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Fostering the health and well-being of the next generation...

The mission of the Preschool Enrichment Team is to promote the future prosperity of our neighborhoods and communities by supporting the healthy development of young children so they become effective, contributing citizens and leaders.

Research shows that the early years really matter because early experiences play an important role in shaping the fundamental architecture of children's developing brains. When we help children build sturdy foundations, we increase their chances for future growth and success. When early childhood and out of school time educators have the professional education and skills they need to provide high quality environments and experiences, they can promote the healthy development of all children.

The Preschool Enrichment Team supports a skilled early childhood and out of school time workforce by providing training and consultation on core competencies, academic and career advancement support, NAEYC Accreditation and the Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS).

Interested in going to (or back to) college?!

Need a course to meet your individual educational or career plan or to meet EEC certification requirements?
Have a staff person who needs to increase their credentials to move your program forward on QRIS?

EPS WM-Region 1 College courses are FULL for Fall 2014! Look for our application for Spring classes in November.

The Educator and Provider Support grant program at Preschool Enrichment Program and Valley Opportunity Council provides training and college coursework for Educators in Family Childcare, Preschool and Out-of-School-Time programs in Berkshire, Franklin, Hampshire and Hampden counties.
We contract with area colleges, especially community colleges, to subsidize courses especially for ECE and OST educators at times and places that are convenient and affordable! Costs for these courses range from $0 -$100 for the student.
We also offer a limited number of $500 subsidies towards individual seats in regularly scheduled courses at the colleges. These courses must be part of an ECE/OST related degree or certificate and related to an individual’s professional development plan.

For more information contact: Kim S. Audette, Academic and Career Advancement Coordinator for EPS WM( ) 413 612 0206 ext. 159

QRIS Measurement Tools Trainings

QRIS Measurement Tools Trainings

Child Development and Education is pleased to be the vendor for the Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) funded state QRIS Measurement Tools grant. In response to the EEC’s focus on strengthening the system of early education and care in Massachusetts, all programs participating in the Massachusetts Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) are required to use QRIS measurement tools at Levels 2, 3 and 4 as part of their self-assessment process. These QRIS measurement tools are used to effectively measure process, quality indicators and structural quality indicators. Early educators can benefit from support and training on how to use research-based measurement tools to evaluate their program, as well as implement program improvement efforts. On their website you will be able to register for any of the trainings on the tools in your area and you will be provided all materials for each tool at the trainings. In collaboration with your regional Educator and Provider Support (EPS) grantees, they are working together to provide high quality, innovative and diverse professional development to advance the early education and out-of-school time field and improve educational outcomes for children. These trainings are offered in locations throughout the Commonwealth.

For more information contact Elizabeth Reedy at
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Assessment for Responsive Teaching

The Collaborative for Educational Services (CES) is pleased to be the vendor for the EEC-funded state assessment tools grant. This project is titled Assessment for Response Teaching. In addition to serving early childhood programs and providers across the state, we also serve public school kindergarten and preschool teachers.

CES has developed the project’s website, outreach materials, and all processes and forms to ensure a smooth delivery of services across the state. They aim to work closely with EPS grantees and Readiness Centers across the state, and of course with EEC to deliver trainings and support in a way that meets educators’ and programs’ needs. On the project team is Nancy Ward, an experienced teacher, trainer, and early childhood consultant who will serve as the Training Coordinator for the project, and other CES staff who have expertise in technology, design, and planning. You will find more information on our website.

Visit our Website

To learn more about these trainings or to volunteer to host a training at your site, please contact
Cindy Hutcheson at

College is Possible

The Learn at Work/Early Childhood Educator Program of the Labor Management Workplace Education Centerat the University of Massachusetts/Amherst is offering a Free Class that is open to all early educators and OST staff!

The Accuplacer Test is currently the primary measurement by which community colleges determine whether students have the ability to benefit from higher education. It is also the test which indicates if one can be placed into credit bearing courses. This class will focus on Accuplacer test preparation in three areas: reading, writing and mathematics.

