ERSEA Institute 2022
ERSEA: Moving Beyond Implementation
Nicole Holman-Alexander: Hello, hello, and welcome to ERSEA: Moving Beyond Implementation. We are really happy to be here with you all today to really look at some learning outcomes, talk to you about some content, and have an opportunity for you to share with us, as well, around this topic of ERSEA: Moving Beyond Implementation.
Feel free if you’d like to put in the chat where your title is and your position, as well, and how long you’ve been in that position. If you want to do that, feel free to put that in there, as well. What we’re going to do is we’re going to move on and tell you about a great feature that we have today. It is Interprefy. We have an Interprefy widget. Basically, if you would like to listen to this session in Spanish, we want you to click on the Interprefy widget. It’s located on the right-hand side of your window, your media player window.
What we want you to do is we want you to make sure that you mute your media player if you use that feature. We’ve thought about the translation today, and we have this option for you if you want to listen to this in Spanish. All you have to do, again, is to definitely click on that Interprefy widget on the right-hand side of your window, and then you will mute the media player so that you won’t hear two things going on at once. That is available to you all.
My name is Nicole Holman-Alexander, and I hail from Tulsa, Oklahoma. That’s Central Time here. My actual title is program management and governance specialist for the National Center for Program Management and Fiscal Operations. Again, I’m just so delighted that you’re here in this session to hear this information. I want to also introduce you to my co-presenter, Vernex.
Vernex Harding: Thank you, Nicole. My name is Vernex Harding, and I hail from the city that never sleeps, New York. I’m the program management and early childhood education specialist in the National Center on Program Management and Fiscal Operations. I look forward to our time together, and I hope that you’ll find this presentation helpful in the work that you do. I’m going to turn it back over to Nicole. Thank you.
Nicole: Well, thank you Vernex. That’s great. They know who we are, Vernex? They know that we are here to give them information. You’ll be seeing our face, and we will get an opportunity to interact with you all, as well.
When we think about this session today and the learning outcomes we have for you, overall, our performance goal is that you all will improve your ERSEA services to be better able to respond to uncertain times. We’re going to look at that in a variety of ways, but also we want you to walk away with these learning objectives – list one or more strategies to make decisions and plan for ERSEA services. When you’re using the ERSEA Assessment Tool that we’re going to introduce you to today, we want you to identify one area for improvement based on use of that tool.
We invite you to write down anything that piques your interest and to identify when these learning outcomes are being discussed and met, because we’re going to ask you about them either throughout the presentation or at the end of the presentation, so keep a look-out for this information.
What we want to do next is we really want to take a look at the book “Upstream.” This is a resource that we’ve been using here at the National Center for Program Management and Fiscal Operations. It’s by the author, Dan Heath. “Upstream” is really a book that focuses on preventing problems before they get upstream, so you’re thinking about this from a system’s perspective, and you’re looking at those systems that impact whatever challenge you’re having, and you’re identifying how you can prevent challenges from happening later on and what’s the probability of something that will happen – just really trying to look at that upfront and, again, get ahead of it.
What we have for you today is a quote for you to look at. The quote is “In planning, upstream interventions, we’ve got to look outside the lines of our own work, and then we want to zoom out and pan from side to side.” We need to ask ourselves the question, “Are we intervening at the right level of the system?”
That’s our quote and our thought for you today, as well as a resource that you may want to add to your toolbox. We also have a question for you. Our question is what words stand out as you read this quote? Again, our question is what words stand out as you read this quote? You can enter that into the comment section. You can just tell us, what are those words for you that stand out? I’m going to ask you, Vernex, first. Do you have any words that stand out to you when you look at this quote?
Vernex: I do. I actually have the book right behind me on my desk. It’s a great book, a great resource, as you mentioned. But what comes to mind for me as I look at this quote is the word “look outside the lines.” This resonates with me as it speaks to the importance of looking at the situation from different viewpoints, especially outside of your normal scope of work. In doing so, I feel like you can determine when to intervene at the right time. It’s having that outside perspective. I really think that’s where it resonates with me most.
