Child Development training is on the rise in Southeast Alaska, thanks to increased funds for tribal child care assistance from the federal government.
In addition to serving more families and reimbursing closer to the true cost of child care tuition, the funding led to a new partnership with Tlingit
and Haida Central Council, AEYC Southeast, and thread, Alaska’s Child Care Resource and Referral agency.
“We have more than doubled the number of people attending child development sessions in Juneau this year. We are seeing new faces of people that have never
attended training before, and they are so excited to be learning how to support children’s growth and development in the best way possible,” said Lisa
Arehart, Professional Development Coordinator at AEYC and thread.
The partners came together around the question of how to encourage and support adults working with young children to learn more about child development
and increase the quality of care. “By joining efforts to build a stronger workforce, this will also grow the capacity of child care so more parents
can enter the workforce and provide for their families,” commented Alice Bagoyo, Child Care Manager for Tlingit and Haida Central Council.
Why has participation doubled? By working together to remove barriers, get the word out together, and providing a welcoming experience. The trainings
are now held in the larger rooms at the Tlingit and Haida Vocational Technical Resource Center, dinners are provided by Smokehouse Catering, and
child care is available on site. The children are so excited about the program, they are encouraging their parents to attend. Tlingit and Haida
child care assistance is also covering the training registration fees for those that pre-register, thanks to the increased federal funds.
New this year also is an early educator award for individuals that complete a Child Development credential (CDA) or university classes in early childhood.
The $1,800 award is meant to recognize the fact that most early educators participate in professional development on their own time, after long
days with active children. The Tlingit and Haida child care assistance is funding awards throughout Southeast Alaska for program serving children
on tribal child care assistance.