U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius and U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan welcomed early childhood leaders to the Office of Child Care’s 2013 State and Territory Administrators Meeting held in Washington, D.C., on Aug. 6. Pictured left to right: Education Secretary Arne Duncan, Deputy Assistant Secretary and Inter-Departmental Liaison for Early Childhood Development Linda K. Smith, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Office of Child Care Director Shannon Rudisill and Acting Assistant Secretary George Sheldon.
By Marsha Basloe, Senior Advisor
Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary and Interdepartmental Liaison for Early Childhood Development
In case you missed it, the last week in July and beginning of August was a busy week in Washington, D.C., for early childhood development.
Hundreds of people attended a variety of meetings including the Office of Child Care’s 2013 State and Territory Administrators Meeting (STAM) with invitations to State Advisory Councils (SACs) and Head Start Collaboration Office Directors for a Pre-STAM Meeting Day. That alone brought nearly 350 people to Metro Center. Kudos to the Office of Child Care, Shannon Rudisill and her staff for a great meeting with interesting workshops! Check out information from many sessions by clicking here.
But that’s only part of the picture. National early childhood advocates also met for two days to discuss the President’s Early Learning Initiative (at the same location!), the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) held its Project Directors' Conference (Investing in High-Quality Early Learning Opportunities for All Children was a featured workshop) and BUILD hosted its 2013 QRIS National Meeting as Gerry Cobb and Deb Mathias brought states working on Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS) together to discuss QRIS and challenging questions.
I had the chance to be part of many of the days. There were so many exciting parts that I surely can’t capture them all here, but I will note four of my favorites (not in any particular order).
In truth, there was a fifth highlight. I’ve had the chance to learn from so many in this field since my first early learning lessons in North Carolina. It was a wonderful week to see new and old friends from around the country who make a difference in the early childhood development field! There is something very special about this work, especially at this point in time.
The commitment to early learning by the White House, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Education is focused on developing and sustaining strong, high quality early learning systems for our youngest citizens that will help to prepare them for school and life. It doesn’t get much more exciting than that.