Introducing the Economic Mobility Toolkit for Head Start and Early Head Start Programs
Charlyn Harper Browne: Hello, and welcome to another webinar, in the Building Foundations for Economic Mobility Series. We appreciate you taking the time out of your busy schedules to join us today for a discussion about the economic mobility toolkit for Head Start and Early Head Start. Thank you, also, for participating in our lobby questions about the financial capability topic that comes up the most in your program. It seems like people have a lot of different topics that do come up like building credit budgeting, housing, common themes for all of us. So, thank you for responding and it seems I also, like, we have a lot of folks from across the country. So, thank you for joining us today.
My name is Charlyn Harper Browne and I'll be serving as your webinar host. I'm very excited about today's valuable and enlightening webinar. Today's conversation will focus on the work that you do to promote family economic mobility in your program. We're very delighted to introduce you to the Economic Mobility toolkit for Head Start and Early Head Start programs. This toolkit is intended to support your efforts to partner with families on their goals with financial capability for education and employment to set program goals, develop strategies and build staff capacity to support the economic mobility of families and for you to learn more about family economic mobility topics and resources.
On today's webinar, we will explore economic mobility information or services that Head Start and Early Head Start programs can share with parents. We will explore key topics in the economic mobility toolkit and how you can find essential resources to support your efforts. We will also explore what your program is already doing and ways to further your economic mobility work. And then finally also, explore how to integrate training education and career planning topics into your work. The purpose of this webinar series is to highlight research and exemplary practices in support of Head Start and Early Head Start two-generation mission, and to explore a core aspect of family well-being.
As you—As you may know, in the 2007 Improving Head Start, the School Readiness Act, the definition of family literacy services was amended to include financial literacy. This amendment illustrates Head Start's recognition of the relationship between a family's financial knowledge and their well-being. At this point I want to invite Cassie Russell one of today's speakers to jump in for this next session.
Cassie Russell: Thanks so, much, Charlyn. My name's Cassie and you'll be hearing from me later. But first, we want to hear from you. We want to know what you think. So, tell us your answer. You can see where I have it in red if you can enter your answers in that box below. We want to know why building foundation for economic mobility matters to you and your program. Was somebody who's new.
So, that's great. It's a way to help families build lasting change. Absolutely, we know that building the foundation for economic mobility can really help folks with their own financial goals and stability. Moving out of poverty towards prosperity. Definitely. Lots of family service workers. So, that's great. Self-sufficiency a two-generation approach. And I think that that's really important. I'm taking that approach of working with the whole family and realizing that when we partner with parents on their economic mobility goals we ultimately support goals for their children, as well. Poverty. Future success. So, this is all great. And we know that there's many ways to approach this work.
So, we're also curious about what words you use to talk about family economic mobility in your program. So, let us know whether you use financial literacy, financial education, financial program, financial capability or financial well-being. Let's see what's most popular. So, I'm seeing a lot of self-sufficiency from financial literacy. Somebody mentions that they use Your Money, Your Goals. That's great. All of these are—are great ideas.
So, we just wanted to highlight that whether you use the words financial literacy or financial well-being regardless of where you're at in the country, no matter how we talk about this work. Anything you or your program does partner with families on education, career or financial goals help build the foundations for economic mobility. We want to highlight that there are so many goals that get folks started whether it's a simple referral or having an informational poster in your area.
So, we're going to turn it back to Charlyn to find out more about why family economic mobility work matters.
Charlyn: Thank you, Cassie, and I thank you everyone for joining in that chat. We know that although financial literacy is in the Improving Head Start for School Readiness Act. We need to move beyond that family literacy—to build collaborative partnerships, offer resources, and partner with families as they take steps to meet their own financial goals.
All of this work supports multigenerational family well-being that will expand well beyond the time you partner with the families that you work with and continue to promote positive and enduring outcomes for children and families. I mentioned before, today we'll hear from the Economic Mobility Toolkit to hear how the Economic Mobility Toolkit for Head Start and Early Head Start can help you plan and take action on economic mobility in your program.
