Anand Sharma: Good afternoon, Head Start family, and welcome to the latest installment of the Building
Foundations for Economic Mobility webinar series. If you haven't been here before, you might not know that I'm Anand Sharma, and I'm with the National Center on Parent, Family, and Community Engagement. And it's my pleasure to be your host for the next hour or so as we dig into today's important conversation. So, today, we will be focusing on partnering with community colleges to support student parents. We are deep into September, the start of fall, it's back-to-school time and heading back to the classroom is on the minds of a lot of families and kids, but it's not just kids who are going back to school, there are many parents themselves who either have been in school, or enrolling in school, or have set goals to be able to attend school, including community college, to really further their education, develop their skills, and help their family be better off. So, we're really excited to be highlighting this conversation, especially at this time of the year with so many kids and parents heading back or thinking about heading back to the classroom.
So, what are we going to explore today? Well, we'll take some time to look at challenges that Head Start and Early Head Start families may face when accessing education or job training. We'll spend some time looking at effective approaches that Head Start and Early Head Start programs can take when working with community college partners. And we'll also spend some time discussing resources and potential partners that Head Start Staff and student parents themselves who are interested in pursuing a relationship with a community college came youth. And we're really excited to be able to have a couple different guests today, and I'll introduce them throughout the webinar, but they'll help us to get a sense of the landscape, about the challenges and opportunities that exist for student parents, as well as recommendations about what Head Start programs and community colleges can do to work together effectively, to support those families in achieving their educational goal. And we're also excited to have a couple folks representing a program from Texas that can give real-life examples of what if they can do to build their partnership over time.
So, we have a lot to get through, and I don't want to take any more of their time, and so with that, I will go ahead and introduce our first presenter. Lindsey Reichlin Cruse is the study director at the Institute for Women's Policy Research. And in that role, Lindsey is handling this project within IWPR student and success initiative, which promote higher education access and success for low-income women who are mothers of young children. There's also lot more that I could say about Lindsey, but I will just briefly mention that she also contributes to that Institute for Women's Policy Research as research on supportive services in workforce development, on work family balance, and on international women's issues. So, Lindsey is bringing a wealth of expertise around today's topic as well as a lot of other ones that we know are important for the Building Foundation for Economic Mobility audience, and we are just absolutely thrilled that she's taking the time to share some of that knowledge and some of the insight she's gained through her work with all of us. So, with that, I will turn things over to Lindsey.
Lindsey Reichlin Cruse: Hi, everyone, thank you so much, Anand. And thank you to everybody who has joined us today on this webinar, and it's really a pleasure to be here and to see all of your educational goals and achievements, I think that's -- I thought it's wonderful to share this topic with most of the people, so I appreciate everybody sharing.
So, today, I was asked to share some of what we know about student parents, as well as how great our connection between the Head Start system and a higher ed system could mutually benefit families, programs, and institutions. I'll start to talk on briefly a little bit about the work and the IWPR, as Anand mentioned, I lead our Student Parent Success Initiative, which is focused on promoting success for the population of college students or parents of young children. We conduct data analysis to raise awareness
that their presence on college campuses and their experiences while they're pursuing a degree, we look for strategies that institutions and programs and policymakers can use to better support this population. And we produce three sorts of recommendations to provide technical assistance to help different stakeholders understand the student parents' needs and help support their success. So, I'm going to start off by talking a little bit about why it matters that low-income parents have access to quality secondary education and then tell you a little bit about what our research has shown us about what parents go through when they're in college. And then I'll move on to some of our newest research looking specifically at Head Start colleges and college partnerships. So, we recently completed a cost-benefit study that looks at the economic benefits of degree of payment specifically for single mothers and their families.
