Preparing for Bright & Early ND

New to Bright & Early ND?
Child Care Aware® of North Dakota partners with Bright & Early ND, to provide coaching and support to child care programs and preschools working toward quality rating and school readiness. Child Care Aware® coaches work with early childhood teachers and care providers to implement strategies that improve and confirm the quality of their program to parents and communities.

What can coaching do for you?

The goal of quality coaching is to improve the quality of early learning programs, increase the knowledge, skills and abilities of teachers and caregivers, and improve outcomes for children. Child Care Aware® of North Dakota works toward this goal by offering competency-based expertise, supporting professional growth, and promoting change based on best practices in the field. We’re dedicated to supporting ALL educational experiences. Whether you are new or experienced, working with providers in homes or centers, living in a city or rural North Dakota, we want to work with you.

What is Quality Coaching?

Quality Coaching is an agreement between a program and a Child Care Aware coach that offers intense, in-depth coaching onsite or offsite via phone, video or email. Coaches set up regular meetings with your program to help you understand and prepare for observations, advance professional development goals and complete the general paperwork requirements of Bright & Early ND.

The objective of this coaching choice is to have your program apply for quality rating for the next step of Bright & Early at the end of the coaching agreement.


  • What Coaching Option is Right for You?
  • Building Quality

    This option is available to Bright & Early ND Step 1 programs to build their readiness for success in continued quality improvement. The objective of Building Quality is to have programs apply for Bright & Early Step 2 at the end of the 9-month cohort.

    Building Quality will help programs explore their program more systematically using tools such as a self-assessment. The coach will offer assistance to prioritize identified goals, develop action steps, and assess if they have met the desired goals to improve the quality of their program. Building Quality provides coaching to programs for 9 months.
    Apply for the Building Quality Coaching Option

  • Step 2 Cohort

    Programs can enter as a Step 2 cohort without persuing Building Quality support if they feel ready for that journey! Pursuit of Step 2 also gives you access to a personal coach from Child Care Aware over 9 months through the creation of goals that helps programs meet the Step 2 Quality Standards listed below:
    • Demonstrate how your program serves nutritious food to children. Choose 1 of 4 options that best fits your program.
    • Demonstrate how you use your space & materials to support play and learning experiences through an Environment Rating Scale® (ERS®) observation. The Environment Rating Scale® is a reliable, valid, research-based observational tool, which is designed to assess the quality of the environment. A Bright & Early ND Assessor completes an ERS® observation and programs must earn an average score of 4.0 or greater on each tool used.
    • Meet Professional Development Quality Standards
    • Plus, the Health and Safety Quality Standards in Step 1
    Apply to become a Bright & Early ND Step 2 cohort

  • Winning Ways

    During this 9-month Winning Ways program, you and your staff will learn fascinating facts about working with infants, toddler and twos, plus be reminded of how important your job as an early childhood professional really is.
    Programs must be Step 1 or Step 2 partners with Bright and Early North Dakota to apply.

    Complete THIS FORM and a Child Care Aware coach will connect with you to help you find the level of support that best fits your needs.


Partner Benefits and Resources

  • Grants & Scholarships
  • Material and Equipment Grants are available to programs receiving coaching in pursuit of Step 2 of Bright & Early ND. There must be proof of a demonstrated need to receive a grant. Grant amounts requested may range from $400-$1200, dependent on license type and proof of demonstrated need.
    GRANT REQUIRMENTS
    - Complete Application
    - Completed QIP, verified by a coach and submitted with application, that will be used to show demonstrated need.
    - Be an active Bright & Early ND Step 2 cohort
    - Working with a Child Care Aware of North Dakota coach

  • Strengthen your skills and advance your profession when you earn your CDA. Qualifying applicants will receive a $425 scholarship, which covers the cost of the CDA application fee.
    Applicants must meet the following requirements:
    • Complete an ONLINE APPLICATION
    • Be a North Dakota resident
    • Employed in a program actively participating in a Bright & Early Step 2,3, or 4 cohort
    • Career Pathways placement at Category A or higher
    • 100 hours of Career Pathways training completed
    • Professional Development Plan for remaining 20 hours of Career Pathways training
    • Quality Improvement Plan (QIP)

  • Aim4Excellence is an online national director credential for early childhood administrators. This credential focuses on the essential knowledge and skills you need to deliver high-quality programming for children.
    This scholarship is valued at $945, which covers 60% of the cost for each module. The candidate is responsible for 40% of the cost of each module, a total of $630.
    Applicants must meet the following requirements:
    • Complete an ONLINE APPLICATION
    • Be a North Dakota resident
    • Work in an early care and education leadership role
    • Employed in a program actively participating in a Bright & Early ND Step 2, 3, or 4 cohort
    • Have a Career Pathways placement at Category A or higher
    • Must commit to complete all nine modules in 12-18 months
    • Agree to work with a CQI coach and/or qualified peer mentor to discuss goals and implement program improvements

  • > Reduced Rates for Professional Development

    Participating programs will receive reduced registration for required Bright & Early ND Professional Development. Contact your Child Care Aware of North Dakota coach for more information.

  • Step 3: Evaluate Children's Outcomes
  • Teaching Strategies Gold
    Teaching Strategies Gold

    Grounded in 38 research-based objectives for development and learning, GOLD® supports effective teaching and assessment, while providing you with more time to spend with the children in your program. Accessed through MyTeachingStrategies™, GOLD® automatically links teaching and assessment, making it easier to connect the dots across the most important aspects of high-quality early childhood education.

  • Step 4: Evaluate Interactions
  • The interactions teachers have with children impact learning, development—even lifelong achievement. CLASS is the observation tool developed to assess these interactions: from infant care through 12th grade. To learn more connect with your Child Care Aware of North Dakota coach or visit http://teachstone.com/

  • CLASS - Infant
    CLASS - Infant

    Designed for classrooms where children range in age from birth through 18 months, the Infant CLASS measure is organized under one domain that captures the key interactions between caregivers and infants that predict children's learning and development: Responsive Caregiving.

  • CLASS- Toddler
    CLASS- Toddler

    Designed for classrooms where children range in age from 15 months through 36 months, the Toddler CLASS measure is organized under two domains that capture the key interactions between caregivers and toddlers that predict children's learning and development: Emotional and Behavioral Support and Engaged Support for Learning.

  • CLASS-PreK
    CLASS-PreK

    Designed for classrooms where children range in age from 3 to 5 years old, the Pre-K CLASS measure is organized under three domains that capture the key interactions between caregivers and preschool age children that predict children's learning and development: Emotional Support, Classroom Organization, and Instructional Support.

  • Professional Development Opportunities
  • During this 9-month Winning Ways program, you and your staff will learn fascinating facts about working with infants, toddler and twos, plus be reminded of how important your job as an early childhood professional really is. Must be a Step 1 or Step 2 Bright & Early ND partner to apply.


Learn more about Bright & Early North Dakota