General Questions

SPARK Learning Lab is the new statewide technical assistance (TA) provider for Indiana early childhood education programs. SPARK Learning Lab will provide support using a unique blend of our sophisticated, self-guided assessment tool and tiered-level coaching resources based on the needs and services for each individual child care or early childhood education program.

We chose the word SPARK as an acronym that encompasses our goals: Self Performance Assessment, Resources and Knowledge.

  • All programs will have access to the self-assessment and tier 1 support. Tier 1 supports include digital resources and trainings, Peer Learning Communities, quarterly in-person events, and a Call Center.
  • Programs who fall into tier 2 based on their self-assessment will have access to additional supports including: Program Development Plan, more intensive digital resources, video coaching, and small group learning communities.
  • Programs who fall into tier 3 based on their self-assessment will have access to tier 1 and tier 2 supports, in addition to: Quality Improvement Plan and individualized in-person and video coaching.

​Programs will first complete a self-guided assessment tool. Based on this assessment, programs will be placed into one of three tiers of technical assistance and coaching support. Following the completion of this initial assessment, programs in tiers 2 and 3 will create a Program Development Plan, which will guide the type of support they receive. Programs can also be referred to access supports and assistance.
  • SPARK services and supports will be rolled out incrementally, beginning in the fall of 2019.
  • SPARK will pilot the self-assessment tool in the fall of 2019. Following revisions, the self-assessment will be implemented statewide by late Spring of 2020.
  • Call Center supports will be operational as of January 1. 
  • Town Square and other online resources will be available in January-February 2020.
  • Coaching and other tiered supports will be available in Spring of 2020.

During this transition period, The Indiana Association for the Education of Young Children (IN AEYC) will provide interim coaching supports through June 30, 2020 for Paths to QUALITY™ programs. You will be contacted by IN AEYC on or after September 13, 2019. Beginning October 1, 2019, IN AEYC can be contacted by email or phone for questions related to Paths to QUALITY™ at PTQ@INAEYC.org or 1-855-484-2392, extension 3546.

  • The following mandatory trainings that will be offered through Indiana Learning Paths as of October 1st:
    • Child Abuse and Neglect: Introductions to Foundations, Health and Safety Modules 1-4, Safe Sleep Module 2
    • Safe Sleep Refresher: Center Director Inclusion Training, Safe Sleep Module 1
  • The following mandatory trainings that will be offered face to face as of October 1st: 
    • Child Abuse and Neglect: Introductions to Foundations, Health and Safety Modules 1-4, Safe Sleep Module 2
    • Safe Sleep Refresher: Center Director Inclusion Training, Safe Sleep Module 1, Safe Sleep Refresher 
  • Other opportunities for professional development can be found at https://www.in.gov/fssa/files/Online_Professional_Development_Resources.pdf
IN AEYC will provide accreditation supports through June 30, 2020.
Yes, SPARK is working closely with the Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning (OECOSL) to ensure supports are aligned with licensing, accreditation, and PTQ requirements and systems.
Yes, targeted trainings will be developed based on feedback from programs regarding what is needed.
Coaches will be locally- and regionally-based across the state. Some positions will be located in Indianapolis.

SPARK coaching support will be available in all of the regions. See tentative locations below.

We are looking for individuals to join Regional Advisory Councils in each Service Delivery Area (SDA)! Visit www.IndianaSpark.com/RAC for more information.

SPARK Learning Lab is where you will go to receive supports for your staff and program, such as training, professional development and coaching. Your local CCR&R is focused on helping families find and access child care as well as connecting with community partners about the importance of early childhood education.

Questions about coaching

Yes, SPARK will have coaches in each of the service delivery areas across the state. After you complete your self-assessment, it will identify which tier-level of support you will need to accomplish your goals.
The coaching model is changing, and you may not see your coach in person as often as you have in the past. However, you will have a wider variety of supports including video coaching, peer learning opportunities, a technical assistance call center, and an expansive digital learning library.
Coaches will be assigned to a specific region, so you will work with a consistent group of coaches.
There will be 25 coaches across the state.
There will still be opportunities for in-person trainings, meetings, peer groups, and coaching.
Coaches will have more specialized training and will be able to observe your site. There will be a handful of content specialists who can be consulted as needed.
SPARK will provide coaching and technical assistance to early childhood education programs. The CCR&Rs will continue to have coaches, but those coaches will be family facing.
Yes – all services and materials will be available is Spanish and SPARK will accommodate other languages if/when needed.
For immediate concerns, you will reach out to the call center. For other concerns, you will reach out to your regional coaches.

Questions about Paths to QUALITY (PTQ):

No, any early childhood education program is eligible to complete the self-assessment and receive TA supports.
Yes, for the time being. The state is having internal conversations around this topic.
No, it is written in statute.

Questions about the self-assessment

The assessment is completed at the program level, but may have implications for training of individual teachers and staff.
No, but it is strongly recommended. It is required to receive tier 2 and tier 3 supports.

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