Cassie Russell just spoke. Will guide our exploration of the toolkit. Cassie was actually the principal developer of the toolkit. She brings a wealth of knowledge and experience about how community-based programs can support families in building their financial capabilities. As you will see, the toolkit draws on much of the content we've already shared throughout the course of the webinar series. And has new information that we will share in the future. So, now, I'll turn it back over to Cassie.
Cassie: Thank you so, much, Charlyn. Hi again, everyone, and thank you so much for taking the time out of your schedule to be here. I'm really excited to share information on the economic mobility toolkit for Head Start and Early Head Start with all of you today. So, the toolkit was really born out of this webinar series and request from all of you to have information in one place. The toolkit brings together promising practice, research, and ideas about how staff parent leaders and others can partner with family.
As Charlyn spoke about earlier, we know that this is a key component of family-wide well-being, and the toolkit ties to the Parent, Family, and Community Engagement Framework throughout its tech. So, the toolkit can be used by anyone—training and technical assistance providers, leadership staff, parent leaders. And we really want the toolkit to be an opportunity to celebrate what you're already doing. So, to reflect on your goals where you might want to prioritize growth to learn about topics strategies and tools but also to share your knowledge and finding.
We know that there is so much information today on this webinar and on our community at home. So, we really encourage you to share what you've learned. Whether that be in the chat or through other opportunities. So, the toolkit is organized into two parts. We'll talk through each part a little later on, but we wanted to give a brief overview here. The first section is a program planning and professional development tool that will help you identify economic mobility goals and think about how this work can be integrated into your program's 5-year goals. Then we'll take a look at key topics which are some of the things you mentioned earlier that tend to come up a lot when we're partnering with families on economic mobility. Before we get the content we wanted to flag that throughout the toolkit, you will find resources for action. The blue boxes let you know where to find research tools and other resources.
When you want to take a deeper dive into a topic. Before we get started on the content we want to mention that you might have the same financial goals with families. So, maybe you're interested in home ownership and improving your budgeting skills or paying down student loans and how you approach school will vary depending on your values, experiences, knowledge, and skills.
So, I might want to budget on paper while another person uses an app on their phone or computer and another person might use the envelope method. All of these are valid ways to approach the same goal and we know from research that folks will be more successful with their goals if they're really engaged in that planning and able to select an approach that works at their skills. Before we talk about program goals we wanted to remind everyone of the family partnership process tool that provides information on goal setting with families on all types of goals. We didn't want to reinvent such a great tool though information about the family partnership process can be found separately, but we just wanted to flag that for you all. So, let's take a look at the two sections. The first is the program planning and professional development tool.
So, this really serves as an opportunity for you to think about your goals. Reflect on the information that you already have. Think about the resources in your community and find the best approach to integrate economic mobility work. Depending on your situation. The tool is organized into five steps, and we're going to briefly discuss each step. So, the first step is to review your goals. Now oftentimes people might say, "Actually I don't have any economic mobility goals or objectives, or my program doesn't."
And that's OK, if you really don't. But often you may be overlooking work that you're doing. So, be sure to give yourself credit and posting information about a local tax site referring to your local workforce programs. All of those can be tied into economic mobility goals for your program. Next, you'll want to record what you know about families economic mobility goals.
Later on, our guest speakers will share how they get this information. Keep in mind—you might need—not need to do anything differently you might have this information from conversations with families. The intake process or from local data from maybe the census or another source. After pulling all of that information together you'll record your goals and the goals that families identified. We know that goals will vary widely, and some will want to ensure electricity is not shut off and move beyond living paycheck to paycheck. Others will want to go to school. We heard homeownership and credit in the chat earlier, and the toolkit can really help you with a variety of goals.
So, it's not specific to one type of goal. Then you'll decide your approach, and this will vary based on the goals. So, family advocates might work directly with families on budgeting but refer to a local homeownership agency for credit building and home purchase program. Then the last step is to summarize your key takeaways and to decide what to do next. So, now we'll go to a poll question. So, our poll question is: Does your program currently include economic mobility in your five-year plan often? So, it looks like quite a few of you specifically address economic mobility and some of you address it indirectly. There are a few of you that say that you don't address economic mobility in your five-year plan. But this tool is a great opportunity to think about ways that you can integrate that into your work.
