The overall goal of the Quality Committee is for all early care and education programs in New Haven to provide high-quality learning experiences for young children. A high-quality learning experience is relationship-based and developmentally appropriate. The Committee has adopted the theme of supporting the emotional health and well being of children. Their work includes providing professional development for early childhood teachers and providers and planning of the Week of the Young Child, an annual Council event, around this theme. In addition, the Committee is working on ways to ensure a highly qualified early childhood workforce.
PreK Enrollment and Access Committee (new in 2015)
The goal for this committee is for all New Haven children to have access to a high quality learning experience. Strategies are focused on creating a unified, easy-to-navigate preschool enrollment system for families, including outreach efforts to encourage families to consider the importance of a quality preschool experience for their children.
Infants and Toddlers Committee (new in 2015)
The Infants and Toddlers Committee goal is for the city’s most vulnerable families and caregivers to have the knowledge and skills to support their children’s development beginning at birth. Strategies include providing families and providers with meaningful information about programs and services including mental health, basic needs, attachment, and more; along with working to improve connections among parents and programs.
PreK through Grade 3 Success (PreK-3) Committee
The PreK -3 Committee was formed as a partnership between the New Haven Public Schools and the New Haven Early Childhood Council to support the alignment of PreK through grade 3 and the Age 3 to Grade 3 model. The work of this committee is divided into two goals. The first goal is to refine and enhance instructional practices in PreK and K to improve children’s focus; their ability to be flexible; and their working memory, reasoning, and problem solving. The strategy to meet this goal is an Executive Function Pilot Project that is teaching PreK and Kindergarten teachers to utilize a series of strategies that help children to develop executive function skills. The second goal is continue to develop policies and procedures that support the transition of students from preK to kindergarten. Several strategies are underway including a series of meetings with both PreK and K teachers during which participants learn from one another about expectations for their students and work they are doing in their classrooms, as well as face-to-face meetings with incoming Kindergarten students and their parents with teachers in late August and early September.
Grants and Development Committee
The Grants Committee provides the oversight for the School Readiness Grant that serves almost 1100 three- and four-year-olds in New Haven. The committee conducts the RFP and review process, recommends the awarding of the School Readiness contracts to providers, as well as the contracts for the School Readiness Quality Enhancement grant. Work includes the development and recommendation for new and revised School Readiness policies. This committee also oversees any other grants that the NHECC is awarded or awards.
Involving Parents as NHECC Members (new in 2015)
In an effort to recruit and fully involve parents as members on the New Haven Early Childhood Council, a new committee was formed in June 2015 to address its desire and need for parents to be included in its collaborative work.