And what we learned from this work confirmed what really we all know about the power of a college degree, holding one, makes a huge difference in whether or not a family will live in poverty. But it also made clear that for a population like single mothers, as well as student parents more broadly who are more likely to be living in poverty than other families, a college degree can play a particularly important role in their ability to establish family economic security. So, as you can see here, single moms with a bachelor's degree are about a third less likely to live in poverty and if they only had a high school diploma. So, just 13 percent of single moms with a BA live in poverty compared with more than 2 and 5 who just went to high school and 62 percent without the high school credential. So, similarly, holding a degree leads single mother to earn much more each year than their counterparts with less education. A single mom with an associate degree earns around $8,000 more annually than single moms with a high school diploma, and those with a BA earn 22 percent more or more than $18,000 each year.
So, even though all single mothers earn less than other women, holding a degree can really play an important role in improving their overall economic standing. So, in our cost-benefit study that we released a few months ago, we wanted to understand exactly what a college degree does for the single mother population in particular. There's a lot of research out there that looks at the question for students overall, and that is not a lot of nuance in that research that allows us to understand exactly what that looks like for parents who go through college. So, focusing specifically on the single mom population, we first estimated how much they spent on getting a degree, including things like the opportunity cost of not working full time and the cost of extra child care that they would need while in school.
And we found that single moms spend an average of a little less than $10,000 on an associate's degree. After they graduate, however, and they earn between $5,000 and $10,000 more annually as a result of holding that degree than they would have with only a high school diploma, leading to a total of roughly
$153,000 over their lifetime. So, this means that for every dollar a single mom graduates, invests in her education, she sees a return of roughly $16.50 per year at the result of earning that degree. These returns can mean a number of things for single moms and their families. It could mean improved social mobility and family economic security, it can mean putting a child through college or establishing, you know, making sure they are secure in their retirement. It's obvious that getting a degree can be that ticket out of poverty and then ensuring these students in successfully persistent school can make a serious difference in their families' long-term outcomes. And the importance of making sure parents graduate successfully is understood by the fact that they actually make up quite a low portion of today's undergraduate students.
So, as of a recent data, in 2016, more than 1 in 5 undergrads are parents of children under 18, that's around 3.8 million students, over half of them are single parents. [Characteristics of Student Parents] So, these student parents are likely to attend community colleges with the largest share attending two and four-year institutions around two and five. And a quarter of all community college students are parents including about one-third of all women in community college. Most student parents at community colleges are parents of young children that need early childhood education or child care and half of all parents in community college are students of color, with for example, over a third of all black students being parents. This makes student parents success in college really critical to efforts to close specifically racial ethnic gap in college outcome.
So, like student parents overall, student parents in community college are more likely to be living in poverty than all students and then who are single are particularly likely to be facing serious financial insecurity while pursuing an associate's degree or certificate. Nearly 60 percent of single parents in community college are below the federal poverty line as our two and five student parents overall compared with just about a third of all students and students who are parents. You can also see here that married parents are actually less likely than all students to live with economic insecurity and that's one reason that we tend to talk a lot about single parents just because they're experienced and they're often in the much difference than their married counterpart. So, as we thought earlier, earning a college degree can be a really effective lever for establishing long run economic security, yet many parents don't graduate with the credential, so just the third of all parents and around 27 percent of single parents earning a degree or certificate within 60 years of enrollment.
This is particularly detrimental given that many students who graduate take on substantial student debt, so they are graduating with that debt but without the credential that will help them pay off. This is actually a particular problem for parents with single moms being graduating with the highest levels of debt but with a lowest graduation rate. And what we know is that child care is a major support that could help more parents graduate. It's arguably the most important support for student parent success that's backed up by a range of qualitative and quantitative evidence. As everyone on this call knows care giving takes up significant time, particularly when it's layered on top of going to school, doing homework, and often holding a job. And this leads a lot of community college students or parents to leave school prematurely and then of course without that affordable, reliable child care option going back to school is often really difficult and often impossible for many student parents. What we do know is that there is evidence showing that child care can really positively impact student outcome. So, programs that are funded by the Child Care Access means parents in school grad program which is the only federal funding available for support college students access to child care. Some of that evidence shows that students receiving certain amount of care did dramatically better than other parents and also better than student overall their institution.