Ok, So, next section in the toolkit is exploring key topics. So, we've divided our key topics into two sections financial capability and education and employment goals. While separated for easier navigation, we know that the education and employment goals are intricately tied to financial capability. So, for our purposes they're really just done separately to ensure things are easier to navigate. But we know that education and employment can increase income and maybe open new financial goals for families.
Now, let's take a look at the financial goals that we cover. So, we heard a lot about whether U.S. financial literacy or financial education in our first key topic explores financial education coaching and counseling and what might be successful in your setting.
Our second key topic explores safe and affordable financial products that we discuss ways to connect families to second-chance bank accounts, ChexSystems. And ChexSystems is kind of, like, a credit report for if you have bounced checks before or other things. So, sometimes folks might be experiencing barriers to getting banks and so that provides some information on that. The third topic definitely came up in the chat and that's about building credit and managing debt. So, whether somebody wants to build credit for the first time or needs to rebuild their credit, information and tools and resources are provided. The fourth is on savings and asset ownership programs.
So, homeownership was something that came up in the chat and that key topic addresses how to connect folks to programs that help them with homeownership savings. Generally like an emergency fund or starting a business. And then, the fifth is accessing state and federal benefits, and that includes tax benefits like the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Care Tax Credit. So, each one of these key topics provides an overview of the information and then at the end there is action steps. So, ideas about how you can work with families to support any of these goals. The next is our education and employment topics.
So, the first is talking about workforce development and job training programs. So, we provide information on workforce development boards and how to find information for your local workforce development site. These sites can help people with resumé, job search strategies. Some of them even have classes on computer skills and other things that might make somebody more employable. Then we have information on identifying career pathways. So, career pathways are those opportunities where maybe somebody starts as a CMA. They become an LPN. Then, they become a registered nurse. Then, they get their BSN, then, they get their Master’s of Science in nursing.
So, opportunities for people to explore education as they also increase their earnings along the way. The last is apprenticeship opportunities and there is some really exciting changes happening at the Department of Labor right now. So, apprenticeship opportunities provide an opportunity for someone to earn while they learn a trade and get an industry recognized credential. And So, that provides information about where to find that in your community. So, some key takeaways. The first is that you don't have to be perfect to have a money conversation.
So, like we said you might be working on paying down your own debt or building your own emergency fund. And that's just fine. Everyone has something to offer, and the great thing about the partnership process is that you're not expected to be an expert. It's really you working with the family on their equals. Despite not having to be an expert there's always an opportunity to learn more so that accessing the toolkit and other resources continuing to attend these webinars, but also talking to each other, and making sure that we're recording the things that we learned from families. Three is working on your own goals. So, whether that be your personal financial goals or tying economic mobility into your professional development plan. Four. It's just to remember that there are community resources. I've spent a lot of my career in very rural areas.
And so, even when maybe you don't have a resource in your community or the community over it there's a lot of great information online. If you have access to internet where you are. And then fifth, and just a reminder, that this work really isn't an add on. It's central to our mission because anti-poverty work is such an important part of the Head Start mission. So, I wanted to thank you all for taking the time to walk through the toolkit, and now we're going to learn about some of the economic opportunity program, and they're located in New York. Their work really reflects some of the content of the toolkit and they'll share their expertise of how they have really put this work into action. So, I'm pleased to introduce Susan Phillips, Sandy Kennedy, Selena Wandell, and Tina Stanton as the Economic Opportunities Birth to Five School Readiness Program.
Together: Hello, hello, hello.
Cassie: Thank you all for joining us. So, I wanted to ask you all if you could just say your name and tell us a little bit about your role with economic opportunity program.
Tina Stanton: Yes. My name is Tina Stanton and I'm the family and parent engagement advocate at [Inaudible] Birth to Five School Readiness Program. And I basically do parent education and parent engagement. Like the newsletters, closing notices, the 10 parent gatherings. I support parents do these fundraising efforts. And just to name a few things that I do. So, I'll turn it over to Sandy.
Sandy Kennedy: Hi I'm Sandy Kennedy. I'm a family advocate at our [Inaudible] location, and I work with parents who—basically to do, like, partnership agreement
[Inaudible] into the community, helping them observe and goal plan. We do the Matrix with them. Selina?
