Alaska System of Early Education and Development (SEED)
The Alaska System for Early Education Development (Alaska SEED) is a system of professional development for Alaska's field of Early Care and Education.
SEED was created in 2001, funded with federal grant dollars, to help Alaska meet the professional development standards for Head Start. Though federal funding ended in 2007, SEED continues its work with funding from thread, Alaska’s Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) Network.
SEED is based at thread, and is a collaborative of Head Start, the Tribal Childcare Association, State of Alaska Departments of Education and Early Development, Health and Social Services, Labor, thread, and other nonprofit agencies in Alaska. SEED integrates and recognizes the needs of a diverse workforce, which includes early care and learning providers, certified teachers, early interventionists, administrators, and others working in related positions that support the development of young children.
SEED’s mission is to advocate for the best interests of Alaska’s young children and support coordination of comprehensive services for them, with an emphasis on professional development for teachers and caregivers of young children through age eight.
A part of Alaska SEED is the SEED Registry, a database supporting early childhood professionals. This dynamic database tracks educational and professional development milestones of early educators on an individual basis. The data remains confidential and is used for reporting purposes. It provides the vital link between various aspects of the Professional Development System within Alaska. In order to be successful, as well as capture current trends in Alaska, thread is working to grow SEED. Thread is a statewide network of professionals who work individually with families and early educators to ensure that they are knowledgeable and supported in guiding children to lifelong success. Annually, with staff in 13 locations and services in 58 Alaskan communities, thread trains over 2,500 early educators and offers onsite assistance and consultation to almost 200 early care and education programs throughout the state. The name “thread” was chosen to signify the common thread that ties together a network of support to families, early educators and communities throughout Alaska.
Thread encourages early educators, teachers, administrators and others working in the field of early childhood to join the Alaska SEED Registry.
SEED identifies three main purposes for the registry:
- Provide critical information to legislators and policy makers.
- Drive quality and accountability for early care and learning practitioners and programs.
- Bring increased recognition, professionalism and compensation to the early childhood field.
Alaska SEED also offers three ways early childhood professionals can receive reimbursement for the cost of professional development activities:
- Professional Development Reimbursement (PDR): provides early childhood and school-age professionals residing in Alaska with funding of up to $1,500 per fiscal year (July 1—June 30) for higher education and/or training.
- CDA Application/Renewal Award: provides early childhood professionals who reside in Alaska with funding of up to $500 for one Child Development Associate (CDA) application or renewal fee per person, per State fiscal year (July 1—June 30), pre-paid directly to the Council for Professional Recognition or as a reimbursement to the applicant.
- Travel Reimbursement (TR): must be pre-approved by SEED and reimburses travel costs for individuals operating or working in licensed child care programs in Alaska with up to $1,000 per State fiscal year (July 1—June 30) for travel expenses for higher education/training directly related to early childhood and/or school-age education (birth–age 12), health and safety, facility administration or topics directly related to working with young children.
Learn more about the Alaska SEED Registry at www.seedalaska.org.
Reviewed March 2019.
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