Coordinator's Corner

News from MDE - Early Learning Services

Welcome to the 2018-19 School Year!
We hope everyone had a fun, reinvigorating summer! This school year we need to focus on increasing quality and increasing connections (ensuring we have high-quality programs that connect vertically into K-12 and horizontally into the community). We are looking forward to a productive school year!

Below are some helpful updates from your colleagues in early learning at MDE. See the MDE Contacts tab if you need to reach us. See the Old News tab for previous updates.

Early Childhood Administration
Challenge yourself this year through self-assessment and goal planning by using the Knowledge and Competency Framework for Early Childhood Administrators. More information can be found on this page Leadership-Administration. Make sure to discuss this tool with your colleagues.

Early Childhood Family Education
Community Needs Assessment (CNA): Last year was a little rough, as we had very few high-quality submissions. In an attempt to provide better support, we have updated some of the guidance and the ECFE-Needs-Assessment page. As a reminder, when submitting your CNA for the Annual Report, approach it like a School Board member or legislator is reading it. Most importantly, work to connect your needs assessment work to other district or community priorities. A great start is connecting it to your World's Best Workforce work.

Early Childhood Longitudinal Data System (ECLDS)
We are very pleased to share some long-awaited new data additions to our Early Childhood Longitudinal Data System! We now have child protection data and early learning scholarships information.

  • Child protection analytics are available under the Third Grade report series.
  • Early Learning Scholarships are available under the Birth to Pre-K series.
  • We now have a series of videos and tutorials available to users.

Click Here for ECLDS

New Video! Minnesota’s data story
Click Here, The Early Childhood Data Collaborative

Early Childhood Screening
Are you a new coordinator or screener? Short online training videos and find other helpful resources:
Early Childhood Screening Training and Updates 2018
October 10 in Marshall and October 24, Thief River Falls
Click Here for more information

Early Learning Scholarships - Pathway II
Local Enrollment Forms may Partially Replace Scholarship Application
MDE has formalized a process for Minnesota Statutes, Section 124D.165, Subdivision 3 notes that for Pathway II funded school districts or Head Starts may use an established registration process to enroll scholarship recipients and may verify a scholarship recipient's family income in the same manner as for other program participants. Look to the Pathway II webpage for a guidance document- including steps to have your enrollment form approved and policy- the supplemental application, and – if needed- the foster care supplemental application.

Early Learning Standards
Revised Early Childhood Indicators of Progress: Minnesota’s Early Learning Standards (ECIPs)
Click Here or

Family Engagement Professional Learning Modules
A new professional learning tool is now available for districts.
Go to the Family Engagement page on the parenting education wiki.

Kindergarten Entry Profile (KEP) Initiative

Knowledge and Competencies for Early Childhood Administrators
Hopefully everyone has completed their 2016-17 Regional Networking Group project. We really need your real-world experience to help generate competencies. When complete, this will be a valuable tool for coordinators (it will help with professional development, planning, recognition of complexity of the role of coordinators, etc.).
More information on the project is also on the regional networking group page.
Mike will gather and refine information. Then, along with coordinators, we will meet in late June to go through each indicator. Hope to get first draft of document to the field this fall.

New Administrators
You will notice that there is a "New Administrators" page on this website. The goal for this page is to provide information for new administrators/coordinators that will give them a useful introduction to the roles and responsibilities of early childhood coordinators. Determining what should be included (and in what order) on this page is challenging, especially if we want to avoid overwhelming people who are brand new to their position. If you have any feedback/suggestions on what should be included (e.g., what is the most important information for new administrators/coordinators?), please let me know (su.nm.etats|nworb.p.ekim#su.nm.etats|nworb.p.ekim).

News You Can Use
The Most Productive Meetings Have Fewer Than 8 People
Click Here, Harvard Business Review

Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board (PELSB)
The Board of Teaching is now the Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board (PELSB). Here is their website:
Some of you may know that "licensure via portfolio" is an alternative route for licensure. The early childhood license in Minnesota is a birth to grade 3 license. This is a very challenging license to earn via portfolio, especially if one is not currently licensed in another content area. The reason this is challenging is because a candidate needs to provide evidence for knowledge and practice in three distinct developmental areas (birth to age 3, prekindergarten, and K-3).

Professional Learning Opportunities
Fall 2018 MNAFEE Regional Professional Development Workshops
Click Here

Beyond Ace’s: Building Resilience Across Communities & Generations
Friday, November 16, 2018, 8:30 am - 4:30 pm
Click Here for more information

Regional PreK-3 Workshops
Watch for upcoming information from your Initiative Foundations

School Readiness
The School Readiness Program Plan is no longer required. Instead, similar requirements were added to World's Best Workforce. More information on how to include this in your World's Best Workforce plan are forthcoming. In the meantime, see this page of the MDE website:

You will find this document, World’s Best Workforce Goal #1: All Children Ready for School Writing Goals and Strategies to be helpful. Please note the agreed upon expectations of school readiness, designed to highlight children’s right to enter kindergarten:

  • Child is at least five years of age by September 1 of the child’s enrollment year (Minnesota Statutes, section 120A.20).
  • Child has received early childhood screening (Minnesota Statutes, section121A.17).
  • Child has received medically acceptable immunizations (Minnesota Statutes, section121A.15).

Please let Mike (su.nm.etats|nworb.p.ekim#su.nm.etats|nworb.p.ekim) know if your district has included a biennial School Readiness plan (describing how your program meets the School Readiness program requirements in MN statutes) in your district's WBWF plan. We are not monitoring, but want to identify examples to highlight.

Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten
FY2019 Voluntary Pre-K and School Readiness Plus Program Requirements
Click here for webinar recording