On last week’s weekly live webinar we discussed research from two reports – Child Care/Head Start Partnership Snapshot: What the Research Says About Establishing and Sustaining Partnerships, from Education Development Center, as well as a report from Mathematica, Early Care and Education Partnerships: A Review of the Literature. Both reports provide a wealth of information related to establishing successful partnerships, and we recommend you check them out if you weren’t able to participate in the webinar.
Based on our review of these reports, as well as our experiences working with EHS-CCP Round 1 grantees, there are a few themes that rise to the top as important to think about as you plan for Round 2.
The importance of clear communication, starting early, and engaging often, cannot be underestimated. By starting conversations early in the partnership planning process you are allowing time for bumps in the road and changes in course. You’re also taking the important step of building the relationship. You may have an easier time with the harder decision points if you’re starting from a solid base that includes collaborative, respectful relationships.
Similarly, it is essential – again, early in the process – to establish shared goals. Make sure you have a similar vision so that its clear you’re working toward the same result, and everyone agrees what that result should be.
We also recommend you document policies and procedures and create processes. Be very clear about roles and responsibilities. By creating processes specifically related to decision-making, for example, you will likely save yourself time and resources by having steps in place to help you more easily arrive at decisions.
Also, remember that relationships change over time. Assess and re-assess the quality of partnerships throughout the grant period, and bring in extra help (e.g., training) when needed.
Join us next week for the weekly live webinar: The Crucial Role of Subsidy in Subsidy-Friendly and Subsidy-Challenging States. Register to join us on Tuesday, April 26, 1:30-2:15pm EST. Also, please be in touch to learn more about how we can help support your team throughout the EHS-CCP Round 2 process.
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 the first round of EHS-CCP and plan to offer the same expertise for any new opportunities. Please be in touch with Amy Augenblick, Executive Director, at 703-599-4329 or [email protected] to learn about how we can support you and your program.