On August 6 2018, Jill Downs, Technical Assistance Manager with the Maine Roads to Quality Professional Development Network project, partnered with Linda Labas from the University of Maine Center for Community Inclusion and Disability Studies to present on a national webinar sponsored by ZERO TO THREE, the Center for Law and Social Policy, and the Build Initiative.
The webinar focused on the important role that consultants can play in assisting and educating child care programs about best practices, advising about specific challenging circumstances, and increasing the quality of child care for all children. Ms. Downs and Ms. Labas focused on using various types of consultants to support best practices in infant-toddler child care; to assist child care practitioners with the health, mental health, and inclusion issues they encounter; and to deliver professional coaching and leadership development. The webinar featured Maine and Connecticut, the two states that have intentionally established pools of consultants available to child care. Maine and Connecticut presented their approaches to using consultation with infant and toddler practitioners and fielded questions from a national audience. They also encouraged states to consider ways to use increased Child Care & Development Block Grant, (CCDBG) funds to develop, expand, or better coordinate specialists who can assist infant-toddler child care programs in supporting best practices.