Selina Wandell: Hi, I'm Selena Wandell. I'm also a family advocate, and I work for the—at the EOP state. I'm here at the main agency.
Cassie: Awesome well thank you, all. We appreciate that team approach and you all taking the time to be there today. So, first, I wanted to start with Sandy and Selena. You both mentioned that you act as family advocates. Can you tell us a little more about how you partner with families on economic mobility tool?
Selina: Yes. Well. So, we just meet with the parents like three times a year or on a, you know, an as-needed basis. And we work with the families within the community. We also help them become self-reliant. We focus on the family's needs. And we assist them to become their own advocate.
Cassie: That's great work but I'm wondering if you can tell us a little bit about the family strength metrics and how you use that with families to review their goals.
Sandy: So, yeah. So, we usually use the Matrix when we do our partnership goals. So, we kind of break down the Matrix and there's a lot of it that is based on their hold on a second. So, we review their goals during like our home visits based on our interactions with the families and We meet with them several different times. We help them to establish a family budget. If they asked we asked them if they have insurance. Then if they don't we help them to get that. If they don't have reliable transportation we help them with that. And it's based off the seven family engagement outcomes. And we help them reflect and build on their strengths that they're already doing. And we just have basically an ongoing process. We work with our families.
Cassie: Great. Yeah. It's really great that it ties to the seven outcomes and I think really highlighting the strengths that families have and using that as a launching pad for their other goals. I'm curious. I know earlier in the chat we saw some themes in terms of goals that people were interested in. What do you find families that you partner with are interested in exploring?
Sandy: I mean, a lot of our families are basically interested in learning how to budget, how to coupon, how to save the, you know, the dollars and cents, you know, anything that they can save on budgeting. Learning to become a first home buyer, about their credit scores and way to improve their credit scores, and those type of topics.
Cassie: Right: And we have a question in the chat about the Framework that we're mentioning. And that is the Parent, Family, and Community Engagement Framework. So, you can find that on ECLKC. And then, I don't know if you all want to say a little bit more about the seven outcomes you mentioned earlier.
Selina: So, the seven out—So, it's basically family well-being. It's right across the Matrix. Families or parent-child relationship, Families as lifelong learners, Families have learners, Family
engaging in transition, Families connection to peer and community, and Families of advocates and leaders.
Cassie: Awesome. Thank you, and Nina shared the links to the framework. And then again, you all can download the Matrix, as well. OK. Well thank you so much for sharing that information. So, I'm wanted now to ask about you know we mentioned earlier step two of the Program Planning and Professional Development Tool is really about warning families economic mobility goals. And I know you all have sort of an interesting process for how you survey families. Can you tell us a little bit about how you decide what economic mobility programming your team will offer each year?
Tina: So, we do a yearly survey utilizing Survey Monkey. Hi, this is Tina Stanton. Sorry. So, you utilize Survey Monkey and we do this we distribute it out to families. So, what I do is I work with the family advocates. I am the family and parent engagement advocate. So, I would send the information to the family advocate with a link attached so that the families that come into the site can utilize the family advocate's computer. I also send hard copies of that survey for families it might be a little intimidated with the technology. And so, once that data is collected then we gather that information. And based on the parents' responses. That's kind of the information that we go with.
Cassie: Awesome. And I think it's really great that you will offer two methods of Survey Monkey and paper to be responsive of the needs of your families. So, next, I wanted to stay with you, Tina. You jumped ahead. Now you're the parent engagement coordinator. So, you work with family advocate and a variety of ways. Can you sort of share some more about your role and how you partner with the family advocate?
Tina: Sure. So, I partner with them. I attend the parent gatherings that they have at their sites each month. So, we have five different sites. So, I work with seven different family advocates We have family advocates for Early Head Start and for regular Head Start. So, I attend their monthly parent gathering meetings which I talk to the parents about you know Policy Council, and you know, different guest speakers that they might want to gather information on. So on, and so forth. And then... Trainings. I do parent trainings. I do two works—two kinds of education pieces. I do Parenting with Heart, and I also do Positive Solutions for Families, which is a curriculum that we here at Birth to Five School Readiness Program chose to go with.
