Registration for Statewide Early Childhood Education Conference is Now Open

This year’s annual statewide Early Childhood Education Conference, Connecting Early Childhood Education; Birth through Eight Across the State has been organized through a collaboration of early learning partners, including the Maine Department of Education (DOE). The conference will be held on October 28th and 29th at the Cross Center in Bangor.

Breakout sessions for Pre-Kindergarten through 3rd grade educators will include a wide range of topics that focus on trauma informed practices as well as practical tools for supporting diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging to foster communities. Other sessions will offer support on social-emotional learning through literacy and language, mindful leadership, building bridges with child care programs to ease the transition to Kindergarten, the power of play, early intervention for dyslexia, math for all learners and engaging with families. Speakers and presenters will focus on best practices in early learning for all those working with children from birth through early elementary years.

Information about sponsorship and/or exhibitor opportunities can be accessed here.

Come for one day or come for both!  Cost of attendance is $100.00 per person per day and will include a continental breakfast, lunch, a keynote address each day, over 50 breakout sessions from which to choose, an exhibitor hall, networking opportunities and chances to connect with peers.

How to register:

  1. Please visit the conference website: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/maine-early-childhood-education-conference-tickets-347892053497
  2. Click on the green button that says Tickets and a pop-up window will open.
  3. This registration process will secure you a ticket to one or two days of the 2022 Statewide ECE Conference. Participants will select breakout sessions for the conference at a later date.

Please contact the Maine Association for the Education of Young Children with any questions or concerns related to registration by emailing info@maineaeyc.org  or by calling 207-747-2490.

For other questions, contact Maine DOE’s Early Childhood Specialist, Nicole Madore at nicole.madore@maine.gov.

Space Still Available for Leading Early Learning Series

Applications for the Leading Early Learning Series will be accepted through July 5.  School administrators who support the PreK to Grade 3 span are strongly encouraged to explore this dynamic professional learning opportunity.

Leading Early Learning—A Professional Learning Series for Elementary School Administrators

 “Participating in the series has helped me to look at the decisions we make about our instructional programming and school community through the lens of early learning and what is developmentally appropriate for our youngest learners.” – Quote from Cohort 1 participant

As Maine elementary schools have added preschool programming and are promoting whole child approaches across the Pre-K -Grade 3 span, elementary principals have requested professional learning to support their work as educational leaders.  The Maine Department of Education and several Maine educational organizations (listed below) have collaborated to design an exciting professional learning series to address identified needs and support professional growth.  The Leading Early Learning series was piloted with 16 administrators in 2021-22 and we are pleased to announce the second cohort for this series will launch during the 2022-23 school year.

The series will not only provide participants with opportunity to deepen their knowledge of early learning pedagogy and best practices related to supporting students and teachers across Pre-K-3, but it will also provide a professional learning network, opportunity to design a concept for an implementation project, and be supported through facilitated discussions.  Participants will engage in a variety of modes of learning, from asynchronous modules to professional learning communities to attendance at a statewide early learning conference.

If this opportunity interests you, please review the details for the series in the informational guideA link to apply for the series is included in the informational guide.  The series will support up to 25 participants.  Applications will be received through July 5, 2022. Once spaces are filled, a waiting list will be generated.

For additional information, please contact Lee Anne Larsen, Director of Early Learning at Maine DOE, leeann.larsen@maine.gov.

Leading Early Learning Partner Organizations

  • Maine Department of Education
  • Maine Roads to Quality Professional Development Network
  • Maine Association for the Education of Young Children
  • UMaine Center for Community Inclusion and Disability Studies

Read to Ride Summer Reading Challenge

As the school year comes to a close we are happy to announce that the Read to Ride Summer Reading Challenge is once again being supported by the Freemasons of Maine for the 7th year. All students in grades K-8 who complete a summer reading goal of at least 500 minutes are eligible for a school drawing. Each school is then able to submit 2 names of school level winners to be put into a state level drawing for a free bike and helmet. Last year 32 bikes and helmets were awarded to students across the state. If you are interested in registering your school for the challenge please complete this form. For additional resources such as a summer reading passport and parent information please visit the Read to Ride Challenge website.

If you would like additional information please contact Danielle Saucier, danielle.m.saucier@maine.gov.

Leading Early Learning—A Professional Learning Series for Elementary School Administrators

“Participating in the series has helped me to look at the decisions we make about our instructional programming and school community through the lens of early learning and what is developmentally appropriate for our youngest learners.” –  Quote from Cohort 1 participant

As Maine elementary schools have added preschool programming and are promoting whole child approaches across the Pre-K -Grade 3 span, elementary principals have requested professional learning to support their work as educational leaders.  The Maine Department of Education and several Maine educational organizations (listed below) have collaborated to design an exciting professional learning series to address identified needs and support professional growth.  The Leading Early Learning series was piloted with 16 administrators in 2021-22 and we are pleased to announce the second cohort for this series will launch during the 2022-23 school year.

The series will not only provide participants with opportunity to deepen their knowledge of early learning pedagogy and best practices related to supporting students and teachers across Pre-K-3, but it will also provide a professional learning network, opportunity to design a concept for an implementation project, and be supported through facilitated discussions.  Participants will engage in a variety of modes of learning, from asynchronous modules to professional learning communities to attendance at a statewide early learning conference.

If this opportunity interests you, please review the details for the series in the informational guideA link to apply for the series is included in the informational guide.  The series will support up to 25 participants.  Applications will be received through July 5, 2022. Once spaces are filled, a waiting list will be generated.

For additional information, please contact Lee Anne Larsen, Director of Early Learning at Maine DOE, leeann.larsen@maine.gov.

Leading Early Learning Partner Organizations

  • Maine Department of Education
  • Maine Roads to Quality Professional Development Network
  • Maine Association for the Education of Young Children
  • UMaine Center for Community Inclusion and Disability Studies

Pre-K Expansion Grant Funding Informational Session

Interested in starting or expanding public pre-k in your school administrative unit during the 2023-24 school year?  If so, the Maine DOE’s Early Learning Team invites you to attend an informational session regarding a Pre-K Expansion Grant opportunity that will be available later this year.

Pre-K Expansion Grant Funding Informational Session
Date: June 23, 2022
Time:
2:00pm – 3:00pm
Description: To review the grant opportunity and anticipated requirements.
Register here

Twelve Maine School Administrative Units (SAUs) were awarded Pre-K Expansion grants totaling $2.2 million for start-up or expansion of pre-k programming during the 2022-23 school year. The Pre-K Expansion grants, authorized through Maine’s Jobs and Recovery Plan (American Rescue Plan Act allocation), provide funds to the Department of Education to support SAUs with start-up activities necessary to establish new or expanded public prekindergarten programs to address the inequities in availability of early education opportunities resulting from the COVID pandemic.  Households with young children have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.  This project directly addresses this harm by supporting schools to overcome barriers that are preventing them from starting and expanding public pre-k and to transition from part-time to full-time programming, thus increasing the number of young children in high-quality prekindergarten.  A greater availability of full-time prekindergarten slots will support parents with young children to work and prepare young children for success in kindergarten and beyond.

Round two of pre-K expansion grant funding will be released to applicants in the late summer/early fall of 2022. Funding for this round will amount to approximately seven million dollars for Pre-K expansion in school year 2023-2024. Interested SAUs should monitor the DOE Newsroom as well as the Division of Procurement Services site for release of the next RFA.

Questions may be directed to the Director of Early Learning, leeann.larsen@maine.gov, or the Early Childhood Specialist, nicole.madore@maine.gov.