We've also done some recent analysis that are really unique data stat from a community college in New York which allows us to see differences between parents who used the campus child care centre and student parents who didn't. And what we've found is that student parents who used the campus child care center at any point during their educational career are about 1.7 times more likely to persist from one fall semester to the next and more than three times as likely to graduate with the credential on time, those are huge affects and one would expect that, you know, if we're able to do some more of this now that's in a more reliable care of making sure that every parent, you know, need for charismatic can even more dramatically affect their outcome. Unfortunately, despite the clear benefits of campus child care for parents ability to get to enroll in school and pursue a degree, the share of the campuses child care centers actually have been declining. And as of around 2015, just 44 percent of the community colleges are reporting having a campus child care center down from a high 53 percent in 2004. So, it's this context in which we think about partnership between Head Start and Community Colleges as a strategy to help, perhaps alleviate some of the stress on these campus-based child care center to expand the availability of quality care for the children and parents who are in college or who want to go to college.
And also to provide access to mutually beneficial resources for both Head Start program and campus child care centers. So, now I'm going to talk a little bit about the benefits of some of these partnerships. So, there are obvious benefits for families, right? For parents who are already enrolled, who are "student parents" but also for the parents who want to enroll either to go back to finish a degree or to enroll for the first time or possibly to up skill or gain new skills. Head Start-college partnership can provide a clear avenue for them to receive critical child care support while they do that. And not only do these partnerships expand access to care, Head Start targeted families support services would really be instrumental and helping these student parents persist. These parent engagement services that are so tailored and individualized, helping parents connect to other resources, you know, that's kind of the exact model that we recommend for programs in the campus stage to be supporting the student parents. I mean it's really critical to helping parents stay stable and keeping them in school through the graduation day.
For Head Start programs, there are also a range of benefits. Head Start programs can gain access to their resources that community college institutions, including classroom space, access to free or discounted utilities, and maintenance services, and other infrastructure and resources that come with having a presence on a college campus. Head Start could also benefit from interacting with early childhood education faculty on these campuses, as well as from hosting of student teaching assistance or having students to practicum at the child care, or at the Head Start program, excuse me. And then also there's professional and development opportunities that could arise, you know, that are provided by the college or through the ECE Department that Head Start staff could take advantage of. For community colleges, gaining access to Head Start expertise in the early childhood application phase, the techniques and standards that are so revered, it would be a huge benefit. They would also gain the resources and know- how at Head Start programs typically have around accessing different resources in the community, so the child and adult care school program, which I believe San Antonio may talk about today, is both professional and development opportunities that are built into the Head Start model. Head Start partnership could also provide training opportunities to students as I mentioned before which is really a big win for colleges because there are shortages of quality training placement opportunities for those ECE students.
And then finally, that provision of culturally responsive family support for students would really fill a gap, I think, for the colleges, you know, many community colleges have counselors and sometimes case managers that not typically in the numbers that are needed to really provide that tailored support to students, so I think that would be a great benefit. So, there are a number of ways that Head Start program can partner with colleges and just could be totally transparent. We have a study that's looking at these partnerships and kind of how they work, what makes them successful, what factors that need to be in place for them to work well, and what makes it more challenging, and we're at the beginning of that work. So, I will say that this is some of our preliminary findings that we're going to continue to add to this work over the next few months. But I like to think of different partnership models in terms of who the grantees are. So, these are kind of three buckets we've identified, the first being Early Head Start Child Care Partnership and Expansion Grants, the two schools who visits here or one of the schools, one of the community college districts, these are both grantees of the specific partnership grants that funds programs to partner with child care centers. Another model is when a college institution is just a local Early Head Start or Head Start Grantee and related to the specific partnership grant opportunity. Lower Columbia College is an example of this, and they have both the Head Start and Early Head Start grants.