Nicole: That’s great. That’s great. Well, when I look at this, Vernex, I think about the zoom out and pan from side to side, which really, it’s really piggybacks on what you’re saying, as well. Oftentimes we can get really focused on what we’re doing in our programs and what our specific job is, and the way we’ve been doing it, Vernex, the whole time.
We’re used to doing it this way, so we just continue to do it this way, but this gives us a thought about zooming out a little more, looking at a bigger picture and saying, “Some of the things that are happening, the hiccups, things like this that are coming about, if we look at it from a bigger picture, where can we intervene again? How can we prevent some of this from happening?”
I want to thank you all for your information in the chat, of the words that you’ve chosen, as well. We are going to move on to the concept of looking at this again from the perspective of a program. We want you to think about it in a bigger picture. Vernex and I are going to do some interactive reading for you. We want you to think about this story as we read it. Again, we’re going to start with this ERSEA conversation, and we’re looking at Community Connections Head Start.
Community Connections Head Start serves 100 children at two sites in a rural setting. Like many programs across the country, they were forced to close down in March due to COVID. Like those programs nationwide, sending the children and staff home did not stop them from providing services to children and families. They immediately shifted. They pivoted to remote education for children, and they did everything they could to support the families in the process.
Vernex: That’s right, Nicole. They sure did. Like so many programs around the country, they went above and beyond distributing food, diapers, formulas, supplying materials necessary for remote learning, such as providing computers, tablets, even mobile hotspots for families who really needed internet to be connected to the program. They also took advantage of many a flexibility that we offer by the Office of Head Start and other agencies so that they could support the children and the families during this unprecedented time of need.
Nicole: As the months passed, they needed to identify and implement changes that would allow service to continue onsite in a safe manner. Fortunately, there were funds made available. We had those funds available for COVID, and they had regulations and flexibilities that they were able and allowed to use to provide that service delivery. But planning and implementation for service delivery was still a tall order with all the crisis and things that were going on.
Office space was redesigned to ensure distancing. Plastic partitions were installed for safe interactions with families. Classroom space had to be redesigned. In some cases, additional space was a need for lowered ratios. Additional learning materials were needed to prevent children from having to share materials, as well, and large amounts of that personal property and that protective equipment had to be purchased. Intensive cleaning protocols were needed, and they were put in place.
Vernex: As a result, of course, we have endless policies and procedures that needed to be revised were developed around screening protocols for dealing with exposure and illness of staff, children, and parents. Staff training on these changes became a monumental task, as one can imagine. Staffing challenges had to be addressed due to reduced ratios, and the requirement for staff to remain with one group of children.
Transportation of children had its own set of challenges, with screening protocols, a limited number of children on buses, and the requirement to only transport one classroom and a bus at a time. Can you imagine? Definitely not the way transportation routes had been established, and therefore making transportation an incredibly costly endeavor.
Nicole: This may sound familiar because this is something that we’ve seen and challenges that programs have been facing around the country. It’s important to understand that the challenges faced by Community Connections in order to fully appreciate the impact of the pandemic on ERSEA decision-making.
Vernex: Absolutely, and we’ve seen and heard from so many programs and leaders about almost overnight that went from agile mode – and by agile, we mean “quick to mobilize, nimble, collaborative, responsive, empowered to act, resilient, and learning from mistakes.”
Nicole: What we recognize that you all did this to support children and families and staff, as well, even when you could not open your doors. We also recognized this pandemic has strung over a long time – many months, years – and that makes it difficult to sustain that heroic level of energy you had at the beginning of pandemic. It is only human for us to get tired and fall back to do things we have always done, so we need that agile mindset to keep moving forward. This reminds us of what we were saying before about the zooming out, panning and looking from side to side. When we’re able to do that, that helps us stay agile, and it keeps us focused on our outcomes.
Again, in staying agile, this is what we’ve come to. We’re thinking about this. It really looks at how do we stay agile in Head Start? The previous story talked about the agility and being quick and mobile. Vernex, you talked about that and the nimbleness and being collaborative, all those things.
