Provided by Northern Virginia Family Service
Northern Virginia Family Service (NVFS) is expanding high-quality early learning opportunities for infants and toddlers in Northern Virginia by providing core operating support for the Early Head Start Child-Care Partnership through a $200,000 grant, beginning June 1, 2016, from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. The project is designed to improve the services provided to infants and toddlers through NVFS’ community child-care partners by providing targeted professional development and mentor-coaching to all center staff.
“By participating in the program, teachers will be better equipped to make objective observations of children’s development, learning and skills,” shares NVFS Senior VP of Programs Malinda Langford. “They will effectively use research-based developmental screening and assessment tools to gather information about children’s physical, language and social-emotional needs. They will then be able to develop individualized learning plans for children in their care, and plan and implement the curriculum with activities and experiences that are developmentally appropriate that can lead to lifelong learners.”
The professional development component will operate in partnership with the Virginia Literacy Council’s Excellence in Children’s Early Language and Literacy (ExCELL), which includes classroom-based coaching sessions for teachers, assistants, directors, and other staff who interact with the children enrolled.
NVFS will also partner with Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of Virginia, respectively, to provide professional development and mentor coaching, and educate Early Head Start staff on classroom assessment tools to measure the quality of teacher-student interactions, classroom instructions and more. NVFS staff members will provide additional training regarding assessment tools for cognitive and social-emotional development.
NVFS offers home-based and center-based Early Head Start programs in Arlington, Loudoun and Prince William counties, and the city of Manassas. In fiscal year 2015, 2,449 clients accessed NVFS’ Early Childhood services, including both Head Start and Early Head Start programs.