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The Long Island Early Childhood
Leadership Initiative

August 2020 Newsletter
Welcome to our Long Island Leadership Initiative Newsletter!
We send this out each month to update you on events, announcements, news, and more. Not a member yet and want to get involved?  Sign Up 
In This Issue:
Event Highlights
Upcoming Events 
                                                     Reading Corner                                                                                     Member Spotlight on Alissa Repetti                              
Resources to Support Remote Instruction
Resources & Professional Development Opportunities  

Early Childhood Employment Network 
Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential
Children's Program Administration Credential (CPAC)
ASPIRE Registry 
Event Highlight
Speaker Event: "Lessons in Leadership, Race, and Gender: An Interview with Melodie Baker"
On August 4th Melodie Baker along with Sherry Cleary had a conversation on Leadership, Race and Gender.  Melodie shared her experience as a black female education leader and advocate.  She shared her factors to success, navigating challenges, and balancing family and work. 

Melodie Baker has spent her career working to advance education opportunities for disadvantaged students. Prior to joining Just Equations she was the director of education at United Way of Buffalo and Erie County. Melodie Chairs and Co-Chairs various national, state and local coalitions including, Erie Niagara Birth-8, Raising New York, and The Coalition for Community Schools. In 2014, she co-founded the first inquiry-based school in Western New York, The Charter School of Inquiry to build on an early learning program she implemented earlier in her career as assistant director for a Head Start.  Her work in education has led to several noteworthy appointments such as being selected to serve on Governor Cuomo’s Reimagining Education Advisory Council and leading the research and evaluation for Rockefeller Institute of Government’s First 1000 Day’s on Medicaid initiative headed by the New York State Department of Health. In 2019, Baker was the first African American to run for the Democratic nomination in New York’s 27th Congressional District
Upcoming Leadership Initiative Events
Weekly Network Meetings- Every Tuesday 
August 11, 18, 25th 

Every Tuesday, 12:00 pm -1:00 pm, on Zoom, we will join together for our weekly lunch-time conversation break. Prior registration required. You can register weekly on our website or you can email Cristina Medellin to hold your spot. Our members have used these weekly members to provide support, ideas, and resources to one another. Last month we had a special guest, Robin Beller, join our group for an open dialogue and conversation focused on the new child care program guidance from NY State.  Make sure you have signed up to be a member! 
Reopening Series: Conversations with
Long Island QUALITYStarsNY specialists

Join us for a three-part series to engage in deeper discussions regarding the reopening process and planning for the Fall. During each session, participants will reflect on each of the pre-corded webinars and generate questions or reactions to share with the group based on the information. These sessions will allow for Leaders to share resources and learn from one another as we prepare for the fall reopening. Each session will be from 12 pm - 2 pm. Look out for registration links.
Session 1: July 22nd 
Session 2: August 5th 
Session 3: August 19th 
Fall Book Groups
This fall, the Long Island Leadership Initiative will host two book groups. The first book we will discuss is Brene Brown's book "Dare to Lead." Our second book will be Tom Rath's "How Full is Your Bucket?" Stay tuned for more information regarding registration, dates, and book pick up during this summer/fall.
Dare to Lead
    by Brene Brown  

How Full is Your Bucket
by Tom Rath

Interested in participating in any of these above events? Contact us to see how you can get involved! 
Survive to Thrive Launch! 
From Survive to Thrive: A Director's Guide for Leading an Early Childhood Program

by Debbie Leekeenan & Iris Chin Ponte

This October 2020, the Long Island Leadership Initiative will launch a nine-part webinar series exploring leadership in early childhood centers using NAEYC's "From Survive to Thrive" book as a guide.

With so many demands and limited time, being an early childhood program leader is more challenging than it’s ever been. This guide, grounded in current research and based on the experiences of the authors as well as directors from across the country, blends theory with practical tips you can implement immediately. Each chapter provides the building blocks you need to

  • Develop effective policies and procedures
  • Manage a healthy budget
  • Build a strong staff
  • Forge robust home–­school partnerships
  • Handle confrontation and conflict
  • Achieve and maintain full enrollment

Plus, each chapter recommends additional resources you can explore to take your knowledge and professional development to the next level. Use the guidance and strategies contained in this book to go from surviving in your role as director to thriving in it.

Considerations for Reopening: Webinar Series for Early Childhood Programs

Many of New York’s early childhood programs have had to close or transition to remote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. With the unprecedented challenges providers are facing as they consider reopening, QUALITYstarsNY developed re-opening live sessions to support programs with planning and provide resources and information to help programs safely welcome back children and families. We will host a three-part series to take a deeper dive into these materials & resources with our members (see upcoming events).