What we think about in ERSEA as a core question is what you see on the screen – what is our strategy to address current and future community, family, and child needs in order to achieve and maintain full enrollment? The strategies, they often will change as we’re being responsive to the changing needs of children and families in the community. But we must both make sure that we know that we need flexibility, stability, and we need strong leadership.
In order to support that, we need to make sure that we’re using data-informed decision-making as a strategy, and it allows us to continue to pivot and flex as we need to. We did take a look at Community Connections Head Start. You may be aware of some of those questions that you heard in the story that you may have, as well. Some of those could be “How do we continue to identify and recruit eligible families?” Or “How do we prioritize who receive services?” Another one could be “How do we recognize and support the participation of children and families in general?”
Those are just some simple questions that come up when we think about the story about Community Connections Head Start and what you’re doing. We’re going to focus on giving you some practical applications today, and I’m going to turn it over to Vernex to talk more about the “how.”
Vernex: Yes, so how do we move beyond implementation? We see from this slide – you’re going to see it a few times throughout our time together – our goal here is to support you with practical ways to implement the “how.” We’re going to start with a review of the community assessment and the key data it provides for ERSEA services.
As you’re aware, each program decides how it’s going to implement the concepts and practices provided. Throughout this presentation, we’re going to offer you strategies and ideas to process with your team and decide how to implement them. We are also going to offer you the community assessment as a resource for you today. That emphasizes the use of data in strengthening ERSEA services to support full enrollment.
As we think about gathering data to update our community assessment, we also want you to consider where we might find data to help us better understand the events of the past year and a half. Our traditional sources may fall short, so it’s important to think about new state and local sources of information. While many programs have been successful in getting up-to-date data about community changes from partnering organizations and trusted community leaders, think about what kinds of information that you might get from organizations that you worked with, such as local coalitions and, of course, our families. It’s also important to think about health and mental health concerns, such as those that have affected our families and staffing patterns, which in turn impact our classrooms.
We have to think about where we’re going to collect that data. Here are a few things I’d like you to consider in terms of your collection methods. We have interviews. We have surveys, focus groups, large-group discussions. These methods are here to help you facilitate getting real-time data about what’s happening in your program and your community.
While we acknowledge that we are recruiting in a new environment, we also are in an environment where there are more providers than ever and more options for parents to choose from. The question is “How can we, as Head Start programs, be good collaboratives in our communities?”
During these times as these, it’s important to shift your community dynamic from one of competition to one of collaboration. It’s also a good time to brush off on your MOUs and your LEAs, your lead educational agencies, such as school districts or other important community providers.
As we reflect on that, my question to you is “How have you updated your community assessment?” If you take a moment, I’d love to hear from you. You can put your questions in the chat. Some of the things that I like to ask you are “How have you used your recent data regarding the impact of the pandemic, and do you use internal data? Have you conducted surveys with parents in our community, or do you have focus groups, or have you conducted interviews with community leaders?”
We’re really interested in hearing from you. If you’ve done something different, I ask that you please enter your responses in the chat as they may be helpful to your peers and colleagues. I have this saying, and my saying is “Sharing is caring.” Please just take a few moments to post your comments in the chat.
While you’re doing that, I’m going to share a few things with you because, as I reflect back on my former work as a program director, I remember conducting the self-assessment process by holding small and large groups with my staff, my parents, and community partners. We also gathered materials both internally and externally from the staff and our community stakeholders. I also remember a [Inaudible] advisory board. They were very involved in this process as well.
Some of that data that we collected came from a variety of resources and sources, as I should say. We also used the PIR. We used school readiness outcomes, health reports. There’s so many that we use because you do have to look at a lot of data. That’s just to name a few. I can go on and on about this because this is something I really enjoy doing, this process. I’m going to ask Nicole if she has anything that she’d liked to share that comes to mind.
Nicole: You know, Vernex, what comes to mind to me is a lot of times we’re thinking about – when we’re looking at community assessment, we’re thinking a lot about the external data. But one of the things that you mentioned that was so important was the internal data. You can gather that from your self-assessment. You gather it from a variety of different ways, and you’re including that as well in what you’re doing to make those decisions about long-term goals and objectives and things like that. That’s what comes to mind for me.
