Definitions of Common Terms and Acronyms

A

ARRA: American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 which is commonly referred to as the Stimulus or The Recovery Act, was an economic stimulus package enacted by the 111th United States Congress in February 2009. The primary objective for ARRA was to save and create jobs almost immediately. Secondary objectives were to provide temporary relief programs for those most impacted by the recession and invest in infrastructure, education, health, and renewable energy.

Aspire: Aspire is New York’s registry for early childhood professionals. Teachers, directors, family child care providers and trainers can use this online system to track their employment history, education, ongoing professional development and contributions to the early childhood field. Directors can also use Aspire to maintain a profile of their program. An Aspire program profile, along with profiles of program employees, is an essential first step in preparing for participation in QUALITYstarsNY, New York’s quality rating and improvement system for early childhood programs.

B

BOCES: Boards of Cooperative Educational Services represents and supports 37 boards to meet their educational and financial goals. Established in 1948 the New York State legislature created BOCES to provide shared educational programs and services to school districts within the state.

C

CACFP: Child and Adult Care Food Program is a nutrition education and meal reimbursement program helping providers serve nutritious and safely prepared meals and snacks to children and adults in day care settings.

CBK: Core Body of Knowledge is a competency-based document to support teachers in their self-evaluation and planning for professional development. It is also intended for use by directors and other supervisors to assess the strengths and needs of staff and to plan professional development for individuals and groups. You will find tools in the back of the book to support you in this work.

CBO: Community Based Organizations are civil society non-profits that operate within a single local community. They are essentially a subset of the wider group of nonprofits.


CCBG: Child Care Block Grant (CCDBG), also called the Child Care and Development Fund, is the primary source of United States federal funding for child care subsidies for low-income working families and funds to improve child care quality.

CCDF: Child Care and Development Fund is the primary Federal program specifically devoted to child care services and quality. It enables low-income parents and parents receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) to work or to participate in the educational or training programs they need in order to work. Funds may also be used to serve children in protective services. In addition, a portion of CCDF funds must be used to enhance child care quality and availability.

CCF: New York State Council on Children and Families was established by Chapter 757 of the Laws of 1977 and is authorized to coordinate the state health, education and human services systems as a means to provide more effective systems of care for children and families. The essence of the Council’s work is to be a neutral body within state government capable of negotiating solutions to interagency issues.


CCR&R: Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies provide services to parents and day care providers in every county of New York State.

CDA: Child Development Associate is the most widely recognized credential in early childhood education (ECE) and key to the path of career advancement in ECE. The CDA is based on a core set of competency standards, which guide early care professionals as they work toward becoming qualified teachers of young children.

Child Care Aware of America: Formerly the National Association of Child Care Resources and Referral Agencies (NACCRA), Child Care Aware works with more than 600 state and local Child Care Resource and Referral agencies around the country to ensure that families in every local community have access to quality, affordable child care.

Child health care consultant: A health professional with interest in and experience with children, knowledge of resources and regulations, and is comfortable linking health resources with facilities that provide primarily education and social services. Child care health consultant’s link health systems to early childhood systems. Services can include:

  • Supporting providers in meeting health and safety regulations
  • Assessing health and safety in programs
  • Providing parent and staff education
  • Assisting in identifying children at risk of abuse or neglect
  • Linking children and staff with community and public health services
  • Reviewing child health records onsite
  • Conducting screening tests
  • Checking immunization status
  • Identifying children with special health care needs
  • Developing generalized and specialized health care plans


CHPlus: Child Health Plus New York State is the health insurance plan for kids. The health insurance is based on the family's household income.

CHW: Community Health Worker provide outreach, education, referral and follow-up, case management, advocacy and home visiting services to women who are at highest risk for poor birth outcomes, particularly low-birth weight and infant mortality. The CHWP is targeted to specific communities with high rates of infant mortality, out-of-wedlock births, late or no prenatal care, teen pregnancies and births, and births to low-income women. The program's focus is on getting pregnant women into early and consistent prenatal care and ensuring their families receive primary and preventive health care services. There are 23 programs currently across the state.

CLASS: Classroom Assessment Scoring System is an observational tool that provides early childhood professionals with a common lens and language by which to understand and evaluate classroom interactions; an aspect of early learning that makes a critical difference in student achievement. The CLASS instrument assesses three broad domains of effective interactions: emotional support, classroom organization, and instructional support that characterize students’ classroom experiences in grades PK-3. Each domain is comprised of multiple dimensions of effective interactions known to contribute to students’ success in school, such as teacher sensitivity, behavior management, and quality of feedback.