And then finally, some partnerships involve community Head Start grantees that then open locations on college campuses, reforms and sort of partnership whether expanding onto the campus. We'll hear a little bit about San Antonio College in a second, but CAP Tulsa is a really unique partnership that uses the two-generation approach to support the parents and children enrolled in their Early Head Start and Head Start program that they pursue for secondary education and training. There are other characteristics that can differentiate these partnerships that side are funding include, for example, some programs target the student parent population as in the case of San Antonio college, and others may serve some students from the school but also mostly, community members, for example, such as Lower Columbia College, I think, 20 percent of their slots are taken by students. The OSU Head Start program is interesting because it's part of a kind of more interactive community focus, but they reserve slots specifically for the children and single parents who are living at their scholar house which is a single parent housing facility for OSU students and also a local community college. And other characteristic that kind of differentiates different partnerships is when like OSU or also CAP Tulsa, they're part of a more holistic community intervention.
So, we know a few for example, they partnered with an EKC foundation in addition to a number of local and community service providers and stakeholders to target a low-income area that had a dearth of quality child care option. So, in terms of factors that can make these partnerships succeed, you know, we're trying to learn about that through the study, but from what we've heard so far relationship and trust building from the get-go is a major factor that sets up partnership for success. And challenges that can include differences between Head Start and college cultures and the rules and regulation, and for example, metro line hours between Head Start classes and then classes at the college though making it harder for parents to make that scheduling work. They were really hoping to dive deeper into all of this, I also put a plug-in for anybody who wants to contact me, I'd love to speak with you with any of you on the webinar are actually add some of these programs that are partnering with colleges. [Connecting] So, not all collaborations [with the Community College Space] have to be formal of course, and I just have a few tips for reaching out to look at your local community college and building up some of those relationships. I think one of the best ways to go about it is just to build a relationship with someone on the college campus.
So, call up someone in the financial aid office, maybe there's a student connect support program at your local college, connecting with the staff, sharing the fact that your Head Start program is there and can serve students at the school or the fact that you have a parent that your program that would like to start their education and making that personal handoff to the parent. I think, that can be a really valuable pathway in setting those parents up for success. And another way to do this, of course, is information sharing and even though this seems so much simplistic, I actually think it's one of the most valuable and easiest ways that can get really good results, just making sure everybody involved knows about your services. You can exchange fliers with relevant programs on the college campus with the financial aid office, with college counselors, or the child care center and vice versa, right? You can get information in fliers from the college, making sure that you have that information ready for any parent that expressed interest in pursuing a college degree. And then, you know, making presentations at each other's programs, you know, during family engagement workshops.
College staff could come and present to your parents or even just present to your staff to make sure everybody is on the same page about what's available, including financial assistance opportunities. And then vice versa, Head Start staff could present an orientation or simply meet with college staff who might be interacting with students who could take advantage of their services. So, thank you again for having me. Another plug if anybody would be interested in talking with us and sharing their experience with college Head Start Partnership, we would absolutely love to pick your brain and to hear about those experiences, so you're welcome to email me, and I'm happy to take questions.
Anand: Thank you so much, Lindsey, there is a lot to think about there. And I actually wanted to read a couple questions from the audience for you and one of the first one came in from Shreya and Pinya, and it's a question about the trend for the decrease in campus-based child care centers at community colleges, and any sense of why that might be happening based on your research or any hunch that you might have about why there is that decrease in campus-based child care centers at community colleges.
