Guest blogger Linda Dunphy writes…

Okay, so it may be Tuesday for this Model Monday post. I’ll ask for some forbearance on this delay since on vacation.

For this post, let’s go broader (or upward) for our model and westward!

How about those bold states that adopted Early Head Start initiatives embracing partnerships?

Let’s start with Kansas, an early innovator. In 1998 the Kansas Early Head Start (KEHS) initiative was launched combining millions (I think close to $9 million) from the Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG), a smaller portion of TANF and, lately, tobacco settlement funds.

The aims: 1) increase capacity of existing Head Start and EHS programs and 2) develop partnerships between EHS and community based child care providers to improve quality.

In 2012, 1,000 EHS children and expectant mothers were served by KEHS funds adding to the 4,133 children and expectant mothers served by the federal EHS Kansas sites.

From the State level here are some of the more interesting highlights from the Kansas project:

Eligibility:

  • EXPECTANT MOTHERS and children up to age 4 – a whole extra year!
  • When grantees demonstrate that all children below 100 percent of poverty are being served, grantees may serve up to 35 percent of their enrollment with families whose incomes are up to 135 percent of the federal poverty level.
  • If the parent(s) become unemployed, the child may be moved to the home-based model and then be moved back to center-based EHS when employment is achieved.
  • Eligible providers limited to Federal Head Start and/or Early Head Start grantees

Standards:

  • Federal Head Start program performance standards are required for both KEHS grantees and child care partners.
  • Only children enrolled in KEHS or in partnering child care providers receive KEHS services. However, there are approximately 2,000 children in partnering child care centers who are not directly enrolled in KEHS, but benefit because these programs are required to meet Head Start program performance standards.
  • Services are offered year round. The majority of programs operate or collaborate to offer child care services between six and eight hours a day. Home-based services are weekly and offered year round.
  • State and federal consultants help grantees develop a training plan, write agreements with child care agencies, and perform their community needs assessment.

Incentives For Child Care Providers Participation?

  • Incentives vary from program to program: mini-grants to raise quality within the child care provider environment; enhanced rates for EHS slots in the child care partner setting; or support for training and professional development like CDA classes and fees.
  • Children who receive care in partnering programs receive the same comprehensive services meeting federal HSPPS. 

How Does Funding Flow To Local Providers?

  • The Kansas Department for Children and Families funds KEHS agencies through a continuation grant application completed on an annual basis. Local grantees develop agreements and/or contracts with community-based child care providers and provide payment to them according to the terms of these agreements/contracts.

Can A Child In The State Initiatives Also Have A Child Care Subsidy?

  • Generally children in KEHS are not eligible for child care subsidies. However, due to the fact that families tended to exit the program due to their new eligibility for subsidies when employment status improved, the state granted exceptions and allowed a subset of families to access child care subsidy.

These are just a few of the highlights of how Kansas EHS initiative operates. Check out the full report developed by CLASP and Zero to Three that served as my source. Stay tuned for a profile of one of KEHS partnership next week to learn more.

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Whether your agency might apply to be an EHS-CC Partnership grantee or your child care program is a solid partnership candidate, there’s a lot to consider.  We can help analyze the opportunity, prepare a competitive grant proposal, or design and implement a high quality 18-month start-up plan.  If we can’t, we will connect you with the right resources to support your efforts.  Give us a call to discuss your situation: 703-599-4329 or augenblick@foundationsforfamilies.com

 

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