CPAC: Children’s Program Administrator Credential is designed to provide for and be recognized as a standard by which to measure program management, fiscal management, and the leadership abilities of early childhood and school-age administrators.

CUNY: The City University of New York is an integrated system of senior and community colleges, graduate and professional schools, research centers, institutes and consortia.

D

DOH: New York State Department of Health

E

ECE: Early Childhood Education refers to the formal teaching of young children by people outside the family or in settings outside the home. 

ECAC: New York’s Early Childhood Advisory Council was established in 2009 to provide advice to the Governor on issues related to the development of a comprehensive system of supports and services for young children and their families.

ECCS: Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems is a comprehensive system of services for young children and their families including improving access to health care, meeting mental health needs, expanding parent education programs, and establishing a system of early identification and home visiting services for vulnerable families.

EI: Early Intervention Program provides services to eligible children less than 3 years of age and has a confirmed disability or established developmental delay, as defined by the State, in one or more of the following areas of development: physical, cognitive, communication, social-emotional, and/or adaptive.

EICC: Early Intervention Coordinating Council consists of a 27-member advisory council established in Section 2553 of the Public Health Law. The EICC assists the New York State Department of Health with the administration of the Early Intervention Program and makes recommendations to the Department regarding appropriate services for infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families.

EIP: Education Incentive Program provides scholarships and rebates to child care providers to attend professional development programs for both: (1) Credit Courses are consistent with continuing college credit curses that can be delivered in a class or virtual classrooms for either a full or half day. (2) Non-Credit Courses which support the participation in conferences, workshops and other training venues that do not lead to a college credit.

ELA: English Language Arts is a form of reading, writing, listening, and speaking and have the ability to think creatively, making informed and reasoned judgments, producing and inventing, critiquing and analyzing - all are facilitated through language.

ERS: Environment Rating Scales are a set of tools designed to evaluate the learning environment of a center, school or family home. ERS assessment tools were developed at the Frank Porter Graham Center at the University of North Carolina and are used nationally and internationally as valid and reliable measures of classroom and program quality.

F

FCCC: Family Child Care Credential New York State Family Child Care Credential is designed to formally recognize those practitioners who demonstrate their competence, knowledge and professional practice in the areas of professional family child care, child development, healthy home learning environments and business practices. This credential incorporates the New York State Core Body of Knowledge, New York State Childcare Regulations, and the Code of Ethics of the National Association for the Education of Young Children.

FCCERS: Family Child Care Environment Rating Scale designed to assess family child care programs conducted in a provider's home for children from infancy through school-age.

H

HFNY: Healthy Families New York Home Visiting is a program that offers systematic assessment of pregnant women and new parents at risks that may lead to child abuse and poor health care development outcomes. Families identified with high risk factors are offered long-term home visiting services until the child is in school or Head Start. The home visiting services focus on supporting parents and building on the inherent strength of families.

Home Visiting: A voluntary program, where trained professionals visit at-risk mothers before and after birth, providing support and access to services. New York State is recognized as a national leader in home visiting, with measurable outcomes, showing increased stability, safety, health and learning for both children and parents – while reducing short and long-term use of costly services. In New York State, home visiting reaches only a small percentage of the population and is delivered by a combination of stand-alone and community-based agencies. See Home Visiting for more information.

HSPS: Head Start Performance Standards outlines the staffing and program options that all Early Head Start and Head Start grantee and delegate agencies, with the exception of Parent Child Center programs, must meet. The requirements, include those pertaining to staffing patterns, the choice of the program options to be implemented and the acceptable ranges in the implementation of those options, have been developed to help maintain and improve the quality of Early Head Start and Head Start and to help promote lasting benefits to the children and families being served. These requirements are to be used in conjunction with the Head Start Program Performance Standards at 45 CFR Part 1304.

I

IEP: Individualized Education Plans defines the individualized objectives of a child who has been found with a disability, as defined by federal regulations. The IEP is intended to help children reach educational goals more easily than they otherwise would. In all cases the IEP must be tailored to the individual student's needs as identified by the IEP evaluation process, and must especially help teachers and related service providers (such as paraprofessional educators) understand the student's disability and how the disability affects the learning process.

ITC: Infant Toddler Credential in New York State is designed to formally recognize those practitioners who display a specialized knowledge of infant and toddler development, the partnership of caregivers with the families of the children in their care, and professional practice based on respect for the individual, the system and themselves. This credential incorporates the New York State Core Body of Knowledge, New York State childcare regulations, and the Code of Ethics of the National Association for the Education of Young Children.