Lindsey: Yeah, so we get this question a lot, and I think, you know, it's hard to say exactly why. My hunch, however, is it's a couple different things together. Right? So, it's incredibly expensive to run these child care programs. I'm sure everybody on the call knows exactly just how expensive it is. Right? And when your community -- particularly when your community college is already cash-strapped, who's already lost state investment over the years, you know, you're pinching pennies wherever you can, and in a lot of cases, college administrators really don't see that connection between their academic mission and running a campus child care centre. From our perspective, it's absolutely critical, you can spend a lot of money providing a Jam on your campus for example, that's not integral to a campus' academic mission necessarily, but it's seen as an important draw for students, and in this case, having that campus child care access can make a meaningful difference in student parents ability to persisting graduate, and those statistics are important for their scope too, right? They are increasing your graduation rate, making sure you have high persistence rate from year to year, is important, and I think that can... A lot of folks in the higher Ed system haven't quite gotten on board yet. They haven't quite made that connection. That's changing, and certainly community colleges who serve a lot of parents and lot of "nontraditional students," I think that reality is probably clear than at the four years, but that doesn't necessarily mean that they have the funding, to support, child care centers or more understand that connection. So.
Anand: Thank you, Lindsey. We have a couple of other questions that we'll try to fit in, and then, we'll again have a little bit of time on the back end for additional questions. But Shreya had another question about the different partnership models and who they serve. And she was wondering, Are there any of those partnership models you talked about that solely catered to student parents, meaning not staff or faculty or community member at these community colleges or, to put it in different way, could you say a little bit more about as you look across these programs? You know, who's eligible for these services and, you know, doesn't include -- Is it focused on parents or do some of the student parents or do some of them also serve community members or folks from, you know, the staff at the community college or school?
Lindsey: Yeah, I think it's a really case-by-case situation. I think there are cases where, yes, they are supposedly serving student parents, and if you're on vacation, correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe the partnership at San Antonio College is an example of that, but another case is -- It's probably a mix of community members, faculty, and staff. I haven't, at this point, noticed any pattern in that and I couldn't say, at this point, how common it is for the Head Start college partnerships to exclusively serve student parents. Although --
Anand: There's a question -- Lindsey: Go ahead.
Anand: Sorry to cut you off, Lindsey. Lindsey: No, go ahead.
Anand: I had another question. What is the cost of these programs for students and is it free or reduced due to the partnerships? And I'm interpreting that as maybe the cost of attending the college. Is there any kind of benefit as part of the partnership that, you know, these student parents get maybe in tuition?
Lindsey: No, I don't believe -- I mean, I don't know that for a fact, but I would guess that there's no kind of tuition discount. Although if you're eligible for a Head Start program, you're also likely eligible for, if not the maximum per grant, a pretty significant one. So, in that sense, they'd might be able to take advantage of the Federal Financial Aid and likely, you know, state aid, as well. If she's referring to the cost of care, my understanding of these programs is if your child is attending a Head Start, that's one thing and
then they may or may not opt to be at the child care center. So, if they're putting their child in a child care center after the Head Start classes over, for example, they probably are -- It really will depend on the program whether or not the child care side of things that's fully subsidized or fee or the federally subsidized base fee using campus funds or some other funding mechanism.
Anand: Thanks, Lindsey. And just one more question that we'll try to get in right now. This is someone asking about how to find out about the local Head Start program. Angelica was asking if you're at the college campus, where could you find out more about who runs a local Head Start program. And I don't know if you have thoughts on that, Lindsey, we can certainly let our colleagues, they're coming up in a little bit, address that, as well. But any thoughts about how folks who are at the community college can figure out who's leading local Head Start program to be able to build these types of partnerships?
Lindsey: Yeah, I mean, I think that's a great question and some of why -- You know, some of that information sharing is so important. I mean, I guess, my easy answer is I'd probably get on the Internet and google it, and see if I can find who out there in my community is providing Head Start, but you might have more insight into that than I, Anand, who are in the ...
Anand: There is definitely -- Lindsey: Yeah, go ahead.
Anand: Yeah. And there are folks who are sharing some great resources in the chat, and I'll actually make this a plug again for you all and the audience to share your knowledge in comments with each other. But folks are able to check out the Head Start Locator, which is on the ECLKC or ECLKC website.
