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thread and ACT: Strengthening Relationships in Early Education

By Stephanie Berglund, CEO thread

At the core of quality child care is a trusting, respectful relationship between the early childhood educator, child and family.

Over the past decade, thread has expanded the Strengthening Families and Pyramid Model trainings to help early educators across the state build stronger family and child relationships. By focusing on five universal protective factors, the Strengthening Families training introduces early educators to strategies to engage, support and partner with parents in order to achieve the best outcomes for children. Pyramid Model trainings help develop and promote social and emotional well-being of young children in classroom and community environments.

thread is grateful for our partnership with the Alaska Children’s Trust (ACT), which shares our vision to build resilience in our children, families and communities. By implementing the Strengthening Families Five Protective Factors, we help build the resilience communities need to create a safe and nurturing environment for Alaska’s children.

The result of our partnership is far-reaching; with Alaska Children’s Trust support, thread trained nearly 300 early educators on the Strengthening Families and Pyramid Model frameworks last year. thread is already seeing the impact of these training’s and how it is positively affecting the quality of early childhood care and learning.

Educators continue to report they learn many new strategies and are able to use the tools in real world experiences, like hosting parent engagement activities or providing more resources to help families in need.

“I learned more about the importance of family involvement in my program and we are now trying to improve those relationships,” said one early educator.

Occasionally, real world situations make their way into the training. Earlier this year, one early educator was experiencing a difficult personal family situation. When she shared the specifics with her class, her classmates began to apply what they learned from the first session, “Concrete Supports in Times of Need and Knowledge of Parenting and Child Development.” Throughout the course, they supported her by making her brownies, attending to her concerns and connecting her to helpful resources. Guided by the protective factors, she got the support she needed and her peers had firsthand experience applying them and seeing the results.

We are happy to continue our partnership with Alaska Children’s Trust, which allows thread to provide more opportunities for Alaska’s early educators to increase their knowledge and skills.

With expanded training opportunities and a focus on quality, our hope is that Alaska’s early educators build stronger connections with their families, develop community-wide relationships, and promote healthy development of children. Visit thread’s website to learn more about professional development services, as well as find a list of upcoming training’s provided to Alaska’s early educators


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