Vernex: Yes. Absolutely necessary. Thank you for sharing that. I see a few responses in the chat, so I want to thank you for sharing. Sharing is caring. When we’re gathering data, you also want to ask yourself “Is your community assessment data current and used to inform ERSEA practices?” Keep that in mind when we talk about the community assessment.
As with all Head Start services, data is critical for understanding the needs, making decisions, evaluating services, and planning for continuous improvement. The ability to respond to changing community, family, and child needs is a key factor in maintaining full enrollment.
We’re going to continue our ERSEA planning discussion. You can see from this slide, as we continue this discussion around the use of data for planning, we know that using data is critical for ensuring the identification and partnership of children and families with the greatest needs. My question is “What kinds of data are you capturing from ERSEA service delivery, and how is your program using it?” Again, I love to hear your responses in terms of what you’re doing in your programs. Please leave that in the chat for us, as well.
I’m also going to share with you some of the things I reflected upon in the work that I’ve done as a program director. I can remember a time when my program used data to improve the ERSEA service delivery model that we used. This occurred during a monitoring review that was conducted. We had our own internal monitoring that we provided by our ERSEA coordinator. In doing so, we noticed that we were receiving applications, but some families did not end up enrolling on our programs. We needed to take a deeper dive and look at the data to understand why this occurred.
We learned – from analyzing the referral process to in-the-seat – how much time it took for the family to start our program. Therefore, we had to examine how to improve this process. In this case, we found that we had to provide additional training to our family workers in terms of what was required before a family can enroll in the program.
We also had to revise our application process. There were a few things involved, but it’s also important to note that when programs use data that they stay curious. Those are one of the things we emphasize in the Foundations of Excellence, and to ask yourself questions that relate back to the systems as to why we use it. What’s working? Why are we doing it? Why are we using it? Why are we capturing this data, and what does it impact? As mentioned in our previous session, system thinking is important to enhancing ERSEA and to meaningful enrollment.
I also want you to consider systems as you think of questions, such as how we’re using it and what specific data are you using? What’s working about it? What was the outcome? I see that some people did leave some messages. I just want to thank you for that. I also want to call attention to some resources and in the appendices’ section of the Community Assessment: The Foundation for Program Planning. There’s some really good resources that can help you in conducting focus groups and large-group discussions. You also have this sample “Community Partner Survey,” which is a great tool to use. We’re also going to drop that information in the link for you.
We talked about the community assessment. Now we’re going to talk more specifically with you on how … I’m going to say Nicole’s going to talk to you a little more about ERSEA. I’ll let you take it over from here. Thank you.
Nicole: OK. We’re going to look at how we can gather data, and assess the ERSEA services, and plan for full enrollment a little closer. Some of you all are very familiar with this, this wheel, and some of you, this may be your first time seeing it [Inaudible]. But when we look at this, it’s important for you all to know it’s part of the Management Systems Wheel that is Head Start, this visual that you see on your screen.
We are focusing today on ERSEA, which stands for eligibility, recruitment, selection, enrollment, and attendance. The thing that’s so cool about ERSEA, in my opinion, is that it’s often the first view you have to the inside of your program. If you’re at a supermarket and you’re telling someone about ERSEA services, or you’re telling them about Head Start in general and asking them to apply, or if it’s a flyer that you sent out or something like that, you’re basically – this is the first window into Head Start, is through eligibility, recruitment and selection, enrollment, and attendance.
We want to make sure that we are looking at this area, and that we are assessing it, and know some good information around how we can assess it just in general. We have a tool for you today, and that tool – you will have this in the handouts, in your console here, and we can drop this stuff in the chat area, as well – but it is our ERSEA Assessment Tool.
What we did here at the National Center for Program Management and Fiscal Operations, we got together as a team, and we really looked at and reviewed what are some common questions that you could have around eligibility, recruitment, selection, enrollment, and attendance.
