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Child care provider training and coaching changes

Training and Technical Assistance Systems for Early Childhood & Out-of-School Programs

Indiana child care programs have access to a multitude of continuous quality supports including professional development and training, onsite and virtual coaching, and many more. Training and technical assistance services are available to practically all early childhood care and education programs in Indiana, but also specifically for those navigating the Paths to QUALITY system. SPARK Learning Lab, Indiana’s statewide early childhood technical assistance provider, supports early childhood and out-of-school programs in meeting regulatory requirements, in addition to supporting programs’ individual quality improvement and professional development paths. Key services provided by SPARK include:

  • Indiana Self-Assessment Tool, or I-SAT: The I-SAT is a self-assessment tool designed for early care and education programs to help identify their quality improvement goals and technical assistance needs. By completing the I-SAT, programs receive resources and support based on their specific needs and programmatic goals. Completing the I-SAT is the first step in tailoring your continuous quality improvement goals and receiving the technical assistance to help you get there. Log into your I-LEAD account and access Indiana Learning Paths to find training opportunities during which you can complete the I-SAT with the help of a coach.
  • Local experts, coaches, and in-person learning forums: The coaches and content specialists at SPARK Learning Lab are here to support all programs in Indiana, including those participating in Paths to QUALITY. The SPARK team have universally available resources and coaches in their Tier 1 supports, via Indiana Learning Paths and the SPARK Help Desk; some programs may work in group or individual settings with coaches, depending on their goals and readiness for technical assistance as identified by the I-SAT.
  • SPARK Help Desk SPARK Coaches are available via phone to answer your questions related to licensing, Paths to QUALITY, training and professional development, and connections to other statewide services. Early morning, evening, and weekend hours are also available to speak with a SPARK teammate. Call 800-299-1627 to connect with the SPARK Help Desk.
  • Regional Advisory Councils: Regional Advisory Councils, or RACs, are critical in identifying recommendations for Indiana’s early childhood education and care systems. Each Regional Advisory Council, or RAC, is comprised of 10-15 voting members. Each of Indiana’s five service delivery areas has its own council and respective members.  Membership selections are made to ensure the councils are representative of each region and engage relevant stakeholders including: Early childhood education providers—both educators and leadership staff—who represent all program types at various quality levels, local subject matter experts, such as higher education professionals, and community leaders working in the early childhood education sector. RAC memberships and the application process renew on an annual basis; RAC meetings are also open to the public. Click the link above to learn more about RAC and how to get involved. Follow SPARK to stay aware of the next membership application period.
  • Town Square: Town Square is a website dedicated to supporting family child care programs in providing high-quality care for all children while operating a thriving business. The resources and features on Town Square are all free and available 24 hours a day, seven days per week. The site, also mobile-friendly, is a great way to stay connected to your colleagues and other providers so you never feel alone. Go to to find a variety of resources including videos, trainings, message boards, and much more.
  • In-Person and Virtual Training-Access an ever-growing library of trainings and resources on Indiana Learning Paths through your I-LEAD account. Choose from in-person, asynchronous and live webinars. Using Indiana Learning Paths, you can also register for in-person training events and access free, downloadable resources using the ‘Resources’ tab.
  • PTQ Support: To contact SPARK specifically for questions and support relating to Paths to QUALITY, providers can call the Help Desk at 800-299-1627 or email directly.

Interim Technical Assistance for Early Childhood Education Programs

As SPARK Learning Lab prepares to launch programming, interim coaching supports are available through the Indiana Association for the Education of Young Children through June 30, 2020. Programs may contact IN AEYC at or 855-484-2392, extension 3546.

Beginning July 1, 2020, programs can contact SPARK Learning Lab in relation to their Paths to QUALITY needs. To reach SPARK Learning Lab, please call the help desk at 800-299-1627 or email directly.

Additional Professional Development and I-LEAD Support