Since the inception of the Devereux Early Childhood Initiative (DECI) in 1996, the DECI team has stayed focused on achieving our vision and our mission:
The vision of the Devereux Early Childhood Initiative can change the way this nation prioritizes early childhood social and emotional health.
The mission of the DECI is to promote young children’s social and emotional development, foster resilience, and build the skills for success in school and life.
From the outset, the early childhood field has shown tremendous interest in the resources and training delivered by the DECI team. The need in the field for strength-based assessment and planning resources focused on children’s social and emotional well-being has been, and remains, very high. Over the past ten years, the DECI has trained tens of thousands of professionals on how to effectively promote children’s resilience, and early childhood programs in all 50 states are using the Devereux Early Childhood Assessment (DECA) Program resources to improve the quality of their care of children.
It is clear that the interest and demand for DECI services across the country requires our strategic growth. In order to position the initiative for continued growth, the DECI team is exploring the development of Regional Training and Mentoring Centers (RTMCs). Through the creation of strategically located RTMCs, the DECI hopes to provide communities with more cost effective access to certified training, technical assistance, research, and collaboration building.
The rationale for RTMCs are not limited to, but include the following:
1. Training & Technical Assistance Cost Savings
Regionalizing training capacity significantly reduces trainer/trainee travel costs, making the training more feasible for more programs. In addition, the development of RTMCs would make possible additional services that are hard to provide from a centralized location. Successful implementation of the DECA Program means moving teachers through a continuum of knowledge acquisition, skill acquisition, skill application and results demonstration. While providing implementation training instills a certain level of knowledge and skill development, ongoing motivation and information from a skilled mentor is tremendously helpful for successful implementation.
2. Research Partnerships
The DECI team has worked very hard to prioritize the importance of research and recognizes that quality research and outcome data are critical to our success. As such, RTMCs would be expected to develop relationships with research entities in their community to enhance opportunities for DECI research.
3. Increased Education & Advocacy
With the creation of RTMCs, conference presentations could be delivered at a larger number of local and regional early childhood venues. Presentations at local and state conferences that are now prohibited by time and funding constraints would be delivered by the staff at the RTMC. In addition, the RTMC could be available to answer questions from potential users, sharing lessons learned, successes, challenges and helping to educate program staff about how effective use of the DECI resources can improve the overall quality of their program and the resilience of the children in their care.
4. Resource Development
The DECI team is committed to the development of new resources that support promoting children’s resilience. Through their work in the field, RTMC staff are well positioned to recognize the needs of staff and families and help inform the development of enhancement resources. The RTMC would work in collaboration with the DECI team to prioritize the development of new resources as well as contribute to the development process as appropriate.
The purpose of creating RTMCs is to further promote the vision and mission of the DECI. DECI invites organizations interested in pursuing RTC status to contact us for more information and to schedule an initial conversation. For more information, please contact us.