The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) Division of Early Childhood (DEC) has partnered with WIDA Early Years to offer a series of professional learning opportunities and resources designed for ECE practitioners, coaches and leaders throughout the state. WIDA Early Years is an evidence-based program focused specifically on the language development of young multilingual children, often referred to as dual language learners, in early care and education (ECE) settings. Nationally, multilingual children are among the fastest growing populations of children ages birth to eight. We are currently seeking highly qualified candidates to participate in the 2019 WIDA Early Years Professional Learning Cohort.

This long-term professional learning opportunity will help our state build local capacity around the WIDA Early Years tools and resources. WIDA Early Years provides resources designed to support multilingual children and families. The first WIDA Early Years Professional Learning Cohort program will run from July 31, 2019 to September 11, 2019.

Given your experience and expertise in the early care and education field, we need your help identifying exceptional candidates for this opportunity. We are seeking up to 30 participants for this program. Below you will find a program description and mandatory training dates.

The ideal participants will have a strong commitment to working in the early care and education (ECE) field, and improving their skills in serving multilingual children and families. Interested participants are asked to complete an application form found at http://tinyurl.com/b5-MSDE. If selected, participants will be notified on or before June 24, 2019. Applicants will be strategically selected to equitably represent our statewide early care and learning needs, as well as geographical and organizational diversity.

Participants in the 2019 WIDA Early Years Professional Learning Cohort will be expected to participate in an on-going community of practice within MSDE focused on supporting dual-language learners. Participants will reflect on how the WIDA early years resources have impacted their practice by participating in up to two webinars and completing an on-line survey within 3 to 6 months after completing this training opportunity.

Please note, participants who complete this 30-hour, five-day training workshop will be eligible to participate in the WIDA Early Years TOT Professional Cohort in 2020. This TOT workshop opportunity will offer an additional 40-hours of webinars and workshop events.

Please share this WIDA Early Years Professional Learning Cohort opportunity with your team. If you have any questions about this opportunity, please contact us at b5.msde@maryland.gov.

To learn more about WIDA Early Years tools and resources, visit wida.wisc.edu/EarlyYears.