Integrating Innovative Professional Development for EHS/HS classrooms into Statewide Systems
The COVID-19 outbreak has highlighted the importance of early childhood education in our country, underscoring the critical role of early care professionals to a healthy, thriving economy. Flexible, high-quality child care must be treated as a core part of our societal infrastructure.
Since their inception, Head Start and Early Head Start (HS/EHS) have been at the forefront of supporting under-resourced children in nurturing learning environments that promote early learning, health, and family well-being.
In this webinar, we discussed how the state of Mississippi is seeking to meet their school readiness goals by piloting a systems-level approach to supporting EHS/HS providers, rolling out job-embedded professional development designed to increase the quality of caregiver-child engagement county by county. We heard from both state and county leads on the project as well as the WK Kellogg Foundation, the lead funder behind this transformative work.
- How the initiative got funded and how it launched
- Partnerships and program scaling
- Outcomes of the program so far
In preparation for our conversation with Mississippi Head Start Association, learn more about how LENA is working with Head Start partners across the country to promote language and early literacy development.
About Candice Pittman
Dr. Candice N. Pittman is currently a program manager with the Mississippi Head Start Association (MHSA). She holds a bachelor’s degree in business information systems administration, a master’s degree in instructional technology, and a doctoral degree in instructional systems and workforce development all from Mississippi State University. She has years of experience in the areas of social science, early childhood education, and workforce development. She has also authored several technical reports and publications in workforce development, instructional design, and early childhood education.
About Bridgette Jackson
Bridgette Jackson is a native of Greenville, Miss. She is a graduate of Mississippi Valley State University with a bachelor’s degree in early childhood. She has over 20 years of experience in early childhood education and is employed with Washington County Opportunities’ Head Start/Early Head Start program where she serves in dual capacities as the deputy director and the education manager. She works with agencies such as The Council for Professional Recognition (CDA) as a professional development specialist (evaluating early childhood programs) and certified trainer for the Mississippi State Department of Early Childhood Education. Mrs. Jackson is also certified as a CLASS (Classroom Assessment Scoring System) observer.
About Todd Klunk
Todd Klunk is a program officer for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in Battle Creek, Michigan. In this role, he works in the foundation’s priority place of Mississippi to support thriving children, working families, and equitable communities. He holds a bachelor’s degree in public policy from Pennsylvania State University and a master’s degree in law from California Southern University. Todd Klunk began his career as a county caseworker with Adams County Children and Youth Services. He has since worked as a child care licensing program specialist and a fiscal management supervisor for child care with the Pennsylvania Bureau of Child Care, and as a director of finance, administration, and planning with the Pennsylvania Office of Child Development and Early Learning.