Frequently Asked Questions
Joining Learn & Grow is easy! Below are the most commonly asked questions when getting started.
NEW! What is a Learn & Grow cohort and how do I enroll?
In 2021-22, Learn & Grow explored a new cohort model and it was very successful for programs in their Learn & Grow level advancements. The cohort model is being rolled out to all programs in Fall 2022.
The Learn & Grow Cohort model improves program support by offering a more engaging and dynamic way to advance program quality. The cohort model gives early childhood administrators a way to connect and collaborate with other early childhood professionals while getting the information and direct support needed to achieve the next quality level. When a cohort is complete, participating programs continue to receive direct support from a thread Specialist to complete the quality activities required for next level verification. In addition to peer-to-peer learning, other benefits include classroom and administrative technical assistance and coaching, training hours for program administrators, access to threadTools, and more.
Learn & Grow runs four working on Level 1 cohorts per year for newly enrolling programs.
- August 9th & 10th from 6:30-8pm
- October 24th & 25th from 1-2:30pm
- January 23rd & 24th from 6:30-8pm
- April 3rd & 4th from 1-2:30pm
To enroll in a cohort or for questions about cohorts, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. A thread Specialist will respond to confirm enrollment.
Already participating programs will be invited to join a cohort, when available, by a thread specialist.
NEW! Do I have to enroll in a cohort to participate in Learn & Grow?
New to Learn & Grow?
Yes, starting in Fall 2022, all newly enrolled programs begin their Learn & Grow journey in a cohort and do not have the option to work independently outside of the Learn & Grow cohort model.
Already participating in Learn & Grow?
No, program administrators have the option to continue working independently in 2022-23. Those who choose to work independently outside of the cohort model will receive a limited level of support from thread Specialists.
These supports include:
- Administrative support for annual renewals
- Administrative support for next level verification
- Limited classroom support may be available if requested
- Access to thread services (training, coaching, thread Tools, etc.)
Where can I learn more about the entire framework?
In April 2020, Learn & Grow announced the completion of the Level 1-5 framework. The completed framework includes fixed quality activities associated with Levels 1-5, a points menu for Levels 3-5 activities, thread Tools resources, and other supports to assist childhood education (ECE) program’s planning and advancement in quality. Watch this short video to learn more about Learn & Grow’s Level 1-5 framework and supports.
What supports and resources are available to my ECE program once we join Learn & Grow?
To help your ECE program progress in Learn & Grow, the following resources and supports are available:
- Cohorts for Program Administrators for peer-to-peer learning
- Technical assistance and coaching from thread
- thread Tools – an online library of templates and information for program management
- Financial and marketing supports
A new online portal for programs to access Learn & Grow information and manage participation is scheduled to roll out in 2022-23.
Is there a cost to sign up for Learn & Grow?
No, there is no cost to sign up for Learn & Grow. Programs voluntarily choose to participate.
Is there a fee for the training?
thread offers Learn & Grow training. There is no cost for programs for Level 2, 3, or 4 trainings offered by thread. Other online training or university courses may have fees associated with them. These professional development trainings may be reimbursed by Alaska SEED.
Do Learn & Grow trainings count for licensing training?
Yes, Learn & Grow trainings are Alaska SEED approved and meet Alaska SEED Training Approval system requirements.
What happens if my program changes locations? What will happen to my Learn & Grow Recognition Level?
If an ECE program moves location and doesn’t change program type (e.g. home to group home, or group home to center), the program’s Learn & Grow Recognition is still valid at the new licensed location of their program.
What are Quality Domain areas?
There are four Learn & Grow quality domain areas within each of the five (5) levels of Learn & Grow. There are specific requirements related to quality in each. Click here to find out more about each Quality Domain.
Is there a time limit to achieving Level 1 recognition?
Programs have 120 business days to complete and become a verified Level 1 program.
Can my program skip a level and go straight to a higher level of quality?
No, ECE programs must first achieve the previous level requirements before they can enroll in the next level.
How long will it take to complete Level 2?
Each ECE program is different. Learn & Grow supports are designed to meet the individual needs of each ECE program. ECE programs set their own pace and identify what is feasible and achievable for their program to complete.
My program accepts Child Care Assistance and Alaska Child Care Grants (CCG). Are we required to participate in Learn & Grow?
No, ECE programs that accept State, or Tribal Child Care Assistance, or receive funding from the Alaska Child Care Grant (CCG), are not required to participate in Learn & Grow.
Will my program’s Learn & Grow recognition level be shared publicly?
Yes, Learn & Grow programs are posted here on the Learn & Grow website and in thread’s online child care search tool for parents. Learn & Grow programs are identified to help parents in their selection of a quality program.
How often will my program have to renew its recognition level?
Level 1 and Level 2 are renewed annually. Level 3-5 are renewed every other year.
Are there required trainings?
- Level 1: There is one required training for leadership team members and lead teachers: Learn & Grow 101.
- Level 2: There are six required trainings for leadership and lead teachers: Strengthening Families, Pyramid Foundations, Introduction to Alaska Early Childhood Core Knowledge and Competencies, Alaska Early Learning Guidelines, and Introduction to ERS or CLASS training. Administrators must also complete the Alaska Early Childhood Administrator Credential (Level 2 trainings + training in fiscal and human resource management).
- Level 3: There are eight training topics for leadership team members and lead teachers.
- Level 4: There are five training topics. See the Quality Activities for more details.
What is the Moving Into Higher Quality Training?
The Moving into Higher Quality Training is the training associated with Level 2 for lead teachers and leadership team. This training includes: Strengthening Families, Pyramid Foundations, Introduction to Alaska Early Childhood Core Knowledge and Competencies, Alaska Early Learning Guidelines, and Introduction to ERS or CLASS training.
Who qualifies as a lead teacher?
Staff identified by a program as the primary caregiver in each classroom is equivalent to the lead teacher. This may or may not be a program’s Child Development Leader (CDL) or Child Care Administrator (CCA).
Who is involved in a leadership team?
Programs can identify who their leadership team members are. Those involved in making decisions about your program are most likely leadership team members. At minimum, the program administrator is a member of the leadership team.
Will Learn & Grow training need to be repeated with each renewal?
No. Once an individual completes the required training associated with the level their program is working on, they have satisfied the training requirement of the specific level.
If I have completed any or all of the trainings in Levels 2-4 in the past, do I have to retake them for Learn & Grow?
No. If you have completed any of the Level 2, 3, or 4 trainings in the past, prior to enrolling in Learn & Grow, you do not need to repeat them.
What is Alaska SEED?
The Alaska System for Early Education Development, or Alaska SEED, is the state’s early childhood professional development system. Housed and managed by thread, Alaska SEED is a collaborative of Head Start, the Tribal Childcare Association, State of Alaska Departments of Education and Early Development, Health and Social Services, and Labor, thread, and other nonprofit agencies in the state.
How do Alaska SEED and Learn & Grow work together?
- Alaska SEED identifies and supports professional development for individuals working in the early childhood education field. Learn & Grow identifies and supports quality activities for early childhood education programs. Staff Qualifications & Professional Development is one of the four Learn & Grow Quality Standard areas.
- Both Alaska SEED and Learn & Grow are housed and managed at thread, Alaska’s Child Care Resource and Referral Network.
See the Learn & Grow Policies and Procedures for more detailed information related to how to achieve and document Level 1-5 quality activities.