In the past year we have done a tremendous amount:
2. We continue to work to advocate for workforce training opportunities in the region. We helped to open a dialogue between Bank Street College of Education and the Office of Early Childhood to establish a workforce training program to help the State of Connecticut meet its 2020 early childhood educator degree requirements.
According to Public Act 12-50 amended CGS 10-16p outlining the educational requirements for publicly-funded early childhood programs, by 2017 each program funded by the State shall have 50% of their teachers hold a Bachelor degree with a concentration in early childhood and/or a degree in early childhood, child development, child studies, human growth and development and the remaining teachers hold an Associate degree in the same areas. By 2020 100% of teachers in state funded programs shall hold a Bachelor degree in these areas. This legislation brings CT in alignment with the federal (Head Start) and national (NAEYC) timelines on attainment of degrees. The Associate and Bachelor programs are to be approved by the Board of Regents and Department of Education as outlined in legislation.
Currently in Connecticut there are 4078(data shared in 2015) teachers in State funded programs. Of those teachers, 591 are in compliance with the requirement that all teachers must hold a Bachelor degree by 2020. New Haven School Readiness and Head Start programs employ over 500 teachers and assistant teachers. Less than half have the required B.A. degree and 30% have an Associate's degree.
As we attempt to find solutions to this significant shortage, we need to consider three main factors; 1. the cost of a Bachelor's degree in relation to the income of an early childhood educator and salary gains associated with a degree; 2. the accessibility of bachelor degree programs to educators in the New Haven region, and; 3. the impact of degree attainment in relation to the quality of teaching. The average Early Childhood Educator earns $10.84 per hour or $22, 547.20 per year for 52 weeks of full time work. The center for the study of child care employment reports, "Despite a nearly two-fold increase in costs to parents for early childhood services since 1997, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, childcare workers have experienced no increase in real earnings since this time. Those who work with preschoolers have fared somewhat better; their wages have increased by 15 percent in constant dollars since 1997. And as was true in 1989, childcare workers still earn less than adults who take care of animals, and barley more than fast food cooks."
According to the College Board, the average cost of tuition and fees for the 2014--2015 school year was $31,231 at private colleges, $9,139 for state residents at public colleges, and $22,958 for out-of-state residents attending public universities. The yearly cost for the average Early Childhood worker would require the teacher to spend 41% of his/her yearly income on tuition. The ability to impact the quality of the early childhood education workforce in the State of Connecticut has never been more opportune. Due to the above mentioned legislative change, early childhood educators have to meet external degree requirements in a way that heretofore has not been expected. The value of this requirement will be most effective if the degree programs offered to early childhood educators are of high-quality.
To ensure that the State of Connecticut and the region of New Haven are able to meet the 2017 and 2020 requirements; and that educators have the opportunity to access this high-quality programming without procuring tremendous personal debt; and that educators are offered the highest possible quality in an early childhood degree it is proposed that the Office of Early Childhood, the New Haven Early Childhood Alliance, Friends Center for Children and Bank Street College of Education and a local college enter into a partnership agreement to bring a Bank Street College of Education Cohort to New Haven.
The cohort(s) would offer New Haven region educators Bank Street College of Education degree credits to meet the 2020 requirements. The cohort would be affiliated with a local higher education program such as Albertus Magnus, or SCSU or ECSU. This local affiliate would act as the licensing program for this degree. .
3. We enhanced our program called the Adverse Childhood Experiences Program which we started in 2013 to service all of the children, families and staff in our community. The original goals and objectives in our Adverse Childhood Experiences Program were to;
1. Identify children who have had adverse childhood experiences and address their needs do they can learn and develop normally2. Improve educators' and parents' ability to support children who have experienced ACEs3. Integrate a social, emotional and mental health component in to the early childhood education model
We integrated a social, emotional and mental health component into the early childhood education model by hiring and working with a social work consultant. She helped facilitate all of the above aspects of the program. She came to us with 35 years' experience in the Hamden Public School system and an extensive understanding of the importance of the development of the whole child. This framework was guided and reinforced by her Quaker beliefs- which helped shape our culture and tone with regard to the effects of ACEs on the children, parents and teachers in our program.
4. We expanded our relationship with the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence Preschool RULER program. The Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence believes that emotions drive learning, decision making, creativity, relationships, and health. The Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence uses the power of emotions to create a more effective and compassionate society. The Center conducts research and teaches people of all ages how to develop their emotional intelligence. They do this work because the well-being and sustainability of our society depends on each of us using our emotions intelligently.
RULER stands for: RecognizingUnderstandingLabelingExpressing Regulating
At Friends Center we believe that emotional regulation is a critical step in school readiness. Children who are able to recognize and take control of their emptions have an easier time navigating impulses and exhibiting executive functioning skills. These skills make it easier to achieve cognitive or academic success. We see emotional regulation as a foundational skill needed for academic achievement. The RULER program is one way to support the acquisition of this regulation.
