The Center for Effective School Practices has been awarded a grant from the New Jersey Department of Education to design and implement the New Jersey Early Learning Training Academy (NJ-ELTA), a crucial project within New Jersey’s Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge. NJ-ELTA is the professional development component of the Grow NJ Kids Quality Rating Improvement System, a multi faceted effort to improve preschool performance across the state. The program will impact 83,000 infants and children at 1,788 preschool settings.
Using a “train-the-trainer” model, NJ-ELTA staff will deliver training modules to a team of master preschool educators, who will then deliver the modules to their local peers. The modules will be based on the key skill set areas identified by Grow NJ Kids as essential for early childhood workers: Health and Safety, Curriculum and Learning Environment, Family and Community Engagement, Workforce Development, and Administration and Management. By training New Jersey’s preschool workforce in these areas, NJ-ELTA will ensure preschool students throughout the state are in the care of highly qualified and competent professionals who are able to provide instruction that will support child development while expertly juggling the many challenges that arise in a preschool setting.
CESP will work with two regional partners to manage the delivery of training: Passaic County Community College in northern New Jersey and Atlantic Cape Community College in southern New Jersey. CESP will deliver training for the central region of New Jersey in addition to acting as the primary agency for the overarching statewide program.
CESP is in the beginning stages of NJ-ELTA implementation and is currently working with the Department of Education to finalize a plan of action for the coming years.