Coordinator's Corner

News from MDE - Early Learning Services

Happy New 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.

Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board (PELSB)
The omnibus education bill created the Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board (PELSB) to oversee and implement teacher licensing for the state of Minnesota. Since January 1, 2018, the responsibilities carried out by the Minnesota Department of Education Licensing Division and the Board of Teaching were consolidated into PELSB. PELSB is responsible for (1) developing the teacher’s code of ethics; (2) adopting rules to license public school teachers; (3) adopting rules for and approving teacher preparation programs; (4) issuing or denying license applications (5) suspending, revoking, or denying a license based on qualifying grounds; and (6) verification of district and charter school licensure compliance.
New Tiered Licensure in Minnesota, click here for graphic

Background Checks, Fingerprinting?
Q: Someone told me that ECFE programs will now require staff to complete fingerprinting as part of their background check and that those requirements must be fulfilled by March 2018. Is this true?
A: School districts that have early childhood programs which are DHS licensed or receive Child Care Assistance Program funding will need to comply with CCDF required background checks. DHS has the legislative authority for these background checks. Coordinators should always consult with their Human Resources director/department about federal, state, and local employment requirements.
2017 legislative changes: Child Care Development Block Grant, click here

Birth Certificates
We have received some inquiries regarding student birth certificates. The Student Support Data Collection page of the MDE website contains a useful document that addresses this issue: SSDC Immigrant Children and Youth User Guide. Go to the SSDC page and scroll down to find the document.
Below are a couple more useful documents:
Fact Sheet: Information on the Rights of All Children to Enroll in School
Click Here
Information on the Rights of All Children to Enroll in School: Questions and Answers for States, School Districts and Parents
Click Here

Competitive Grant Opportunity – Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy (SRCL) Program
Local education agencies and nonprofit early childhood organizations are invited to apply for these grants. There is $20,000,000 available in federal funding from CFDA 84.317C award entitled Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy. The funding is available primarily to advance literacy skills, including pre-literacy skills, reading and writing, for children birth to grade 12, with emphasis on disadvantaged children, children living in poverty, English learners, and children with disabilities. Minnesota’s SRCL grant targets improvement of core instruction by building staff capacity to deliver evidence-based literacy practices through literacy coaching and continuous improvement. Grant funds provide for the hiring of local sub-grantee literacy coaches. State literacy coaches will support sub-grantee literacy coaches hired with the grant funds.
The grant period is anticipated to run from July 1, 2018, through September 30, 2020. The maximum grant award for one application is $900,000 with a minimum grant award of $250,000. The primary use of funds will be to hire a literacy coach or coaches who will support others within the applicant organization(s) as related to the selected age band. An applicant may apply with one other partnering organization if necessary to support the hiring of a literacy coach or coaches. The partnering applicant must be interested in the same age band and same evidence-based strategy and timelines as the primary applicant. The state reserves the right to award amounts that differ from the request or the maximum or minimum.
Applicants will submit a draft of their local literacy plan that aligns with the state’s literacy plan with their application. Applicants will develop a proposal that aligns with the selected specific age band. The age bands are: birth through age 5, kindergarten through grade 5, middle school grades 6-8 and high school grades 9-12. An applicant may apply for funding for more than one age band, but a separate application must be completed. We will accept the applications in one submission. Applicants applying for funding for birth through age 5 will need to respond to specific eligibility criteria.
The grant opportunity documents will be available to download after January 18, 2018. Please read through the instructions carefully. An application information session will be offered February 8. Applications must be submitted into a designated email site by Wednesday, March 7, 2018, 3:30 p.m., Central Time.

Early Childhood Administration
There is a new tool for those who administer/coordinate early childhood programs. It is called the Knowledge and Competency Framework for Early Childhood Administrators. More information can be found on this page Leadership-Administration. Please check out this new tool and discuss it with your regional networking group.

Early Childhood Family Education
Are you in the process of completing your Community Needs Assessment (CNA)? When submitting your CNA for the Annual Report, approach it like a School Board member or legislator is reading it. A good source of data for your CNA is the EC Longitudinal Data System. More information and resources are on the ECFE-Needs-Assessment page.

2018 Family Engagement Institute is tentatively scheduled for May 23. Save the date.

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:
The next Early Childhood Screening free, live training will be offered Wednesday, April 4, 2018, at MDE in Roseville.
Click to register now: Early Childhood Screening Training
Registration information will also be posted soon on MDE calendar.

Early Learning Scholarships - Pathway II

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
We are starting to recruit districts/charters to participate in the KEP for School Year 2018-19. The KEP supports districts, school administrators, and teachers by providing districts/charter schools with a menu of high quality, comprehensive assessment tools to help them obtain a comprehensive profile of children entering kindergarten in order to inform their practice and programming. Participation is voluntary, and MDE will (1) providing training the assessment tool (2) will reimburse participants for the cost of the assessment tool and (3) provide you with an analysis of your data (which can be used to inform practice and programming). If you want to learn more about the KEP or are interested in joining the KEP, please contact Jon Vaupel at su.nm.etats|lepuav.noj#su.nm.etats|lepuav.noj.

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).

Policy Statement on Expulsion and Suspension Policies in Early Childhood Settings
Click Here, U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Education (ED)

Professional Learning Opportunities
Heal My Home: Conversations about Childhood Poverty and Fathers
February 5-6, 2018, Click Here, Minnesota Fathers & Families Network

MNAFEE Annual Early Childhood Education Conference
April 11-13, 2018, Click Here

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