The importance of high-quality Early Childhood education cannot be underestimated. To support local community efforts to provide the highest quality early childhood experiences, Northland Pioneer College (NPC), with support from First Things First, is excited to offer a FREE opportunity for early childhood professionals working with, or on behalf of children birth to age five. The Early Childhood Learning Collaborative (ECLC) project is designed to increase early childhood knowledge for professionals in educational organizations, parents, childcare, faith-based groups, state agencies, healthcare, or early intervention, particularly those who work with young children. This free program uses a Learning Collaborative model to facilitate learning and engage participants in peer-to-peer education.
Learning Collaboratives promote the value of small groups of people who engage with each other and learn from their multiple perspectives, resulting in peer-to-peer learning that increases knowledge and changes behavior. Through the Learning Collaborative project, early childhood professionals and stakeholders from their communities engage in discussion, strategy sharing, formulation of individual goals, and individualized coaching to improve their support of young children’s success and development.
“The process of learning and applying new knowledge does not happen in a one-time effort. It requires ongoing practice and application of new information. A plus to all of this is that it allows you to incorporate what you learn into your work and daily life while you’re learning…and then to share your experiences and insights… Participants receive individualized coaching in between learning sessions to implement their goals and action plans within their work/home settings. These are some of the elements built into the value of our Learning Collaboratives that ensure long-term behavior changes,” said Jacqueline Pyles, the Early Childhood Learning Collaborative Coordinator for NPC.
NPC’s next set of Learning Collaboratives will take place virtually, in a Zoom environment. Participants who complete each of the Learning Collaborative components will receive their choice of professional development clock hours through the Arizona Early Childhood Workforce Registry or NPC college course credit toward a degree in Early Childhood Studies.
Pyles spent the last 10 years teaching courses in Early Childhood Education. She is excited to continue this project throughout the communities of Navajo and Apache Counties. Her mission is to ensure that the focus is on local needs and to make sure that children, especially those aged birth to five years, reap the benefits of the latest in early childhood research, trends, and policies.
“The best part of this kind of learning together is that it is long-lasting, and it is knowing that you are not alone in the joys and challenges of educating and raising children to become successful adults,” explained Pyles.
Beginning in August, this free program includes 24 hours of total learning and individualized coaching spread out over a five-month period. Participants choose from two topics: Effective Educational Practices for the 21st Century Child or Understanding Trauma and Building Resilience in Ourselves and Our Children. Space may be limited, so don’t wait too long to reserve your spot. For questions, or to sign up, call Jacqueline Pyles at 928-524-7338 or email Jacqueline.Pyles@npc.edu. You can also visit NPC’s Early Childhood Department link for the program at: www.npc.edu/ecd-learning-collaboratives.