Learn & Grow, Alaska’s Quality Recognition & Improvement System (QRIS), launched in 2016, to provide early childhood education (ECE) programs with comprehensive resources and supports to improve their quality of learning and educational opportunities for young children. Learn & Grow programs have access to technical assistance, marketing support, financial awards and more to help them move up five levels of quality. Currently Learn & Grow offers two out of five levels of quality that ECE programs can work to achieve.
More than 140 programs across Alaska are voluntarily enrolled in Learn & Grow (at Level 1 or 2), demonstrating their commitment to provide a higher level of learning and educational opportunities to young children. As ECE programs work to improve their quality level, the Learn & Grow service continues to evolve and improve. The following changes were recently announced to make participation easier:
- All biennial licensed programs are eligible to enroll, including Early Head Start, Head Start and Pre-Elementary programs.
- The quality activities for Level 1 and Level 2 are easier for programs and educators to achieve.
- All Learn & Grow trainings offered by thread are free (except on-site program trainings).
- Level 2 training completed outside of thread may be eligible for reimbursement by Alaska SEED.
Next up for Learn & Grow is to launch of the next levels of quality (Level 3, 4 and 5). Before those quality levels launch, Learn & Grow is considering results from a series of evaluations conducted in late 2019. The goal of the evaluations was to gather input from the field on what improvements can be made to the overall service. In the meantime, ECE programs enrolled in Learn & Grow will continue their efforts to raise the bar on quality by achieving or maintaining their Level 1 or 2 status.
For ECE programs interested in enrolling in Learn & Grow, or for participating programs needing assistance with their Learn & Grow services, please email [email protected].