DCYF – Washington State Department of Children, Youth, and Families
The DCYF website houses a plethora of resources for families, youth, and providers. As a professional you can find childcare providers, child welfare providers, child development support providers, and childcare and early learning professional development. The site also has ideas for improving your practice, forms and publications that will be useful in your school, a strategic and racial equity plan, and diversity inclusion resource.
DCYF is also the location to upload your ongoing professional development to MERIT. Once you have setup your MERIT account, you can upload professional trainings, CPR/First Aid certifications, food handlers’ card, DCYF trainings, and formal education. Keeping this system up to date is helpful in organizing all your professional documents. Furthermore, some education specific degrees will have a literal payout once proven (official transcripts).
Protecting the children in our care is just as important as educating them, they will be unable to learn if their basic needs are not being met. DCYF has safety information on how to report child abuse, findings on child abuse and neglect, tips on preventing child abuse, youth suicide prevention, and safe sleep tips. As a mandatory reporter, DCYF is where you will go to report abuse or neglect.
NAEYC – National Association for the Education of Young Children
NAEYC is an organization that is dedicated to the field of early childhood education. They promote high-quality early childhood education for all children, provide support for families and childcare workers, and advocate for positive changes in the field. NAYEC has a large library of resources including books, blogs, articles, scientific research, position statements, and videos. You can connect with fellow professionals with the NAEYC interest forums and online communities.
The area that I am personally continuously drawn to is their public policy and advocacy section. NAYEC has provided a list of federal and state agendas to review to see where there may be gaps in policy. They advocate for high-quality educators, giving power to our profession, and have a list of federal recommendations. If you become inclined to join their advocacy efforts, you can join them by mobilizing, staying informed, becoming a proactive early learning advocate, and engaging your elected officials; all the information to take this leap is available on their advocacy page.