5. We were asked to participate in this study by the Yale Child Study Center because the work that we do in relation to supporting the whole child creates a climate that supports mental health.
Educate Children: we need funding to publish our curriculum- $15,000.
Engage Community: we need to continue our advocacy work through outreach to the immediate Friends Center community via the Fair Haven Family Stroll: A Festival and Fundraiser to Raise Awareness for High Quality Early Childhood Education: 10,000.00
children by providing year-round, full-time care for
children ages 3 months to 5 years through a child-centered learning
experience. Our program is enhanced by the ideals of community,
equality, peace, simplicity, truth and stewardship. Externally,
children by working to create
a written curriculum to be shared with other early childhood programs.
families by entering into a relationship with them through our
cooperative program to create a partnership of support for the children at FC. We want families to have
the tools to advocate for their child while at FC and in future educational
experiences. Externally, we empower families through
our free parent workshop series open to Friends Center and greater New Haven
teachers by participating in staff-wide professional development opportunities
such as partnering with the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence to bring the
preschool RULER program to Friends Center. Externally,
teachers by partnering with Gateway Community College and Southern
Connecticut State University to create a Friends Center internship
program. We have also created a free teacher
workshop series open to the entire early childhood community.
community by joining together to support the children, family and staff
at Friends Center. We utilize a parent
cooperative system in our program. Every family contributes 1.5 hours per week
per adult in the household to our program. We are a stronger, more committed program
because of the parent cooperative. Externally,
community by having all of our lead teachers serve on New Haven
non-profit boards or alliances that support children or families.
also founded the FAIR HAVEN FAMILY STROLL. Last year, this event brought over
800 community members together for a day
of family fun.
diversity by focusing on creating an environment that honors different
races, cultures, learning styles, family configurations, religions,
socio-economic status and gender. We hope to create a community that reflects
no racial majority. We support this
initiative through a sliding scale tuition system. Externally, we embrace diversity by
advocating for equal access to high quality early childhood education for all
young children in the New Haven community through editorials, our blog and
was becoming a father, there was no doubt in my mind that things would change
about myself and what motivates me. Many of these things I expected, but
so many were surprises. I knew I would fall fiercely in love with my
children and become equally intense about their care, but what caught me off
guard was how much I soon felt this same innate call to care for every child in
need and the inevitable despair of knowing my own limitations of self: time,
energy, money, and otherwise.
spent time with the Friends Center for Children as a parent first, I was
inspired at how impactful the organization is to the children who are graced
with being there. Becoming more involved as a board member, and then
eventually as chair, I have found an outlet for my energy that allows me to
know that I am contributing to something bigger than myself, something that is
genuinely affecting the lives of children and families for the better. As
we sit in the board room (also a preschool classroom) and tackle the challenges
facing our organization, it is this knowledge that keeps me motivated.
the tremendous leadership of our Executive Director and our board, we have had
cause for many celebrations. In 2013, we opened a new facility to expand
service from 18 to 84 children. We have developed and implemented a
program to aid children who experience trauma. We have partnered with
Yale to act as a pilot site for the RULER (Recognize, Understand, Label,
Express, Regulate) program. Further, in just the last few months, we
completed a $4.425-million-dollar capital campaign.
With our successes come
many challenges. One challenge that we keep at the fore is the need to
mature our existing infrastructure to be sure that it can weather future
adversities to the organization and guarantee continuity of our mission for
years to come. We are tackling this in a variety of ways: identifying our
organizational needs, seeking grant funding to support identified positions,
and developing more robust governance polices for our board. The
second major challenge for our organization is to fully express our mission by
expanding our program to serve more children and families. With so much
need for high quality early childhood education, this challenge is always
in our minds. To address this, we have formed a Strategic Advancement
Initiative to explore avenues of expansion: both through dissemination of our
practices and through replication of our programs
The ACEs Support Program is intended to identify and treat the traumatic effects of adverse childhood experiences ("ACEs") on the development of/in children ages 3 months - 5 years. The program is designed to; intervene before traumatic experiences create permanent effects in young children, to support young children who have been expose to and effected by traumatic events, and to engage parents and educate teachers in addressing early trauma.
The ACEs Program will include a full-time, clinical social worker who will be present in the classroom with our teachers and parents. Working with classroom teachers, she will develop support plans for students and families. S/he will be in the classroom each day and will work with each group of students at least once per day. Her work will include hands-on care and support.
Emotional intelligence underlies children’s ability to regulate their emotions and get along with others – skills critical for building positive relationships and achieving academic success.
Preschoolers develop their skills through many different fun and engaging learning activities, including:
RULER is fun and engaging for children. It aligns with early learning standards, and it gives teachers the tools they need to easily integrate RULER into their existing curricula and classroom routines.
