalized. All accepted trainers will be informed of the training specifics once they are finalized.

    The project is working to establish a cadre of quality ASQ-3 trainers throughout the state. To do this, they are targeting organizations to help us access individuals who meet certain credentials. Each individual who is interested in being a trained trainer and coach will need to fill out an application, documenting their credentials, as well as submit a resume and three references. They will also need to document their commitment to providing the training content to infant and child care providers of children birth to age 3.   Contact Kristen Stahr for additional information at khstahr@vcu.edu or 804/828-9920.  ASQ-3 flyer    ASQ-3TraintheTrainerandTraintheCoachApplication_e-Form


    2014 NAEYC Conference

    The next National Association for the Education of  Young Children (NAEYC) Conference will be in Dallas, Texas on November 5-8, 2014.  This is the world’s largest early childhood education conference with tens of thousands of educators in attendance.


    Future VAECE Conferences:  Mark Your Calendar! 

    The 2015 Virginia Association for Early Childhood Education (VAECE) conference is planned for March 19-21, 2015 in Richmond.  The theme is “Don’t Stop Believin.’”  Contact Sara at 703.946.3413 for more information and the Call for Proposals.  The 2016 conference will be March 17-19 , 2016 also in Richmond.


     2015 Southern Early Childhood Association Conference

    Save the dates of January 15-17, 2015 for the 66th Annual Conference of the Southern Early Childhood Association (SECA).  The conference will be held at the Astor Crowne Plaza in the French Quarter of New Orleans, Louisiana.  The theme is The World from Our Front Porch: Community and Culture.  Click the link to access conference information and the Call for Proposals.


    The Top Ten List for Why the Expansion of High-Quality Early Learning is Inevitable

    U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan spoke to the National Governors Association Winter 2014 Meeting on February 23, 2014.  Click the link to the full article and powerpoint from his presentation.



    Revised Foundation Blocks and Supporting Documents from the Virginia Department of Education 

    Virginia’s Foundation Blocks – Comprehensive Standards for Four-Year-Olds describes specific indicators for pre-kindergarten children in the content areas of reading and mathematics.

    Preschool Curriculum Review Rubric and Planning Tool (PDF) – The rubric is designed to assist early childhood educators with reviewing curricula and products to determine if they align with the Foundation Blocks for Early Learning.

    Virginia’s Quality Indicators for Responsive Teaching: Creating a High Quality Preschool Learning Environment (PDF) – This checklist aligns with the preschool standards and helps teachers, parents, and administrators focus on creating shared, active, and hands-on opportunities for young children to develop their full potential.

    For additional information contact Cheryl Strobel at cheryl.strobel@doe.virginia.gov or go to http://www.doe.virginia.gov/instruction/early_childhood/preschool_initiative/foundationblocks.pdf 


    Kindergarten  Readiness Assessment

     A pilot is being conducted through the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation (VECF) within 25 schools and 2-4 classrooms (including special education) each across the state.  The   Teaching Strategies Gold will be used.    Teaching Strategies Gold is aligned with Virginia’s Foundation Blocks for Early Learning and the common core.   Teachers are being trained this summer in inter rater reliability on the assessment.   A pretest will be given at the beginning of the 2013 school year and a post test at the end of the  2014 school year.   A report will be written and submitted. For additional information contact Kathy Glazer at kathy@vecf.org



  • Coordination Across Early Childhood Systems

    The Virginia Cross-Sector  Professional Development Team (VCPD) promotes planning, development, implementation and evaluation of professional development (PD) to ensure  coordination of  all early childhood PD in Virginia. The  VCPD team members are committed to working together to build a unified (PD) system to support all families and their children (prenatal to age 5) in Virginia. This includes but is not limited to infants, toddler and preschoolers who may experience risk factors for school failure, English language learners, economic disadvantages, cultural and linguistic differences, and young children with disabilities and special health needs.

  • Creating Connections to Shining Stars


    Staff Training

    State Early Childhood Conference


    Over 500 people attended Creating Connections to Shining Stars, July 22-24, 2013, in Virginia Beach. The conference was  a collaborative effort between many state agencies and early childhood programs in Virginia focusing on promoting and supporting the implementation of evidence based practices in inclusive settings for young children, both with and without disabilities. For the agenda and handouts go to: 


    The Creating Connections to Shining Stars Conference will not be held in the Summer of 2014. Planning is underway for the next Creating Connections to Shining Stars Conference to be held in July 2015. For additional information or to volunteer to assist with conference planning, please contact the VCPD Coordinator, Jaye Harvey, at jhwellons@vcu.edu.




  • Welcome!

    Welcome from the The Virginia Cross-Sector Professional Development Team (VCPD). The VCPD promotes planning, implementation and evaluation of professional development (PD) with the intent to ensure coordination of all early childhood PD in Virginia.