- Cama-i, quyana tailuci!
- (Central Yup’ik)
- "Greetings, thank you for coming!"
DEED provides support to the early learning community that serves children ages 3-5 years of age. DEED does this through hosting the pre-elementary approval to operate system, the Alaska Developmental Profile assessment for children entering kindergarten, AK CLIMBS assessments, and through administering grants to pre-elementary programs in public schools and non-profit partners.
As defined by Alaska Department of Education & Early Development Regulations, pre-elementary schools are primarily designed to prepare children, 3-5 years of age, for elementary school; regularly serves a group of five or more children; and is operated by a school district or a Head Start agency as defined in 42 U.S.C. 9852c.
Pre-Elementary School Requirements
Programs that meet the abovementioned description must:
- Complete an initial or renewal application for approval to operate at Pre-Elementary Approval to Operate application [4 AAC 60.036]
- Implement the Early Learning Guidelines and conduct appropriate assessments for each child on all domains [4 AAC 60.170(a)]
- Submit an end-of-the-year report to DEED annually by June 30 at Pre-Elementary Approval to Operate End-of-Year Report [4 AAC 60.170(b)]
School district pre-elementary programs must also assure that:
- All teachers employed by the school district hold valid teacher certificates [4 AAC 12.300]
- All para-professionals employed by the school district meet the requirements outlined in 4 AAC 04.220
For more information about Pre-Elementary Approval to Operate, please contact Kristen Spencer at (907) 465-4862.
Pre-Elementary School District Grants
Alaska Pre-Elementary Grants promote school readiness and positive outcomes for participating children. Information is gathered from funded programs to inform the longer-term implementation of accessible, affordable, mixed delivery, and high-quality early care and education. Alaska Pre-Elementary Grants are awarded to Alaska’s school districts. The following school districts were awarded funds for the 2020-2021 School Year:
- Alaska Gateway
- Aleutians East Borough
- Bristol Bay Borough
- Chatham Schools
- Chugach Schools
- Fairbanks North Star Borough
- Juneau Borough
- Kake City
- Kenai Peninsula Borough
- Kodiak Island Borough
- Lower Kuskokwim
- Sitka Borough
- Southeast Island
- Southwest Region
For questions about school district pre-elementary grants, please contact Kristen Spencer at (907) 465-4862.
Alaska Early Childhood Coordinating Council
The Alaska Early Childhood Coordinating Council (AECCC) promotes positive development, improved health outcomes, and school readiness for children prenatal through age eight. The AECCC is co-chaired by the commissioners of the Department of Health and Social Services and the Department of Education and Early Development and members include early childhood state staff, non-profit staff, trbial staff, parents, and early childhood educators. The council meets quarterly.
Early Learning Assessments
DEED provides an online observation-based assessment tool to all public Alaskan Pre-Elementary Programs. The assessment is in alignment with Alaska’s Early Learning Guidelines. The assessment data informs programs about each child’s growth as well as provides information about classroom, site, and program efficacy. The state uses the data to document success of pre-elementary programs and informs statewide systems and services.
Alaska Developmental Profile (ADP)
The ADP is Alaska’s Kindergarten Entrance Assessment. It is an observation-based assessment tool used to identify, record, and summarize the skills and behaviors students demonstrate at the beginning of their kindergarten year. DEED releases an annual report with this information.
For more information about Early Learning Assessments, please contact Kristen Spencer at (907) 465-4862.
Early Childhood Programs
There are 15 Head Start Programs serving 3-5 year old children in the classroom setting in Alaska. DEED provides funding to those programs through an equitable funding formula.
DEED also houses the Alaska Head Start Collaboration Office. The Head Start Collaboration Office facilitates partnerships between Head Start agencies and state entities who provide services to children from low-income families.
For more information about Alaska's Head Start programs, please click the link or contact Supanika Ackerman at (907) 465-8707.
Parents as Teachers (PAT)
DEED collaborates with the Department of Health & Social Services Maternal Infant Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Division to fund the Parents as Teachers program. This program provides support for early learners (birth to 5) by empowering their caregivers through personal and group visits. The following are the recipients of grants for the 2020-2021 school year:
For more information about PAT, please contact Rebekah Morisse at (907) 334-2424.
Early Childhood Resources
♦ All Alaska Pediatric Partnership (A2P2)
♦ Anchorage Association for the Education of Young Children (A-AEYC)
♦ Northern Interior Alaska Association for the Education of Young Children (NIA-AEYC)
♦ Southeast Alaska Association for the Education of Young Children (SEA-AEYC)