  1. Watch the series webinar recordings
  2. Download the accompanying resource toolkits developed for each session
  3. Register to join a live webinar session hosted by QUALITYstarsNY Quality Improvement Specialists
Reading Corner
Trauma and Young Children: Teaching Strategies to Support and Empower Cultivating Emotional Resilience in Educators
by Sarah Erdman, Laura Colker, & Elizabeth Winter

Courageous Leadership in Early Childhood: Taking a Stand for Social Justice
By: Susi Long, Mariana Souto-Manning, and Vivian Maria Vasquez
Click HERE

National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) 
Young Children's Home Learning and Preschool
Participation Experiences During the Pandemic 

Click HERE

Children's Equity Project & Bipartisan Policy Center
Start with Equity: From the Early Years to the Early Grades
Click HERE
Bank Street's Center on Culture, Race, & Equity 
Virtual Culturally Responsive Resources 

Click HERE

High-Quality Early Learning Project 
Resources for Anti-Racism 
Resources for COVID & Remote Instruction in Early Childhood 

Teaching Strategies
Distance Learning Solution

TSG Website

Join the Leadership Initiative
Member Spotlight:
Alissa Repetti

Child Care Council of Nassau, Inc

Senior Early Childhood Consultant
My Story

Almost 30 years ago, I started my career in Early Childhood Education as an Assistant Teacher and worked in various roles which lead to administrative positions.  I graduated from Bank Street College of Education with a Master’s Degree in both Early Childhood and Elementary Education, the same studies as my undergraduate work, but through a progressive lens.  Over the years, my early childhood philosophy began to evolve.  I credit my knowledge base and experience to several amazing early childhood leaders who mentored me along the way.  My most meaningful accomplishment was being honored as Director of the Year out of 120 Candidates nationwide, after being secretly nominated by my staff and our families!

After 23 years in administration and many professional accomplishments, I joined the Education team at CCCN in 2017.

I am a NYS T-TAP credentialed trainer; a NYS Health and Safety Instructor and a Child Development Associate (CDA) Instructor and enjoy supporting early childhood professionals through Technical Assistance and Professional Development.  As a lifelong learner and advocate for the field, I seek opportunities to grow professionally so that I can share my knowledge with others in the field, just as so many mentors did for me.  I hope to cross paths with you all so that I can personally thank you for all of the amazing work that you do for young children and their families! 

Major Accomplishments During COVID-19
  1. Coached Nassau County school district personnel within funded Pre-K programs to ensure Developmentally Appropriate Practice
  2. Reimagined and facilitated 120 Hours of interactive CDA Virtual coursework according to individual adult learning styles
  3. Chaired the Long Island School Age Child Care Regional Training Institute and coordinated a Virtual Professional Development Series for 377 School Age Child Care Providers at the height of the pandemic
  4. Continuing to learn new technology applications and platforms to advance our work in response to COVID and Virtual Professional Development
Words of Advice

Now more than ever, your leadership counts…even if you don’t have all of the answers!

Be proactive, reflective, and intentional in meeting the needs of your program.  Allow your program policies and procedures to evolve to meet COVID guidelines with best practice in mind.  Invest in professional development to assist your staff with policy implementation and ensure consistent monitoring.  Engage in open communication with families and staff and seek support when you need it!  Oh, and don’t forget about Self Care—you can’t take care of others until you take care of your own needs first.
Thoughts on Equity

My approach has always been reflective, intentional and inclusive, however, we need to recognize and respond to implicit bias, by being mindful and increasing our own self-awareness. Our education team at the Council is currently reflecting on our practice to ensure that we are creating an inclusive, safe space for child care providers, where equity and intentionality are front and foremost.  We hope to inspire early childhood professionals to initiate those difficult conversations with their staff and families in order to create an equitable learning environment for all young children.

As you begin to prepare for the upcoming school year, many educators may feel uneasy and unsure about what the school year will look like. Governor Cuomo announced on Friday, August 7th, that schools will reopen this fall, however, he is leaving the decision-making process to each local school district based on community need. One key component that he raised during his phone conference briefing, schools must listen, learn, and partner with families. The early childhood community has always partnered with families so this is not new and the early childhood community does this quite well. It will be important for you as leaders to listen to your families and talk with your staff to develop a plan for supporting children and families. Below are several resources and considerations for remote/blended instruction.

1. Check out the Institute's blog, "A Better Model for Remote Learning in Early Childhood: Insights from the Survey of the Early Childhood Workforce during the COVID-19 Pandemic" 

2. Google Education for Teachers: an overview of google classroom

3. Google Meet Training:a guide for using meet and hangouts

4. Class DoJo: overview of product, tips for teachers, and tips for families

5. Bitmoji appfree app that allows teacher's to personalize their character in the virtual learning space. Youtube example of a Bitmoji virtual classroom*older grade room but provides examples for setting up.

6. Flipgrid: a free app that allows educators to create videos and also have children create videos to share with others. 

