|Illinois 0 - 3 Standards|
|Outreach email consultants|
The Family Enrichment Program believes that learning is a life long process. It is also believed that learning and professional growth can come from a variety of experiences. To that end, the Family Enrichment Program's staff development component has many different ways in which all staff can learn and grow in their knowledge of child development, improve their skills in working with families, and enhance their own professional identity. The Family Enrichment Program staff played an integral part in developing the Illinois State Board of Education Standards for Birth to Three Programs and believes that a strong staff development program is essential to developing a quality program which meets those standards.
The staff development activities are facilitated by the Program Coordinator, but are dependent upon all members of the Family Enrichment Program sharing the individual personal and professional gifts that they bring to the program. Activities include individual professional development plans generated at the beginning of each year and reviewed at the end of each year. A list of peer mentoring situations is compiled and staff members make formal commitment to learning from and teaching each other. Child development classes are offered to provide additional support to the program's child care staff. A Family Support Team comprised of a bilingual community advocate, nurse, social worker, occupational therapist, speech/language pathologist, and father facilitator meets periodically with professional staff to review class lists and generally provide support. Monthly staff meetings include learning moments, which serve as springboards for discussion and program enhancement. An updated professional library, including audio and video materials is maintained for staff. In addition, reflective supervision is provided throughout the year.
Opportunities for staff development beyond the program are also encouraged. Staff receives notification of conference and workshop opportunities and is provided release throughout the year to participate in this form of continuing education. Staff members are encouraged to go back to school to receive the training needed to support their movement up the program's career ladder. In addition, staff members are encouraged to participate in various local and state related activities, often as presenters. The program staff welcome visitors and are regularly involved in serving as mentors beyond the bounds of our own program. Outreach to other programs serving birth to three populations, including the materials developed and shared on this website, is encouraged and supported as part of our commitment to making the world a better place for all young children and their families.