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Early childhood education in First State gets a $500k boost

Delaware Public Media

Delaware’s Department of Education is using new grant money to create an Early Education Teaching Credential.

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation awarded the First State $500,000 to develop the credential for educators teaching infants and toddlers. The funds will be used to create a nine-credit online course, and a program manager coaching people in the program.

Kimberly Krzanowski is the Executive Director of the Office of Early Learning. She says this will help support and retain educators who work with children under the age of three.

“There is so much work in development of growth and learning that happens when children are born up until three. This purpose--or this specialized credential--for infants and toddlers will be a great benefit for the state,” said Krzanowski.

She says similar credentials exist, but the state plans for this program to be a part of university coursework.

“Students would complete this certificate—this credential program—they would have nine credits from a nationally accredited, recognized higher education institution, and there would be an agreement that those nine credits would apply to their degree program,” said Krzanowski.

The Office of Early Learning is shopping for a university to partner with to create the course.

The coursework will be developed next year and online classes will begin in the fall.

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