7. GoNoodle: movement and mindfulness videos that are developmentally appropriate taking a whole-child perspective. 

8. Let's Learn NYC: is an educational public television program for children in grades 3K through second grade that offers weekly lessons taught by NYC Department of Education professionals to supplement remote learning. Videos air weekdays at 12pm and are archived at along with supplemental learning materials. Archived videos include English and Spanish captions.
Bank Street Occasional Paper Series: Call for Papers!
New call for papers! This is a great opportunity for Leaders to engage in a peer-review process. If you would like to submit an article for the 44th Occasional Paper Series topic "Having Difficult Conversations with Children's Literature" read more here.

Long Island Regional Technical Assistance Center, Pre-K Initiative Summer Workshop Series
Nassau BOCES Pre-K Initiative is offering a variety of summer workshops. Check out their website for their offerings.

Child Care Council of Nassau & Suffolk:
Physical distance through a Social and Emotional Lens: A Look at "Physical Distance" with Pre-School Children.
Join the early education specialists of both tips for this FREE and OCFS approved training! We will be facilitating this training via ZOOM two dates. You can choose the one that suits you the most.

August 20 wings 6:30 pm-8:00 pm

August 27 wings 10:00 am-11:30 am

HiMama Webinars- Leadership topics
HiMama has a variety of resources from free webinars, handouts, blog posts to strengthen your leadership. Check out one featured webinar "Diversity & Inclusion in Early Childhood"

Challenging Behavior & COVID webinar- Thursday (August 13) at 2 PM ET to learn about "the triggered brain" and techniques to support young children as well as protect your mental health as we learn how to live with COVID-19. 

New Podcast: Nice White Parents
The new, limited run Nice White Parents podcast from the Serial team at the New York Times about building a better school system, and what gets in the way.

WestEd COVID & Fall Reopening Resources
Check out WestEd Spotlight: Back to School Fall 2020 – Equity, Excellence, and Well-Being.

Zero To Three Annual Conference
The Zero to Three Annual Conference will be offered virtually this year October 5th-9th. Registration is now open.  
NYAEYC COVID19 Resource Center
NYAEYC has compiled information and resources into a COVID19 Resource Center
Children's Program Administrator Credential (CPAC)
Classes begin in September, speak to a career advisor now to get started! 
Graduate-level courses to advance your skills to lead high-quality and effective early childhood programs
Funding Opportunities Available: Register Now!
 Program benefits
CTLE credits awarded
4 week courses
Offered online
Pursue on your own schedule
Child Development Associate Credential (CDA)
Get your CDA online at CUNY this Fall! 

Offered in partnership with the New York Early Chidhood Professional Development Institute (PDI), the Child Development Associate (CDA) Certificate program at the CUNY School of Professional Studies is the only comprehensive credit-bearing CDA certificate in New York City and Long Island. This program provides students with personalized advisement, writing support, portfolio creation, career services, and classroom observation in pursuit of the Child Development Associate Credential. Credits earned through the successful completion of these CDA courses may also be applied to the degree programs, thus establishing the foundation for career advancement.  

So why should I enroll in the CUNY SPS CDA program? Benefits include: 
  • Graduates will earn 12 Early Childhood Education transferable credits
  • Ability to take the national credentialing exam with the National Council of Professional Recognition
  • Choice of one of four CDA designations:  Infant/toddler,  Preschool, Family Day Care, and Home Visitor.  Also. the option to add the Bilingual specialization.
  • The CDA is transferable to all 50 states and several countries
  • Graduates of a Credit-bearing CDA will earn a Level 4 of 10 status on the NYS Works for Children Career Ladder
  • Speak with a financial aid specialist to access different scholarships

The ECE Employment Network
Are you an early childhood program in need of teachers and support staff?
Become a member of our “ECE Employment Network” to post jobs at no cost on our job board and gain access to a personal advisor who can make connections with our “Job Seekers” who have also signed up for the network. As soon as you apply, our Career Advisors will be in contact with you to support you in you in your hiring needs.
Are you looking for an early childhood job opportunity?
The Early Childhood Career Center has established an ECE Employment Network for employers and professionals at all levels. To join the “Job Seeker cohort
” of our new network, tell us about yourself, provide your resume and let us know what kind of position you are seeking. One of our Career Advisors will contact you to begin linking you to employers who are actively hiring, as well as access to training and career development resources and support you in your job search! 

Also, be sure to explore the other services
Career Development Center has to offer.

Are you up to date in The Aspire Registry?
Follow the steps to upload any new information to your  Aspire profile and make sure you get credit for all of your hard work!

Here are a few features that you might find helpful as a program administrator:
  • Do you provide on-site training to your staff? You can use The Aspire Registry to track training and to instantly give your team credit on their Aspire Profiles.  Learn how!
  • Do you, or members on your team, have questions about The Aspire Registry? Check out our Help Center, for answers to our most frequently asked questions.  Or email us at  We’re here to help!
JOIN our Facebook Group and stay connected
REFER an aspiring or current leader to join the Leadership Initiative. Send them the link to join
ENROLL in CPAC courses. Have you considered obtaining your CPAC credential? There is open enrollment.
Copyright © 2020 New York Early Childhood Professional Development Institute, All rights reserved.

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