As we’ve shared in previous blog posts, building the financial capacity of child care partners in Early Head Start – Child Care Partnership (EHS-CCP) programs is absolutely essential for the success of the initiative. One of the overarching goals of the initiative, goal 3, is “increased community supply of high-quality early learning environments and infant/toddler care and education.” Certainly your role as an EHS-CCP grantee will be to help to ensure an improvement in quality care and operations. You have the opportunity to help your partners achieve higher quality and stay in business.
Last month we also discussed the very central fiscal focus in EHS-CCP monitoring. The new EHS-CCP monitoring tool will evaluate benefits of partnership funding and determine fiscal oversight and integrity of partnership funding. This is not a surprise since we know that fiscal issues were among the top challenges for EHS-CCP Round 1 grantees. An example of a challenge we’ve seen and heard about often is that program designs and budgets are not closing the gap between current child care partner functioning and the level of performance required by the EHS-CCP project. We have worked closely with EHS-CCP grantees during their start-up periods to assess and revise, when indicated, their initial, funded program designs and budgets. We believe that these fiscal challenges are real and in many cases will take longer than the 18-month start up period to resolve.
So, how can you achieve fiscal success in EHS-CCP?
Based on our perspective we have developed an approach to achieving fiscal success in EHS-CCP. It is a six-component, interrelated, comprehensive approach. The pillars are not linear; rather, they are interconnected and mutually reinforcing.
- Establish five-year unique EHS-CCP fiscal goals, objectives, and strategies.
- Design with child care partners a cost model for center/family homes and EHS classrooms.
- Determine a payment rate, performance incentives, terms and conditions and codify with a written agreement.
- Establish fiscal management and accountability processes to support the fiscal approach.
- Capacity building for grantee and child are partners to support fulfillment of financial objectives.
- Shared service options to closer the remaining cost quality gap.
Visit the blog next week to learn more about each of the pillars – what they mean for you as a grantee, actions you can take to achieve your goals, and how to include your child care partners!
Foundations for Families offers EHS-CCP grantees targeted technical assistance and strength-based coaching of key start-up staff. We have helped multiple organizations design, plan for, and draft successful proposals for EHS-CCP. Please be in touch with Amy Augenblick, Executive Director, at 703-599-4329 or Augenblick@foundationsforfamilies.com to learn about how we can support you and your program.
Linda Dunphy, under Foundations for Families, Inc. provided invaluable and top shelf quality 12-month strategic guidance in all areas of launching our new EHS-CCP grant particularly in the context of being a brand new Head Start grantee. I honestly don’t know if we would have succeeded through the start up period without her week to week, month to month goal setting, tactical guidance and tools, as well as her recommendations for program and fiscal design changes that proved pivotal to the viability of this expansion 12 county, multiple child care partner program. It was hugely complex to get the program into place from facilities to staffing to contracts to governance. Having Linda be in the start-up planner role working with us at every step proved our wisest decision.
Julia-Ellen Davis, Interim Director
SC First Steps to School Readiness; SC Early Childhood Advisory Council