Students' writing efforts will focus on revision for clarity of purpose, overall organization, sentence structure, word usage, and mechanics. Working in math, students will be introduced to basic pre-algebra concepts with an emphasis on using various forms of communicating logical reasoning. Reading will be supplemental to the focus on writing, offering opportunities to develop vocabulary and generate writing topics. There will also be opportunities to gain confidence with various genres and formats common in academic settings.

Anyone who has a GED or high school diploma and an interest in college can register for this course. Accuplacer pre and post testing will be done in a comfortable learning environment and will be a clear indicator of where you stand in terms of registering for college classes.

This class will begin in September (2014) and end in December (2014). It will be offered from 7:30-9:00PM on Tuesday and Thursday nights at CareerPoint in Holyoke. We will also offer the same class in January 2015-May 2015 if there is interest.

If you have any questions regarding this class please contact Joe Panzica at 413-774-5111 or


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A Message From the P.E.T. Coordinator:

Dear Colleagues,

The weather is changing and so are many things at Preschool Enrichment Team, a program of Valley Opportunity Council. I have had the pleasure of accepting the position of Program Coordinator at PET. While this is a new position for me, I have been long associated with PET. I have worked with the agency as an accreditation specialist, trainer and consultant. I am excited to be embarking on this new adventure and look forward to working with the early childhood community in this new capacity.

I need to acknowledge the great support I received during this transition from Margery Heyl and Sue Hamlett, the three of us made up the transition team. Sue will continue in her position as Training Specialist and my resource for all questions PET. Margery will be returning to her role as trainer, so watch the newsletter for what she is up to. Their tireless help was invaluable this summer, thank you to you both. I also want to thank Kim Audette, she has shifted her PET focus from OST to Academic and Career Advancement. She has great expertise in this area and has been and will continue to be, a wonderful help. Last but not least, I would like to thank Kate Murphy, Cindy Hutcheson and Marcela Simpson for their continued support to programs in our region. They are a wonderful team and I am glad they are continuing their work with PET.

We are welcoming two new consultants to our team this year. Kathy Coleman will be joining us as the Out of School Time Coach/Mentor and Liz Charland-Tait will be the Coach/Mentor for Hampshire and Franklin Counties. We are very excited and lucky to have both of them.

We have a busy year ahead with many exciting trainings, professional development days, cohorts and a variety of coaching/mentoring opportunities. Check out our Calendar of Professional Development Opportunities Click here for Calendar of Professional Development Opportunities If you don't find what you are looking for there please give us a call at 413-736-3900. We look forward to working with you this year!


Kimm Quinlan

Preschool Enrichment Team, a program of Valley Opportunity Council

EPS Region 1 Program Coordinator

Join Us On

Training Calendar

Educator and Provider Support - EPS of Western Massachusetts
Preschool Enrichment Team - Lead Agency

Calendar of Professional Development Opportunities September 2014 - June 2015
Berkshire, Hampden, Hampshire/Franklin Counties
Click here for Calendar of Professional Development Opportunities

Private Trainings

The PET training department is available to work with individual programs to design and implement customized trainings at your site. We also plan staff professional development days for programs. If you have a particular training need and would like training brought to you directly, please don't hesitate to contact us for more information!

Brain Building In Progress

Brain Building In Progress

When you understand the sequence and process by which brains are built, it's easy to understand why it's wiser to start every child out strong. Trying to change behavior or build new skills on a weak foundation requires more work and is less effective than providing brain building interactions and environments early in life.

A public-private early childhood education communications initiative called, "Brain Building in Progress" developed by the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) and United Way was recently launched. Its purpose is to raise the public's awareness of the importance of early years to the development of young children. Brain Building in Progress will highlight the need to provide the Commonwealth's youngest residents with high quality and enriching experiences to ensure healthy brain development. For more information please click on the link where you will find resources for parents, teachers, community leaders, and the business community.

Department of Early Education & Care (EEC)
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Preschool Enrichment Team, 35 Mt. Carmel Avenue, Chicopee, MA 01013
Ph: 413-736-3900 or 413-612-0206 • Fax: 413-612-0210 • Toll Free: 1-877-478-7727