Lindsey: ECLKC, yeah.
Anand: Yeah. So, folks, they'll probably know that better than they know what it actually stands for. So, you could also reach out to the State Head Start Collaboration director and, you know, these are some different options that folks can use. So, we will have time for more questions, but I know there's a few we didn't get to, but we also have much more conversation to go. So, first off, I just want to thank Lindsey for getting us started. I really appreciate you sharing your information and giving us, you know, some insight, especially during this Q&A. So, folks are up there in the audience, feel free to keep sharing your questions. But we have one question for all of you right now. We're actually going to do a poll and we would love for everyone in the audience to just take a moment to respond to this question which is, does your program, your Head Start or Early Head Start program, currently have a partnership with any college institutions. And you can let us know if you have a partnership with a college, if you have an informal connection to a college or if you don't have a connection to a college or you're just not sure. Any of those answers is fine. But it's always helpful to see level to know the idea you folks have, in the work that you may already be doing in this area, partnering with colleges.
So, again, take a moment to respond to the question on your screen. Do you currently have a partnership with any college institutions? And let us know if you have a partnership, if you have an informal connection to a college, if you don't have any connection to a college, or if you're just not sure. We'll give folks just a few seconds to respond to that and you can see the results on your screen as they come in. And it looks pretty evenly spread, it seems like there's a good number of folks that have partnerships or informal connections, but there's also a good segment of folks that don't have a connection to a college, and there's some people who aren't sure yet. So, hopefully, this webinar will provide something for everyone. Folks who already have partnerships, you'll know how to strengthen that, and if you have an informal one, thinking about ways to take that partnership to the next level, and if you don't have a connection or you're not sure, then maybe this is a great conversation starter that you can take back with your colleagues. So, with that, thank you, everyone, for participating in the poll. It's always helpful to know where folks are coming from.
And we'll move right ahead to the next part of our webinar today. And we are equally thrilled to be joined by Pilar Revilla and Vicky Akers from the Center for New Communities. And really wanted to just use this as opportunity to get in the conversation with them and just learn more about the works that they've been doing in Texas in building over many years of partnership with a local college. So, I don't want to steal their thunder, and I'll actually invite them to join me in conversation. And, Pilar and Vicky, we're just really thrilled to have you both because of the work that you're doing, but also because we learned that you are fans of this webinar series and long time listeners, first time caller. So, we're thrilled to be able to have you and to be able to, you know, formally share knowledge that you all have and just bring that to this community. So, thank you for joining us. And I will just kick things off by asking if you could just share a little bit more about Center for New Communities, and by the way of doing that, just interview to yourself and let folks know about your role.
Pilar Revilla: So, my name is Pilar Revilla, and I'm the Early Head Start executive director for Center for New Communities. The organization was actually started in 2005. We received our first grant, which was ARRA Funding in 2010, and that is actually when we started looking at partnerships in the community and one of the partnerships that actually came up was the ability for us to partner with San Antonio College, which is part of the Alamo Colleges District here in their county. And so, we have been serving at SAC since
2011. Like Lindsey said, one of the benefits for us was that they had facilities that we could actually go into, and at the time, we were needing facilities, we needed to be able to serve children in the center- based option. And one of the associate professors actually approached us and said, "Look, you know, we have classrooms, you guys have a need. Is there anything that we can do?" And when she actually offered, came and offered the classrooms, we jumped on it just because there was a need and we knew that it would benefit both our programs and SAC.
Vicky Akers: My name is Vicky Akers, I'm the chief financial officer at Center for New Communities. I came later in the program. Pilar has been here since the very beginning of Center for New Communities. I came in 2015 and then we had the San Antonio College established and running. And that's when actually when the things had drew me to Center for New Communities and with who we were partnering with because, to me, it was very important that we have that support for students, for people that are trying to better their lives, and give them the support to actually be able to reach their goals.
Anand: Thanks. And just one clarification, you mentioned that the origin of the partnership that you're talking about today came from some ARRA Funding. And could you just say a little bit more about ARRA and what that funding is just for folks that may not be familiar with that terminology?
Pilar: Yeah, back in 2000 -- I think it was about 2009, the government set some money aside for some funding to help the community to not just create jobs but also work with families in that community to help them attain some goals. And so it was a way for us to get some money into San Antonio and then immediately start serving and hiring people in the community as a way to get them opportunities to find employment and to start making their own -- Earning their own income. And so in about 2012, That was the three-year grant that we received, so in 2013, when the ARRA funding then went away, we became just a regular Early Head Start program. So, we are now just -- We receive regular funding through the Office at Head Start, and so that's just kind of like our initial start with ARRA, and then of course, in 2013, we just became another grantee in their county.
Anand: Thank you for clarifying. So, you spoke a little bit about how the partnership got funded and some of the, you know, work that went into starting it. But could you kind of zoom out a bit and just describe, you know, the partnership at a high level between the college and your program? And we'd just love for the folks to be able to hear more about the opportunity that you all saw. And I don't want you to put word in the mouths of your partners, what you think a community college saw as the huge opportunity here and, you know, kind of what motivated that initial, you know, partnership?
Pilar: So, San Antonio College, like Lindsey mentioned, is very interested in having students graduate. It's not just about getting those students into college, but they're very interested in supporting them as they graduate. And because Early Childhood Education department already had a center that they were operating, they actually serve children who are 18 months of age to about 4 years of age, but they only had funding to serve a certain number of children and so they have some classrooms that they knew that somebody could benefit from going in and serving these students. And so that was, I think, their idea as why don't we partner with somebody that can serve additional children and we can support the students to continue going to school and support them as they graduate, and so it was just a natural partnership. We actually serve children 6 weeks of age up to 36 months of age. So, therefore, they were also looking for one that actually did that early childhood because they were ... Again, they started their children at 18 months and they recognized the need for actually having the early childhood for the students.
Anand: And I understand that you all have a couple different programs operating in different settings, and we'd just love to hear anything that had to change about the program or anything special that was done given that this particular program was operating at the community college versus some of the other community-based types or any reflections that you have about things that you needed to do to take advantage of the, you know, you need the strengths of families in a setting and also any, you know, challenges or adaptations that had to be made compared with how programs are operating at some of the community-based locations, or I should say, just operating in other settings.
Vicky: So, we have a couple of partnerships with school districts, we have a couple of partnerships with faith-based organizations and then we have the one at the community college. And so, I want to make sure that we're clear that for all of our programs or each of our sides, we follow and we make sure that the families that we are serving are eligible, and so that we complete the application, we complete the process of ensuring that the families are eligible to participate in the Early Head Start program. But one of the things that we did find with these students at SAC are well into their educational goals. And so, the type of support that we give them looks a little bit different than, say, the partnerships that we have with a faith-based organization or the school district for maybe some of the parents are not ready to go to college. We see that some of the parents at some of these other partnerships are maybe working on trying to get their GED.
So, the kind of support that we give them or the kind of resources that we partner with is to give them those opportunities to learn about, you know, different types of educational opportunities. At SAC, these students are ready to go, they are enrolled in classes, they want to know about how they can support their children and what they can do because they recognize the importance of education, so they're much more aware of, say, the assessment in how their children are doing on school readiness goals and that sort of thing. And so we do have to look at a little bit differently on what we offer to them, the other thing is that we have to be flexible with the hours of service. Now as you know, at Head Start program, we are required to serve the families a certain number of hours, and so we not only meet but we exceed the hours of service, but we do have that flexibility where if the majority of the parents have a class that starts at 8:00 in the morning, we open up our doors earlier to allow the parent to come in, do their morning transition with their infant, sit them down for breakfast, and then get going to class so that they can be there on time. And so we do -- We have to look at their schedules, we have to look at what their needs are to be able to offer them what is going to help them the most.