What we decided to do with this tool is we want to make sure that it facilitates dialogue and the exploration around requirements and best practices. We also want to make sure that it helps identify areas of strengths and areas of need, as well, and that it supports action planning and continuous improvement. That is our goal around this, but we want to take you to this.
I’m going to take you to the actual tool on the Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center as well as show you some other resources, as well, so that you can get to this yourself.
Vernex: Just wanted to add, it was really exciting working on this together. I am so thrilled that we’re sharing this with everyone today.
Nicole: That’s great. It was definitely a joint project, that’s for sure. You’ll see on your screen here – this is where we’re going to go. Let’s see. [Humming] You all, I would think you are seeing the Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center. What you see here, is you see “Eligibility.” You can go to the Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center, and you can always go here to the topic’s area, and then you can just come down to “Eligibility,” and that will bring you to this page, as well.
When you look at this page here, as we scroll through it, you’ll see the ERSEA Assessment Tool. In addition to that, you see some other information about ERSEA and strategies during the pandemic, as well as maintaining full enrollment and some ERSEA briefs that we have around that, as well.
I’m going to take you through this page. You see information about the poverty guidelines and determining eligibility. Then down here specifically, when we’re looking at exploring resources, we have ERSEA, or some of our ERSEA briefs we were talking about. You’ll see here “ERSEA: Encouraging and Supporting Regular Attendance,” and you can actually view that resource there. You’ll see, so you are able to pull it up, and then you’re able to bring up the PDF there and actually look at this particular topic, which is encouraging and supporting regular attendance.
You can always go back to the previous pages, and you can really look at and figure out what’s going on related to ERSEA and those additional practices around it. As we go back to that landing page, I’m going to take you back there. We go here again. You can go in. You can look at the eligibility. It will bring up this page, and we’re going to look specifically at the ERSEA Assessment Tool. Let’s check it out.
On your screen, you should see the introduction to the ERSEA Assessment Tool. What it’s saying on here in the actual introductions is that it’s really designed to help programs achieve and maintain full enrollment. We were giving you some ideas to identify some ways that you can do that. Then we have instructions for use here. We have a rating scale of excelling, progressing, starting, and desired that you can use, and we also have an action plan section for you as well.
I want to walk you through this tool just quickly. You will see on each part of the tool we have an overarching question for the actual element. You’ll see “Eligibility services ensure identification and enrollment of children and families with the greatest need.” That’s our goal for this section.
As you go through this section, we have questions for you that you can think about, about the community assessment, if that data is feeding into the eligibility recruitment, selection, enrollment attendance. What are your eligibility policies and procedures? We’ll have some more information about criteria for accepting over-income children and a variety of different things there, as well.
You want to make sure that you’re able to look at this, and then you’ll see that we have ratings right here. We have a rating scale. Again, you’re saying, “Am I excelling in that or just what am I doing related to this rating scale?” You’re able to put notes here, as well. On each page, you will see that we have eligibility resources that correspond with the questions on the page.
It’s so important that when we’re looking at this, we recognize that we’re just in a different time when it comes to eligibility and recruitment in a way, and that we’ve got to keep that in mind. We got to consider that 100 to 130 percent of eligibility as well – and how we can support those best practices when it comes to eligibility, recruiting, selection, enrollment, and attendance.
What you’ll see here is that, as you go through each one of these sections, we have an action plan; and you can actually type in your indicator. Before you saw here, like there’s an AT9. You can actually go here, type that in – it’s a fillable document – so you can type that in, and then if you can look and see what the next steps are about that as you all are working together as a team to do that. You can talk about the timelines, responsible parties, and standards.
You can also include any other things that maybe are not on this tool that you want to think about in your work. It’s just important, again, that we’re looking at this and we’re recognizing that this is something that we can also add to our bailiwick, our box, our toolbox of things that we’re going to use to assess and strengthen ERSEA services.
We have other supporting documents, as well, that include the community assessment. We talked about that before, but really, how to plan and do some things around that. The ECLKC is definitely your friend –and that stands for the “Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center.” Make sure that you’re using that on a lot of occasions. You may just want to even set up a time to actually visit the ECLKC on a regular basis so that you know what’s going on there.
