Delaware Office of Early Learning Website—www.greatstartsdelaware.com—Expands Resources Focused on Increasing Timely Kindergarten Registration

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Wilmington, Delaware, January 14, 2015—The family-focused website providing Delaware families with infants, toddlers and pre-school age children access to a comprehensive collection of resources for early education and learning—www.greatstartsdelaware.com— announced today the addition of two new tabs.

The tabs— Get Ready for Kindergarten and Delaware Readiness Teams—are part of a concerted effort to guide families through the kindergarten registration process and make them aware of the importance of registering children for kindergarten before the school year begins. Each year schools struggle when unregistered children enter kindergarten creating classes that are too large to manage. Schools must quickly find and hire additional teachers and divide the class making it disruptive and not very conducive to giving children a great start.

Get Ready for Kindergarten offers families a step-by-step guide to help them prepare for kindergarten, including a downloadable check list of documents needed to enroll in kindergarten, a list of Delaware school districts and charter schools and activities and tips families can use at home to ensure children are ready for kindergarten.

Brandi Miller, program manager at the Delaware Office of Early Learning explained the addition of kindergarten resources as an important step to meet one of Delaware’s four goals in its implementation plan: Build Connections Between Early Learning and K-12 Schools. “Kindergarten is a major transition for children and families and a crucial part of building a thriving statewide learning system,” said Miller. “We’ve gathered all the information families need to make that transition a bit easier.”

Delaware Readiness Teams provides insight about the grassroots efforts of the Delaware Readiness Teams to build strong connections between communities, schools, early learning programs and families to ensure children are ready to learn. Teams throughout the state are involved in providing information and support to help families understand the importance of early enrollment in kindergarten. In addition, the tab includes a map to locate the state’s 20 Readiness Teams and contact information and an invitation to get involved.

Other resources available on the website include, Early Learning at Home, updated bi-monthly with links to resources families can use to continue brain building at home and a searchable database of Delaware Stars early learning programs (those early learning programs that meet prescribed quality standards, rated from beginning with Stars to 5 Stars, which is the highest level) that lists programs available close to where families live, work or attend school.

In addition, the site delivers practical information to help families identify what to look for to find a the right early learning program for their child(ren), tips on the type of questions to ask when searching for a program and the latest scientific information about how a young child’s brain develops, including arresting videos on the topic and links to the Harvard Center for the Developing Child.

The website is optimized for use on cell phones so families to have access on the go. Families can also find information about early learning on social media sites, Facebook Great Starts Delaware on Facebook and Pinterest http://www.pinterest.com/greatstartsde/.