And that's geared more towards early childhood development, ages and stages, and how to manage behaviors, and that kind of stuff. And I also do lunch and learns. So, with those lunch and learns, we have topics such as living within your budget, couponing, understanding your credit score, identity theft, child development. Understanding family court process, just to name a few I do. And we partner with a local Federal Credit Union here [Inaudible].
So, we have Kurt [Inaudible] that comes in and he does these lunch and learns for about two hours with the families, and they learn how to budget money—how...especially after the holidays, with the holidays coming up, you know. how to pull yourself out of the holidays, understanding your credit score, and identity theft, because in this day and age, we definitely need to be careful of that. So, those are just a few of the different ones and those that I've had. We also do stuff like communication, the importance of self-care. Because being a parent, a lot of times you're so all about your kids, and we forget to take care of ourselves. So, and also, raising grandchildren because we have a lot of grandparents that are now having to raise their children's children. So, these are just some of the things that came out of the survey or different conversations with parents at the parent gatherings.
Casie: Awesome. We're getting a lot more questions about the Matrix. So, we'll circle back to that in a little bit. But for now I—I wanted to follow up with Tina. So, you mentioned that you have a guest speaker for the [Inaudible] series. I'm betting now that sometimes your staff also, presents, as well. How do you go about deciding when a staff person will present, compared to when you'll have a guest speaker?
Tina: Well, here in-house we have a mental health component. We also have [inaudible] and myself. I can do like communication and effective discipline with my certification. So, based on the knowledge of the staff that's where I go with the information that parents are wanting to hear. Couponing. We have a staff member that's really good at those coupons, So, I reached out to her and said, "Hey. Families want to hear how to do this." And she showed up with binders in hand and showed them.
Cassie: That's awesome. Yes. So, I think that one of the things that the toolkit really talks about is that sometimes that's to take a DIY approach. So, if you happen to have somebody on your team who's passionate about couponing. And then sometimes, it's important a partner, like they've done with a local credit union. And then, to use multiple approaches within the same program to ensure that parents are offered high quality services. So, that's great to take that sort of blended approach. I know that in addition to the lunch and learn learning series, you all have a community resource fair. Can you share a little bit about that?
Tina: Sure. So, again, this is still Tina. So, when I—as a family advocate prior to this position when we would go out to our families and we would tell about this service or that service a lot of the families weren't aware of what's available in the community. So, I ... last year I was like, "Well let's bring all the community family services agencies to the gym, which we have here behind our building, and invite the families so that they can come and meet and greet and ask questions for any of the services that might be benefit to families." So, we just had our second one here in October. So, it was this one was well attended, and we even had a visit from the mayor.
Cassie: That's awesome. That's great. I'm wondering if you can share sort of some of the logistical components of the fair. How soon do you send out invites to the community? Is there child care? What are some of that sort of nuts and bolts you have to think through in offering that resource fair?
Tina: So, here in our community we have CIS, which sends out a wonderful community resource paper. So, I just kind of go down that whole list and call. I start like in August. And I just call everybody. I send out invitations. I email flyers, and then as far as scheduling, I schedule it when the children are in school. And of course, if they bring young children—I mean it's not that long. It's like 10 to noon. There's probably about 20 different agencies that participate, and different community agencies such as here, have all we have [inaudible], we have the HRC we have open WDC, single parent network. So, there's just several different family-serving agencies in our
community, and I just invite them to the—to the gym and the parents come in. They walk around and they get information and maybe pens, their business cards, or whatever and talk to the people. We can provide taxis if needed for those families that struggle with transportation. But as far as child care, we don't because we schedule it when the children are in school.
Cassie: That's great. So, we do have a question from Bridgette. So, she asks, "How do you entice families to attend the resource fair?"
