First Early Childhood Education Institute planned for this month

The Maine Department of Education’s first Early Childhood Education (ECE) Institute will be held at the Augusta Civic Center on August 23-24 for over 200 invited ECE professionals.

The ECE Institute has the primary purpose of aligning best practices in preschool and kindergarten curriculum, instruction, and assessment. In addition, public school leadership will come together with Head Start coaches, education managers and directors and Child Development Services (CDS) personnel.

The ECE Institute brings researchers and national speakers to Maine to address current national trends. A well-known ECE national speaker and expert in literacy development, Dr. Nell K. Duke, will deliver the morning keynote address on August 23. She and Maine’s Dr. Susan Bennett-Armistead, a literacy expert from the University of Maine, have co-authored several books together. Bennett-Armistead will address family engagement in her keynote presentation.

In addition to over a dozen breakout sessions, the Executive Director of the New Jersey Department of Education, Vincent Costanza, Ed.D, is providing two technical assistance sessions sharing in-depth knowledge. One session will be targeted toward district administrators, focusing on creating a culture for supporting learning in preschool and beyond. On the Institute’s second day, Dr. Constanza will provide guidance to district teams on developing Professional Learning Communities (PLC).

The participating district’s PLC work, which begins at the ECE Institute, will continue for the next three years with a goal of aligning the birth through grade three continuums in each district. This PLC alignment work will help increase high school graduation rates.

Learn more about early childhood education here or contact Early Childhood Consultant Sue Reed at