L

Levers for Change: Developed as part of the Center for the Study of Social Policy’s Strengthening Families framework, the most recognized child abuse prevention strategy in the nation. Adopted by the ECAC’s Strong Families Work Group, the three levers for change are designed to build sustainable infrastructure through: Parent Partnerships, Policy/Systems, and Professional Development.

M

Medical Home: A team-based health care delivery model, providing comprehensive and continuous medical care to patients with the goal of maximizing health outcomes. A medical home, where a child’s physical, mental, and oral health services are accessible, continuous, comprehensive, family-centered, coordinated, compassionate, and culturally effective is one of the ECAC’s desired outcomes, guiding its work on Healthy Children.

N

NACCRRA: see Child Care Aware of America

NAEYC: National Association for Education of Young Children is a large nonprofit association in the United States representing early childhood education teachers, para-educators, center directors, trainers, college educators, families of young children, policy makers, and advocates. NAEYC is focuses on improving the well-being of young children, with particular emphasis on the quality of educational and developmental services for children from birth through age 8.

NAFCC: National Association of Family Child Care Agencies is a national membership organization working with more than 400 state and local family childcare provider associations across the United States.
New York Works for Children: New York State’s integrated professional development system for the early childhood and school age workforce. NYWFC consists of interrelated programs, services, and efforts to address workforce needs with the goal of building and sustaining an effective, committed early childhood and school age workforce.

NFP: Nurse Family Partnerships is a home visiting program which focuses on improving the health, well-being and self-sufficiency of low income, first time mothers and their children. Such programs improve pregnancy outcomes by helping women engage in preventive health care including: (1) prenatal care to improve the child's health and development by helping parents provide responsible and competent care and (2) improve the self-sufficiency of the family by helping parents develop a vision for their own future, plan future pregnancies and continue their education and help find employment.

NYSPEP: New York State Parenting Education Partnership is a network of over 65 agencies, organizations and individuals with a mission to increase opportunities for all families to gain the knowledge, skills, confidence and social supports needed to nurture the health, safety and positive development of children.

O

OCFS: New York State Office of Children and Family Services

OMH: New York State Office of Mental Health

OTDA: New York State Office of Temporary Disability Assistance 

P

Parenting Education Credential: In 2011, the New York State Parenting Education Partnership created the state’s first parenting education credential. Designed to accommodate a range of skills and experiences, four levels are offered. A list of credentialed parenting educators is available on NYSPEP’s website.

PDI: New York City Early Childhood Professional Development Institute at City University of New York State is a public/private partnership that brings together a range of city agencies, a consortium of private funders, and the nation’s largest urban university to build a comprehensive system of professional development for individuals who work with young children in New York City.

Q

QARR: Quality Assurance Reporting Requirements Federal and New York State tools used to measure the performance of health plans and practitioners on important aspects of care and service
Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS): A quality rating and improvement system (QRIS) is used to assess, improve and communicate the level of quality in early care and learning programs and in school-age child care programs. Similar to rating systems for restaurants and hotels, QRIS awards quality ratings to programs that meet established standards. Every state in the U.S. is currently planning/piloting a QRIS or already has one in place.

Quality Scholars: A professional development program for the early childhood workforce, Quality Scholars is a project of the ECAC’s Quality Improvement Work Group. (link to work group webpage in priorities section)

QSNY: QUALITYstarsNY is New York State’s quality rating and improvement system for early childhood programs. Designed to help parents access the best possible care for their child, it also helps child care providers strengthen their programs. By setting universal standards linked to “star ratings,” Quality Stars NY is a proven, organized method to assess, improve and communicate the quality of care for young children. It is also cost-effective, ensures accountability and maximizes limited education funding. QUALITYstarsNY is managed by the Early Childhood Advisory Council.

S

SED: New York State Education Department

SUNY: State University of New York is the nation’s largest and most comprehensive state university system. There are 64 individual colleges and universities that were either formerly independent institutions or directly founded by the State University of New York.

T

TANF: Temporary Assistance for Needy Families is a block grant program to help move recipients into work and turn welfare into a program of temporary assistance. Under the welfare reform legislation of 1996, TANF replaced the old welfare programs known as the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program, the Job Opportunities and Basic Skills Training (JOBS) program, and the Emergency Assistance (EA) program. The law ended Federal entitlement to assistance and instead created TANF as a block grant that provides States, Territories, and Tribes Federal funds each year.

U

UPK: Universal Prekindergarten program provides 4 year-old students with an opportunity to access prekindergarten programs that will provide them with the foundation to help prepare for future school success.

W

Work Group: The Early Childhood Advisory Council includes six work groups, focused on specific areas and objectives in the ECAC Strategic Plan. Composition includes members of the ECAC, advocates, early childhood education and health-related professionals. The six ECAC Work Groups are: