Connections 4 Kids trains providers

Joni Goodwin of Aspen (left) leads Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale training participants through an assessment of a classroom at the Meeker Preschool on Nov. 19. Connections 4 Kids early childhood council hosted the training to teach early childhood professionals how to use the scale to assess their classrooms. Trained participants will soon be eligible to apply for mini-grants to obtain some materials identified as needs through the self-assessment.

Joni Goodwin of Aspen (left) leads Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale training participants through an assessment of a classroom at the Meeker Preschool on Nov. 19. Connections 4 Kids early childhood council hosted the training to teach early childhood professionals how to use the scale to assess their classrooms. Trained participants will soon be eligible to apply for mini-grants to obtain some materials identified as needs through the self-assessment.
MEEKER I Connections 4 Kids, the early childhood council serving Moffat and Rio Blanco counties, recently trained early childhood providers in a self-assessment tool through two Environment Rating Scale training events.
Connections 4 Kids and trainer Joni Goodwin of Aspen hosted seven participants at a Family Child Care Environment Rating Scale training on Nov. 17 in Craig and 18 participants at an Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale training on Nov. 19 in Meeker.
The Environment Rating Scale trainings are opportunities offered by Connections 4 Kids through funding from the Temple Hoyne Buell Foundation. Early childhood providers who are employed at a licensed child care facility or licensed preschool or are a licensed family child care provider in Moffat County or Rio Blanco County were invited to attend to learn to use the scale to assess the environments provided to children and for continuing education credits.
The scales are designed so early childhood providers can assess the quality of early childhood programs in a variety of domains. Early childhood professionals can use the scale to determine the needs in their programs and identify ways to enhance environments for children.
“The Connections 4 Kids council believes that assisting early childhood professionals in improving the quality of their programs and homes supports them in their important work and assures the best environments possible for our communities’ youngest members,” Connections 4 Kids coordinator Michelle Balleck said. “We are thrilled by the turnout at these trainings and the feedback we’ve received.”
Providers who have been trained will soon be able to apply for mini-grants to equip their classrooms with identified needed materials to improve environments for the children in their care. Last year, Connections 4 Kids awarded more than $6,500 in classroom grants to Moffat and Rio Blanco County centers to obtain materials including, but not limited to, furniture, rugs, puzzles, balls, sand toys and cultural music and toys to enhance the educational atmosphere for children.
For more information about Connections 4 Kids or the Environment Rating Scale trainings, call Michelle Balleck at 824-8282, ext. 47, or email her at mballeck@moffatcounty.net.

About Connections 4 Kids:
Connections 4 Kids is the early childhood council that serves Moffat and Rio Blanco counties. Our mission is to strengthen resources and services for children birth to age 8 and their families primarily in four areas of focus: health; early learning; social, emotional and mental health; and family support and parent education.