Tina: So, when I start going to the parent gatherings in September, I start talking about those, I send out flyers, we send out reminders. Though we offer—some of the parent gatherings we offer food, so that we can get better attendance and sometimes we offer the freebies at the tables. They do the different freebies. Bracelets, different kind of handout pens, Because, if you put pens like I do, you walk around and grab all the nice pens. So. And it's a really good chance for the agencies to network with each other, as well. A lot of times, you know, I might know what this agency and this agency does, but don't know, you know, what "X Y Z" does. So, it's really a good chance to network and for families to get connected with different community agencies.
Cassie: Awesome some of you had questions about the Matrix. So, we're going to load that up So, everyone can see and then our friends at Economic Opportunity Program will sort of talk us through the different sections of the Matrix. So, Economic Opportunity Team, I'm wondering if you can share a little bit about how you use the Matrix.
Selena: Yes. This is Selena. So, when we meet our families we start just having a simple conversation with our families. And then, based on the information that is shared we will use that information to help us with the family partnership and the Family Strength Matrix. They pretty much go hand-in-hand. So, like if I were to meet with a family, and you know, they were asking for food, on one of the questions under the family well-being would be are they able to provide and eat healthy meals. And then also, if you know if family members have any current physicals or anything like that. If they said to us, "Oh well we don't have health insurance," then we could work with them, and then we would go from the conversation.
Cassie: Awesome. Yeah. And I think it's important that sometimes, again, things like healthy meals and access to health insurance—that's really tied to economic mobility, as well. Because we know that connecting people to food support or health support can reduce their cost burden for those type of services.
Selina: So, based on our family partnership agreement one of the questions on our family partnership form is, "What are some of the challenges that you have raising your family?" So, you know, they—a family... Say I know a family is homeless. So, one of the questions on the Family Strength Matrix is, "Is there good housing." So, you know, they pretty much go hand in hand with one another.
Tina: Awesome, thank you for sharing that We have a question from Heather, who wants to know if you use a data program to track family progress and outcomes, or sort of how you translate the family's strength Matrix into some of those outcome items.
Selina: Well the Family Strength Matrix is actually three times a year, and then—but it's three separate count columns—and then our—
Tina: We usually, like, upload those into a data spreadsheet, like on Excel, and then it'll calculate like the percentage of improvement per family, per site usually. It's—it's all like calculated through like our own IT department here. [Inaudible] is one of the systems that we use.
Cassie: Awesome. Yeah. So, I think it's important that you know something as simple as an Excel spreadsheet can really be helpful in tracking outcomes. You might not always need to purchase a fancy software. People are asking if the Matrix was an agency created tool, if it was borrowed, or if it came from research. Can you talk a little bit about the development of the Family Strength Matrix?
Selina: So, the Family Strength Matrix was actually created by one of our old managers that's no longer with the program. So, I'm really not sure how she developed it.
Tina: I think [Inaudible] under the seven family engagement outcomes, and then they just kind of go underneath with each one of you know for family well-being. Do you have health insurance? Do you have a doctor? Do you have a dentist? You know those kind of things. And then when you revisit the family's three times a year. So, last time they didn't have a dentist but the second visit they do. So, that's improvement.
Cassie: Yeah awesome. And some people are mentioning that it's similar to some information and child plus. And again, since it's tied to the seven outcomes that are Head Start why it makes sense that other people have seen sort of similar ideas about family well-being, or families as learners, or parents as teachers. Right? Because that is really the core of our work. Right. And then some other folks are asking if under each question is it a yes or no in the boxes or a point system. And I think again if you download and scroll to the bottom, it might be easy to answer that. So, if you guys can share that information?
Selina: It's actually—it's a point system. And so, like the first like the first column, you would just go over it with the families and say you checked off three out of the 10 items. And then, that would be the score for the first time. And then the second time, you know you could use a different colored pen, or you could color code it. It's really however you can decipher, you know, from your first, second, and third visit. So, you can show growth.
Cassie: Right. Yeah. And I love that it's focus on growth and not so much a particular outcome, because I think too often with financial goals—did you save this much money—when really we know there's So, many steps. First, thinking about the goal, maybe establishing a safe place to save, whether that's a place in somebody's house or a bank account. And then also, you know talking to your family, getting everyone involved, and getting on the—We can go ahead and switch back to the slide. And when we do that, that will allow you guys to download the Matrix again. So, a huge thank you to the team for being willing to share something that they created. I know, again, on the last webinar it was very popular.