What I want to do is I want to just sum up how you can use this. You can use the ERSEA Assessment Tool in training and technical assistance – training and technical assistance providers can do it. You can use it to support your annual planning and meetings around that. You can definitely use it to support ongoing monitoring. It does generate that internal data for program use that we talked about before, and how important that is, as well. The reason we use this, we have this tool—and we’re thinking about ERSEA just in general – is because we’re trying to reach more families. Vernex, that’s basically what we’re trying to do.
Vernex: That’s right. That’s right.
Nicole: When we’re trying to reach more families, like I said before, we’re just in a new kind of recruiting environment. There are many providers out there, and there are more options to other people. We want to make sure that we’re asking the question, “What makes our program unique, and why are individuals choosing us?”
When we know that, we can better really look at our policies and procedures and what we’re doing around enrollment and recruitment. We can look at the child and family supports that we have so we’re able to highlight those, as well. We can look at transportation, what we’re doing with that. Are we unique in any way there, or is there something there that we want them to know about. What are those partnerships that we have in place with our organizations that help everyone out?
We really want to take this time to leverage what we have going on in our programs. A way of doing that, of course, is to think about reaching more families in general. We talked a little bit about that. You have a tool here that you can use, and it’s in addition to whatever you do have. You can also add additional notes about it to increase whatever you’re trying to do as far as your goals in ERSEA. We want to look at some additional “how’s.” Vernex is going to talk to you a little bit more about intentionally reaching those families and using the ERSEA services to do that.
Vernex: That’s right. I guess and according to the Head Start Program Performance Standards – I’m just going to go to the next slide there, “Using data for continuous improvement,” 1302.02C, “a program must implement the process for using data to identify program strengths” – you want to make sure you’re doing that – “and the needs to develop and implement plans that address the program needs and continually evaluate the compliance with the Program Performance Standards and the progress toward achieving those program goals.”
By embracing data, you’re not only using it for compliance and accountability purposes, but you’re also using it to measure programs’ progress in an ongoing way and involving multiple stakeholders, which allows programs to make real-time and timely improvements to their program services.
By gathering this data on an ongoing basis, it also allows programs to troubleshoot problems as they arise rather than waiting until the end of the program year to realize something didn’t work, and it didn’t go as planned. For more information on what’s required for planning for continuous improvement, we’re definitely going to drop that in a link for you for achieving program goals. We’ll share that with you, as well.
We’ll move along here. Many of you are familiar with the Head Start Program Planning Cycle. It doesn’t look like it’s coming on here. We went through all of this. Something happened here. All right. [Technical pause] All right. I want to make sure we’re aligned here. For this, we’re going to talk about monitoring program performance and the Head Start Program Planning Cycle that demonstrates this cycle for planning and continuous improvement in Head Start.
Monitoring program performance is very vital to continuous improvement. This is basically a visual, the Head Start Program Performance Standards in 1302.102 B, which outlines the process for continuous improvement as follows: You’re collecting and using data to inform planning, implementing course corrections, implementing preventative procedures, and working with the governing body and or tribal council and Policy Council.
I’m going to use the example that was previously cited. I’m going to go through this really quickly. We talked about how a parent was interested in enrolling in the program, but the process took too long to get them into the classroom. From the referral process to getting the child enrolled in the seat, how much time does it take?
For this example, let’s just say it takes six months. If so, how can one improve the process using this monitoring diagram? Let’s just say we collected the data, and we noted it takes long – too long‚ three, six months or longer to enroll the child in your program. In some cases, we’re just not enrolling families at all, and we find that we are losing them to other programs.
We don’t know – I don’t know about you, I should say – but this is a real-case scenario. If you can relate, give me a thumbs-up in the chat. But perhaps you learned about this issue by using your data management system that tracks the process as to when your family workers start the application process. Or maybe you have another monitoring system in place that tracks the process.
After attaining this information and analyzing the data, you begin to implement course corrections. Perhaps that involves bringing family workers and other key people to the table. Together you’re examining this data. You have a discussion so that you can understand what the gaps are and why they’re occurring.
