Early Learning Florida is a first-of-it-kind, statewide professional learning system that offers online, interactive courses to assist teachers of our youngest children in earning credentials and certifications. To reach dual-language practitioners, courses are available in both English and Spanish. Additional custom-built resources and supports, including targeted strategies and an online coaching certification, are being developed.
“Early Learning Florida’s courses introduced me to incredibly useful information and strategies I could immediately implement into my daily work,” Weaver said. “Because the courses are offered online, I was able to continue with my everyday routine while learning at my convenience.”
Pemberton says Early Learning Florida is emerging as a national prototype for professional development that helps early learning educators to elevate their teaching, careers and learning communities.
The system is currently utilized by all Florida counties and, due to its success, has recently expanded to Georgia, Louisiana, Arizona, California, Kentucky and Texas. In only two years, Early Learning Florida has delivered over 100,000 hours of training to approximately 20,000 early childhood educators.
Through its partnership with the Yale University Child Study Center, Early Learning Florida is evaluated on a yearly basis. Researchers say the system so far has led to a 52 percent increase in adult-child interactions; program quality has increased by over half in centers with teachers using the system; and pre- and post-test course assessments revealed a 43 percent increase in teacher knowledge.
“The consistent growth of Early Learning Florida is allowing thousands of practitioners–like Susan Weaver—to learn at their own pace,” Pemberton says, “so they can provide the highest quality education and care to children.”