So, people are saying, "Yes! Good job." And I know that we all really appreciate this tool. So, we're gonna upload that PowerPoint again. And when we do we're going to talk a little bit about Economic Opportunity Program Family Development Credentialing Program. So, I'm wondering if you guys could share a little bit about what that program is and how it got started. And I just want to start by saying that this program is just for staff, it's not for parents in the program. But it's still an important part of economic mobility work.
Selina: So, the program started by sending some of our staff here at economic opportunity can become trainers through player forest up in Ithaca—Cornell to become trained FDC instructors for offering the credentialing classes to our staff, because it's one of those certifications—it's one of the certification requirements for a family advocate and home visitors if you don't have a four year degree. So, we offer it to our employees here at EOP Head Start plus professionals in the community, plus professionals out in the community. We offer it to like—it's advertised so other programs can come to us for the training, as well. We have five leaders here that can teach the FDC class.
Cassie: OK, great. And then, what are some of the impacts you see from the credentialing program? Are there any results or lessons learned?
Selena: I definitely feel that through the credentialing people are more positive, they're more strength based.
Susan Phillips: Yea, the agency—This is Sue. The agency here always believes in continuously training staff. And just like we have tell our families they need to be lifelong learners. We feel that the same thing with our staff. So, it's wonderful to promote this and for our professional development series that we offer for the staff as well. I think it's a really creative example of how this work impacts all of us. Like you were saying and taking a life-long learning approach. But it's also a creative way to address career pathways and ensuring that you have trained-up staff for positions. So, even though this is specific to staff we also want to highlight encouraging you to think about how economic—economic mobility for staff ties to professional development and those five-year goals.
Selina: And I think it also helps us recognize when we're working with families, to to go at it, to work with the family's strength-based opposed to power over.
Tina: So, I ran the team instead of trying to going like, "you need to do this, you do that you know that." You know. da, da, da. If you work with them as part of the team they engage better. And when they engage better, they're more apt to set goals that they're going to be able to reach, you know, not just because they think that's what you want to hear.
Cassie: Yeah, absolutely. And I think you know building that partnership and that trust we know can definitely help folks achieve their goals. So, we did have a couple of questions one more about where to find it. So, again on the left-hand side, you'll see an information box, then one that's a "BFEM Materials," and then, "Files for Download." And if you click on the Blank Family Strength Matrix," it says "blank" because its blank for you to fill in. It will highlight blue, and then you'll click on download files. So, that's where you can find all that information. And then we've shared some links throughout about where to find the toolkit, but it's also there for your download, as well.
Selena: To just add one thing to that. When you're tallying that, if you're using the computer version of it, you would put an X in the box, not a number, because it won't—it won't add up your numbers. So, if you just put an X in the box, per visit. It'll calculate. Dimensional numbers.
Tina: I find that they struggle getting parents to the workshops. A lot of times if you're able to offer food—I mean, parents show up when there's food involved. So, and also, to be present at the parent gatherings, and so, on and so forth. So, they have a face to when they come to the workshop, somebody that they know.
Selena: and the one thing the FTC might have taught us was that if we were offering workshops that are more for what we would like to tell our parents about you won't get the participation. You need to have the workshops be about what the parents have said they want to learn. So, there at the mind the families that they actually get something. And the topic being s much with financial right now, there seems to be a big push for that. And that's why we've done so many lunch and learns. So, the Matrix can tell you a lot more. It can tell you specifically about a family but when you look at the data that's all collected. You can see then where you might need to have a workshop, you know, and use that as another tool for that survey. Yeah. To what questions might want to serve a year back. We saw a lot of families that said that they would like to learn CPR and first aid. So, we were looking at ways that we could financially then could have a class here for them to learn those skill sets.
Cassie: That's awesome. And I think it just really highlights the importance of serving families whether it's formally, like you all do using Survey Monkey survey, or if it's informally and meeting with parents to really identify the topics that they're interested in. OK. Wow. I think we have wrapped up the questions, but we will come back to you if there are more in the chat. So, a huge thank you to Susan, Sandy, Selena, and Tina for sharing of your information and for your work with families every day.
