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Course Creation: Director Training

The Need

As the demand for child care across the state increases, the need for qualified directors will also increase. Directors are key to the successful operation of child care centers, and through additional training and education can better support their employees, improving both staff retention and quality of care. 

The Strategy 

This activity develops a free Director Training Sequence for child care center directors through the Colorado Shines Professional Development Information System (PDIS). The sequence of four online courses is designed for directors new to the role and focuses on Colorado‚Äôs Competencies for Early Childhood Center Directors and Related Administrators. Courses will be available in both English and Spanish. 

Outputs 

Six hours of online, self-paced coursework published in English and Spanish:

  • Director Foundations (2 hours): an introduction to basic business concepts and the role of state licensing in child care programs 
  • Navigating Early Childhood Systems, Services and Subsidies (1 hour): a toolkit that summarizes information about systems, services and subsidies available to early care and learning programs in Colorado, as well as how they can support building a quality program for staff and families
  • Leading with Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in Mind (1.5 hours): This course defines equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) and why it is important to early childhood programs. It explores being an EDI-focused leader and three ways to build a culture of EDI to benefit staff and families.
  • Trauma-Informed Early Childhood Organizations (1.5 hours): This course explains what a trauma-informed organization is and why it is important. It identifies tools and resources to create a trauma-informed organization and explores how staff well-being and self-care are necessary. 

Key Outcomes and Learnings

Impact

  • 80% of participants agree or strongly agree that the course provided valuable new ideas and information that will enhance their work.
  • 90% agree or strongly agree they will use what they learned in the course on a regular basis.
  • 80% increased their knowledge of topics related to the Director Competencies, as measured by a pre/post assessment.

All six hours (four courses) of online, self-paced coursework in both English and Spanish were published for public access in February 2024 on the Colorado Shines Professional Development Information System (PDIS).

Early feedback on the courses: 

  • "Wish this course had been around earlier!" 
    Director Foundations 
  • "It was extremely useful...Outstanding course!!" 
    Trauma-Informed Early Childhood Organizations 
  • "I will definitely have my eyes a lot more wide open and be much more intentional in my efforts." 
    Trauma-Informed Early Childhood Organizations 
  • "A great deal of information was presented that was very helpful...Great resource." 
    Navigating Early Childhood Systems, Services, and Subsidies

Learning

Stakeholder and subject matter expert (SME) engagement is key in quality training design. Maintaining engagement is challenging when stakeholders and SMEs (both internal and external to CDEC) are contributing time to training development on top of their regular job responsibilities.

Multimedia eLearning development is a lengthy process. Coordinating project management tasks and deadlines ahead of time supports keeping this process on track, as well as improved stakeholder and SME engagement.

eLearning development projects continue to confirm that publishing completed courses in English and Spanish simultaneously is best practice for equity and inclusion, rather than publishing in English first and Spanish after translation is completed. 

Thoughtful evaluation is critical when developing course sequences (such as this director's training) to determine whether each course should be published upon completion, or whether all courses should be published together. The best timing for publication may vary by project.

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Funding

Amount: $276,930

Source: Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSA)

Expiration: September 30, 2023

Next Steps

CDEC will conduct further, ongoing evaluation of this activity's effectiveness by reviewing feedback provided on course evaluation reports and by data comparison of pre/post assessments to measure knowledge gain.