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Arlington, VA -- Child Care Aware® of America (formerly NACCRRA) joins with thread, Alaska’s Child Care Resource and Referral organization, in honoring Senator Mark Begich (D-AK) for his work on behalf of young children during the “Week of the Young Child."  [Read More... ]

April 22nd through 29th marks an annual national celebration around children and families: Week of the Young Child™. This year's week highlights the theme "Early Years Are Learning Years." The Week of the Young Child™ is sponsored by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and focuses attention on the needs of young children and their families.   [Read More... ]

You still have time to apply for the 2012 Permanent Fund Dividend (PFD) before the annual 11:59 p.m. March 31 filing deadline. Your donation can be part of the growing campaign to exceed the $2 million goal for donations to nonprofits through the PFD Charitable Contributions Program Pick. Click. Give.  [Read More... ]

Washington, D.C. -- On Thursday in Washington D.C. Senator Mark Begich (D-Alaska) introduced three new bills supporting those working in the field of early care and education. The new legislation was introduced as a package designed to address access, quality and affordability in early education programs.  "The payoff is clear. Every dollar invested in early education programs today returns 16 dollars in better outcomes for individuals, families and communities," Begich said. "You can't find a better investment and return than this -- and all of us benefit when our kids have the tools they need to succeed."  [Read More... ]

More than 160 premiere events will showcase Best Beginnings' Babies on Track, a 14-minute DVD for parents highlighting early learning and healthy brain development. The DVD and accompanying baby board books provide at-home and convenient ways to interact with your children. 7,500 sets of the DVD and board books will be distributed free throughout Alaska to families with children under 2 years of age.

Babies on Track focuses on brain development that happens in our earliest years, before 3 years old. This is a time when talking, conversation, singing and other language are critical to a baby's healthy development.  [Read More... ]

One way is through improving the quality of child care through the early care and education workforce. “A colleague once said to me, ‘we don’t start building a pipeline at mile 5, we start at 0’,” says Stephanie Berglund, the CEO of thread, Alaska’s Child Care Resource & Referral Network. “The same can be said for our children; we should be investing more starting at birth and earlier in their care and education.”

It is during a child’s youngest years, from birth to 3 years old, when what and how children are learning can shape their future. Increasingly, studies are showing when young children experience positive early care and education at home or in child care, they are more ready for school, have higher wages when they get jobs, are healthier and stay out of jail.  These benefits not only impact individuals, they help reduce the costs we all pay for things like juvenile justice programs and health care.

There is a link between early learning and quality child care because of today’s economy and more working families than fifty years ago.  [Read More... ]

thread staff will join early educators and early childhood professionals from around the state at the 31st Annual Early Childhood Conference this Thursday through Saturday, February 2-4 at the Hilton Anchorage. The conference is hosted each year by the Anchorage Association for the Education of Young Children (AAEYC).

thread is promoting professional development opportunities like special training topics, online training and financial support or mini grants. Look for these opportunities throughout the conference:

  • Community Cafe: What It's Like to be a Center Director? Collaborate and converse with other directors and get a jump on your conference day. thread staff invites directors to the Portage Room at the Hilton Anchorage at 7:00AM, Thursday through Saturday.
  • Alaska SEED Registry: Find out how you can join the SEED Registry and receive a new SEED thumb drive to help keep track of your training and other professional information, right at your finger tips.
  • ChildCare Aware Training Academy: Check out new online classes available and designed specifically for early childhood professionals.
  • thread's Quality Initiatives: Visit the thread booth to find out more about the mini grants, training and onsite consultation available in your community.

Early educators are also invited to join thread and Senator Begich for a Town Hall for early educators on Friday, February 3rd from 5:30pm-7:00pm at the Snow Goose Restaurant in Anchorage.  Senator Begich wants to hear your thoughts and concerns about early care and education in Alaska. Early educators are eligible to receive 1 thread training hour for attending.

In 2011,  thread, Alaska's Child Care Resource and Referral Agency received $2400 in individual donations through the Pick.Click.Give program. thread has seen an increase in Pick.Click.Give donations each year in support of quality early care and education in Alaska. Pick.Click.Give. allows Alaskans to make charitable contributions to one or more of over 400 eligible nonprofit organizations when they file online for the annual dividend.  [Read More... ]

Posted in thread News.    

By Stephanie Berglund, thread CEO (from thread's family newsletter, past Fall/Winter 2011 issue)

My daughter broke her arm this past August while traveling and through every stage of her injury - from the initial emergency and needing help from strangers to navigating care and understanding her recovery needs, I was reminded of the Strengthening Families Protective Factors. Through this reflection, I have felt proud of thread's important work with families and how we, as a community, work together to support families.  [Read More... ]

"Supporting Alaska's children isn't just a feel good message, it is one of the smartest investments we can make as a community," says Stephanie Berglund, thread's CEO."

Investing early on in a child's life makes even better sense. Brain research has repeatedly shown that a majority of our brain, including its size and wiring, is developed by the age of four. However, less than 4 percent of public investments in education or early education are made at that time. The earlier the investment in early education, the higher return on the investment. That means healthier and stronger children, higher graduation rates, better employees, a more competitive workforce and ultimately, our children's success in life.

thread is committed to supporting children and families find quality and affordable child care that fits them. thread also works with early educators to provide training opportunities whether they live in Anchorage or Nome, through distance learning like online classes and self-studies. Throughout Alaska, thread supports communities in having quality early care and education choices.

"Investing in Alaska's children is paving the way for our next generation of leaders," Berglund says.

You can join thread in supporting quality early care and education by:

  • Clicking on thread's "donate" button at the top of our website and give online today!
  • Choosing thread or another favorite charity through Pick.Click.Give. Thank you to the many supporters who pledged almost $2,500 in 2011 to support quality early care and education!
  • Giving through your place of work: Ask your employer if you have a workplace giving program. Your employer might be able to match and double or even triple the size of your gift!
  • Volunteering with thread: We have a variety of volunteer activities that happen throughout the year.

Thank you for your support and happy holidays from thread

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