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Head Start and Early Learning Collaborative Decides Focus Areas

In February, Early Learning Multnomah brought together Head Start and Early Learning Hub leaders from Multnomah, Clackamas and Washington counties to determine how they could best work together to address key issues in our region. This was the second time this group of leaders had gathered in the past year. This time, the group was focused on deciding specific targets for our collaborative work—something that could make a big impact on the early learning system in the region. 

Twenty-five leaders looked at a variety of potential efforts, analyzed the pros and cons, and, ultimately, determined that two areas needed the most focused attention in the tri-county area:  

  • Advocacy for Systems Alignment: Members from the group agreed that there is a great need for systems alignment across our region. In particular, the collaborative is hoping to find out the status of changes to the Professional Registry and Teaching Standards and Practices certification process. Other areas to coordinate across the region are professional development trainings, and early learning guidelines. Our hope is to gather more information about what is already being done to align the system around provider regulations, and use our collective voice to move those efforts forward. 
  • Social-emotional training for parents and early learning staff: Social-emotional development is a key indicator of a child’s future success. There was a strong consensus at the collaborative meeting that more training and resources around social-emotional development would make a big impact on the early learning system across the tri-county region. The group discussed the need for a social-emotional development curriculum, making behavioral support services available in all classrooms, and building teachers’ skills around social-emotional development. We hope to gather an inventory of trainings currently being offered throughout the region that can be shared widely. 

Over the next few months, Collaborative members will be gathering information about what’s already being done across our region, as well as lessons learned from other states who have tackled similar issues. We will use this information at our next collaborative meeting to decide how we want to use our collective voice. 

We look forward to sharing more about our progress in months to come. The next Head Start and Early Learning Collaborative will take place in July. If you are interested in attending this meeting, or if you have questions, reach out to Amanda Friese.