Allyx Schiavone, has tremendous experience in many aspects of this work. Allyx was appointed Director by the FCfC Board in September 2009 and in five years has successfully spearheaded; a $4.425 million Capital Campaign; designed and built a 9,200 square foot LED certifiable building, increased admissions from 16-55-84 children and increased staffing from 6-12-30 educators in fifteen months; and is currently writing a curriculum of Friends Center practices. She came to FCfC with an extensive background in early childhood development and elementary education -- as a teacher and administrator in CT and NY. She holds dual Masters' degrees from Bank Street College of Education in Early Child Development and Elementary Education, and a Bachelor's degree from Union College.
A New Haven native and long-time resident of Fair Haven, Allyx maintains ownership in a New Haven real estate development corporation which she managed from 1998-2009. While living in the Fair Haven area, Allyx helped found the Quinnipiac River Community Group (QRCG), a grassroots neighborhood organization created to protect and improve the diverse and historic neighborhoods surrounding the Quinnipiac River. As a QRCG leader, she spearheaded efforts to raise funds from local, State and federal sources to repair the Ferry Street Bridge and launch the comprehensive Quinnipiac Avenue re-do, efforts that required $16 million and $21 million respectively.
Allyx has served as Program Coordinator for New Haven based Area Cooperative Educational Services (ACES); Early Childhood Classroom Observer for Southern Connecticut State University; and Budget Coordinator for the New Haven Board of Education facilitating a $10 million grant. Allyx has taught in NYC, New Haven and Greenwich in several elementary schools and pre-school settings, directed summer camps and written and supervised curriculums at elementary, middle and high school levels with an emphasis on literacy, math, science and multi-disciplinary studies.
She currently serves as a board member for Connecticut Voices for Children, is a member of the New Haven Early Childhood Alliance serving as the chair of the Quality Committee and a member of the Operations Committee, was awarded a Master Leader title by the Exchange Leadership Initiative, was appointed by Mayor Toni Harp as a member of the Blue Ribbon Commission on Reading, is a graduate of the William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund's Community Leadership Program (Cohort 16) and is currently a Community Leadership Program Fellow (Cohort 18). She is the mother of two fantastic school-aged children and resides now in the East Rock section of New Haven.
Susan came to Friends Center in 2011 as Head Teacher for the Infant/Toddler program. During Susan's second year with the program, she began phasing into the Assistant Director role. When Friends Center opened the new facility (expanding from 18 children to 55 children) in August, 2013, Susan officially became the Assistant Director.
Susan holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Family Studies with a specialization in family support. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of New Hampshire. Susan had been teaching preschool for 5 years before joining the Friends Center Community and has been involved with children and families for over 15 years.
Bonnie Muller was raised in a Quaker family in which simplicity, peace, truth, equality, community and stewardship were household words. Following her desire to help create environments where all children have these privileges, she acquired a Bachelor of Arts at Gettysburg College and Master of Social Work degree at the University of Connecticut. After teaching elementary school, she worked briefly at the Gesell Institute of Child Development as a research assistant. From there she moved into community mental health where she promoted programs for children and families in CT and CA. Returning to CT, she worked as a school social worker until her retirement in 2010.
Active in the New Haven Friends Meeting, Bonnie was familiar with the founding spirit behind FCfC and was asked to serve as Mental Health Consultant when the Center opened. When Friends Center acquired a grant to hire a social worker as an in-school resource to address Adverse Childhood Experiences, Bonnie became a member of the staff. The FCfC organization has now adopted the position in which Bonnie continues to serve; she is now known as the Emotional Well-Being Coordinator. Developing emotional intelligence through establishing healthy classroom climates was a hallmark of her work in the public schools and continues to be a focus of her collaboration with children, staff and families. Bonnie also maintains a private practice as a Rubenfeld Synergist and LCSW.
Gateway Community College
The challenge facing our organization relate to our extremely rapid growth. The demand for high quality early childhood education in a comprehensive way is critical. We have had to make sure that our growth is intentional and thoughtful so that we can be true to our mission and ensure programmatic integrity at all times.
We have achieved growth and success in our current location. We are now exploring scaling in the form of replication and/or dissemination. Funding remains our major obstacle. We remain clear in our plan. We have a very organized path to achieve success. We need more infrastructure to allow us to move forward with the most integrity. Added infrastructure requires added funds. This is our challenge.
Indirect Public Support HelpIndirect public support represents revenue received through solicitation campaigns. This includes funding United Way and other federated fundraising organizations, but does not include donor designated contributions.
Earned Revenue HelpEarned revenue represents income generated in direct exchange for a product or service.Earned income includes income from government contracts.
Prior to 2011, the organization's fiscal year was January 1st to December 31st. The organization had a shorted fiscal period of January 1, 2011 to June 30, 2011 so that it could changed its fiscal year period to July 1st to June 30th.
Educate a child and you change a community. For the child, a good education means better career opportunities and higher lifetime earnings. College graduates enjoy better health and are more inclined to volunteer and vote. For the community, supporting our youths’ educational goals results in a stronger society.
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