Early Childhood Express September 2020

Mom working with two girls on school work.

Here we are in September…again…but a very different September from the one we began last year! It’s remarkable what you’ve learned since March when lockdown went into effect and Zoom turned into the way you could communicate with families and teach children…while some of you were also teaching your own children (and grandchildren) at home. In addition, you had to learn how to keep you…and your family…safe from COVID—mask wearing, hand-washing, social distancing. It’s been an interesting six months—with more to come. Whoever thought this would be with us for so long with no real end in sight beyond the hope of a vaccine by the new year.  Hooray for that!

Welcome Hilary Prince!

Last year at this time we welcomed Kerri Blankenship as the new Regional Administrator for Early Learning and Special Education. Kerri has done a fine job communicating with you all and making sure you’ve had tools you need. Now Kerri welcomes a P-3 Early Learning Coach partner….  Hilary Prince.  Here’s some information to help you get to know Hilary:

Hi everyone! My name is Hilary Prince, and I’m the new P-3 Early Learning Coach at ESD 113. Here’s a quick introduction about me! I was born and raised in Montesano, Washington. I graduated from Western Washington University with a degree in Early Childhood Education during which I implemented play-based learning using the lens of the Reggio Emilio approach. For the last seven years, I worked in Centralia as a third-grade teacher. Additionally, the last 3 years, I job shared and alternated my days between being a third-grade teacher and an instructional coach. I loved having that experience to work with teachers and still practice in the classroom with students as well. Currently, I live in Olympia with my husband and our English bulldog, Phyllis, who is pretty much our pride and joy. I am so excited for this opportunity and looking forward to learning alongside a larger communityYou’ll be able to contact Hilary at 360-589-2987 or [email protected].

2020 Census

We’re nearly ending the end of our truncated 10-year Federal Census Count. Many of the programs that help to give children a good start are dependent on the census count. Because you’ll be in frequent contact with families you’re a good spot to remind families, especially families of color who are often not comfortable participating in federal programs, to fill out their census questionnaires and, if they haven’t, respond when a census taker comes to their door.  The intent of the census is to count everyone…adults, children, babies, immigrants…documented, undocumented, and Dreamers.

Early Learning Fellows

It’s Early Learning Fellows start up time again. If you are interested in becoming or continuing involvement in this learning opportunity here’s what you need to do:  Applications are due by September 23rd.  Meetings 1 & 2 will occur online with independent work and short Zoom sessions after school hours. This year we are focusing on Developmentally Appropriate Practices. More information can be found on the OSPI website. Our first Fellows session will be focusing on Family Engagement.


  • Early Support for Infants and Toddlers (ESIT) has assembled some terrific Tele-health information including some training sites to help providers work remotely with families and children. There are tons of links to videos and written materials. I have especially enjoyed the links to Brookes Videos on using the ASQ-SE2 and the AEPSi as well a Robin McWilliam’s blog article on eligibility determination that focuses on using the MEISER with families to get at a functional assessment
  • It will soon be time for thinking about the Child Outcomes Summary requirement.  ESIT also has some great resources for the COS including ideas for involving families and use of the Decision Tree.
  • From Katy and Joel at the Head Start State Association office…Science Learning for Kids The Florida Museum has put together a whole bunch of videos and projects and whatnot for kids 3-8. Make your own fossil and all kinds of other stuff you can use for your synchronous or asynchronous activities. The videos are pretty engaging so may be fun for the family to watch before you teach some of the concepts in your ZOOM visits.
  • This caught my eye this morning from the Worth Reading Weekly  ‘Everything Starts At Home’: Kids’ TV Shows That Teach Anti-Racism, Celebrate Diversity  From USA Today: “If we speak at home with our little ones about different families in our community with respect, with empathy, with understanding and appreciation, that should go a long way.”

Being happy doesn’t mean everything is perfect.  It means you’ve looked beyond the imperfections.

This article was contributed by Mary Perkins for the Early Childhood Express newsletter.