Together: You're welcome.
Cassie: OK. So, as you think about the toolkit and the great information economic opportunity program staff shared, you might be wondering how to get started. So, we hope that this has been helpful but we also recognize it can be a little overwhelming. So, we would suggest starting small. As they just mentioned, really starting with the key topics that interested families. So, finding out what they're interested in going to that section of the toolkit. The toolkit is a big document, but you don't have to access it all at once. Then just a reminder, that there are free several resources.
So, Siri posted the link to join our MyPeers community, which we will plug again in a few minutes. But that is a place where we have put together all of this information that you're asking for. We'll add that Family Strength Matrix there. The toolkit will be added there. But we have sections of free downloadable, federal-trusted resources that you can use in your work. If you would like free resources sent to you, the first link is for the FTC. And so, they have a variety of things that they can mail to you on looking for jobs, or making complaints about identity theft, those sorts of things. The second link here is for the CFPB, and you can get free tools downloaded and sent to you.
So, the shipping is free and then you don't have to pay for paper. You can download them if you want them immediately but they ship them to you in a nice box. You can download or get shipped to you Your Money, Your Goals, or Behind on Bills, and other booklets. And I find as we're talking about parent engagement that having something tangible that you all can hand out that didn't cost the program money to be a really great resource. I see the questions are continuing. Our speakers are answering those in the chat. So, Kimberly you're asking about printed copies of the toolkit. And right now we just really have it for download. So, it's great that you've got some at a regional conference. But again I think it's an opportunity with your team to really think about. So that if folks are interested in credit, maybe just printing those five pages. So, that you're not printing the whole thing because we know it's large. And then the toolkit and more resources can be found on ECLKC. So, please do refer back as—as you need these resources. So, I'm going to hand it back over to Charlyn, and then she's going to pop it back over to me, and we'll keep the conversation going.
Charlyn: OK. All right. Thank you, Cassie, and everyone else just as a reminder there is a learning community focused on economic mobility in the social media platform called MyPeers, that we've mentioned earlier. And the information about registering for an account is here. I just want to just make sure that the new people who are not registered yet. When you began this process, it will take two or three days before you get an e-mail message to go further in the process of registering. So, when you get that e-mail message You then click on the log and the creator user profile, and then you will be able to go to the Economic Mobility Learning Community, and join in that community, as well. We also want to point out that recordings and materials of past webinars and missionaries are available on the Family Well-being page of the Early
Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center, or ECLKC. They are typically posted a month after each webinar. So, you'll be able to get the slides in about a month. So, this brings us to the end of our program today and what a what a wonderful program we did have today was full of information.
And so, we want to thank Cassie Russell, and the folks from the EOP Birth to Five School Readiness Program. Susan Phillips, Sandy Kennedy, Selena Wandell, and Tina Stanton for sharing this important information with us today. Thank you, also, to all of our participants got joining and being so fully engaged with us in this conversation. It was really interesting reading the questions and the responses, and seeing people connect through the Web—through the webinar.
Cassie: Thank you, Charlyn. And before we end the audio we did want to share one piece of information from the communications team at the National Center. So, there's a new service called Tax for Family Services, and you can sign up free today. It's free text messaging designed for family service providers, and it's also available in Spanish. So, it sends two free text messages to you per month with information, tips, and resources, and help you access the latest information on PFCE resources as soon as they're released. So, for instance with that toolkit, you could have received an awesome text letting you know that it was out. So, to sign up, You just need to say "PCFE" and you text back to 22660 to sign up. if you want to stop. You can do that at any time or you can ask for help. It's really easy, and a free way to get information right to your phones.
Charlyn: Is this goodbye now?
Cassie: This is goodbye. Thank you all for joining us.Close
Explore the Economic Mobility Toolkit for Head Start and Early Head Start. Find out how it can boost your efforts to integrate economic mobility work into your program. Learn about ways programs can set goals and build staff capacity to support the economic mobility goals of families.
Note: The evaluation, certificate, and engagement tools mentioned in the video were for the participants of the live webinar and are no longer available. For information about webinars that will be broadcast live soon, visit Upcoming Events.