Next, you come up with solutions to implement preventative procedures. This may involve updating your policies, or it could also involve updating your application or providing additional training to staff – whatever you identified for the area of improvement.
Lastly, I want you to work with your leadership team and governing body or tribal council and the Policy Council to address the areas from improvement. That may involve updating your policies and procedures, for example. Those are just some of the things that you would need to do working with your leadership team. Continuous improvement is about making changes that enable the organization to realize its vision and achieve its goals. It’s about taking steps to work together to promote better outcomes for children and families.
Next, we’re going to take you through the process of ongoing monitoring and continuous improvement. This graphic is a visual: the Head Start planning cycle for continuous improvement. Here’s an example of a goal that was established using the ERSEA assessment tool that Nicole just shared with you a little while ago.
For the purpose of this illustration we’re going to use the example of a recent community assessment that revealed, through both internal and external data, that the recruitment efforts were not reaching the target areas and the population. In this scenario, the program recognized that they were recruiting in a new environment, and they also recognize that there are providers and more options for parents to choose from.
As such, they had to think about how the Head Start programs could be a good collaborator in the communities they serve. In order to support their recruitment efforts, it was necessary for them to also recognize the importance of shifting the community dynamic from one of competition to one of collaboration. Let’s keep that in mind as we walk through this cycle.
The first one you can see here is as a result of one of their program goals was to strengthen the recruitment efforts to generate increased number of applicants at the site locations and in multiple income categories. Next, they had to develop their objectives here, and one of the objectives was to partner with all the human service organizations in the recruitment area by September. Then next, I’ll let you take that, Nicole.
Nicole: [Laughter] Next, after they gathered all that information and they know what they’re focused on and they are really looking at – even with that five-year project period and their objectives – they’re really trying to get their partnerships together by September 1. They’re setting a date that we’re going to know our partnerships, and we’re going to recruit with them. We’re going to get ahead of this and have all of this established and information out and moving forward by September 1.
From then, they’re going to create an action plan, a budget that reflects goals, and that includes the recruitment materials, the partnering, and the staff training. Then they’re also going to implement an action plan so they are assigning those activities. They’re identifying the supports or establishing timelines, and they’re identifying those data points.
Again, you want to be very clear about what your data points are, where you’re gathering the information, when you need the information by, and how you can check to see if it is actually reaching the outcomes that you need as you’re implementing those action plans.
Vernex: Great. When you saw something wasn’t working well or didn’t go as planned, you had to come up with different improvement strategies. That was really critical here. That’s the next step in this process. Then, at the end of the year … I’ll just take that over for you. We had to use this information, this data. We had to aggregate it. That brought us to the self-assessment process for review with a broader audience. This supported our planning for the following year. You had to ask what worked well and what we need to replicate or what we need to do better.
As a reminder, I just want everyone to remember – it is important to remain curious about data, understanding the “why” behind the data, and involving all stakeholders in the process to help build the culture of inquiry and curiosity, as we touched on early in today’s session.
All right, which brings us to some resources that I’d like to share with you. Here you have the ERSEA Assessment Tool that were reviewed earlier with you. We also have here the Equity Considerations for ERSEA, and we also have the Community Assessment: the Foundation for Planning in Head Start. These were all sent to you when you registered. Also you have here the briefs, the ERSEA briefs that we like to share with you as well. Do take advantage of these resources.
Nicole: For reflections and next steps as we close things out, we want you to consider those learning objectives, and what is one strategy to effectively move ERSEA services beyond implementation. We presented you with a lot of strategies today, and we hope that you can list some of those in the comment and chat section. Just think about one of those strategies that can effectively move ERSEA services beyond implementation, and put those in the chat as well.
We want to thank you all for your time here today. We want to make sure that you know you want to keep moving ERSEA beyond implementation. Thank you again.
Vernex: Thank you. Bye-bye.Close
Explore the new ERSEA Assessment Tool and strategies to support ERSEA services.
- Identify data to make decisions and plan for ERSEA services.
- Evaluate ERSEA services using the ERSEA Assessment Tool.