I think Head Start really actually benefits at being on a college campus because of the fact that we're not really daycare, we're Early Learning Childhood Center. So, I think the people at the university level or the college level, they get that. We have to do a lot more explanation and coaching for other parents at the other centers to understand that it's not daycare, it's actually a learning facility for their children during
the 36 months. So, I think that's definitely one advantage that we have at the university because they're already getting that and they understand that, so they understand that we're the child's primary teacher and they're ready for them to be school ready because they understand the importance of education, that we're trying to get their education in their childhood.
Anand: So, I want to encourage our audience to share questions as we're going along, we're trying to working them into the conversation today just to make sure we are able to touch on those, and I just wanted to pause to take one of them which kind of takes us more into some of the operational elements of this work. And I think you spoke a little bit to this, Pilar and Vicky, but Pam Basi wanted to just clarify, "Does Center for New Communities directly operate the programs and the partnered college provides base or are the community college staff also providing services?" So, could you say a little bit more about that?
Pilar: So, there's two different programs. We have our Early Head Start program, we have four classrooms each with 32 children, and then SAC actually has their own program that they operate and they are NAEYC accreditors. And so there's two different programs working together. We have our own staff that meet our minimum educational requirements and then they have their own staff, but like Lindsey said, one of the benefits is that we do partner for professional development opportunity so they might have a training that they do together or that our staff does for them and then their staff will do for us so that we are all learning and growing at the same rate. So, even though our program is not NAEYC accredited as the professors and students who walk through the classrooms or come in to volunteer in the classrooms, they're looking for things that are appropriate, making sure that they meet with the NAEYC accreditation, but then they're also learning about Early Head Start and the requirements that we have, and so it's two separate programs working together to serve all of the students.
The other thing that we do is we are a CACFP foster to their students, and so we provide the meals for all of their children and just like we do for our children if there's any kind of nutritional requirement, if there's anything -- any allergies, special diets, anything like that, then we work with the family to make sure that we know what we have to either serve the child or the child cannot have, but then they fall under our CACFP grant.
Anand: Thank you. Is there anything else you'd want folks to know before we kind of turn this sort of lessons that you've learned and an advice you have for other folks? Is there anything else you'd want to hold up in terms of just understanding the program and the services that you have and how you all are able to fund this?
Pilar: I just think that just supporting the students is the importance of it. We do have single parents that are enrolled, moms and dads, and they are in unique situations. Lindsey mentioned about how some of them are not just trying to go to school, they're also having to do homework, they're also having to work. And so they are in a unique situation, definitely different than what some of our other partnerships, the types of situations that families are in some of the other partnerships that we have. And so just being receptive to what they're going through and making sure that we're responding and that we're providing those resources to them that are going to support in the best way possible.
Anand: So, with that, I did want to transition to the kind of final piece of our conversation. I know you've been in the audience with these types of webinars and have a good sense of what you're hoping and wishing that people would share when they're holding up examples from their own program. So, I wanted to give both of you a chance to share any lessons learned or invite to give to folks, who are in Head Start or Early Head Start programs or found that we may even have some folks who are in the community college today, about what they can do to be able to set up these partnerships if they don't have them or to strengthen them if, you know, they have been working with a community college partner. So, we'd just love to give you kind of open platform to share any lessons learned and kind of key takeaways for our audience.
Vicky: I think Lindsey said that when, you know, establishing that relationship at the get-go, know what their purpose is, what drives them, and knowing that and see if it ties into your passion, your goals for your families, it has to be a one goal that they're trying to achieve. So, I think knowing them and having like open communication is very, very important and then continuing that relationship. One can actually establish in making sure that those goals haven't changed, that your goal hasn't changed. Making sure it still goes together. I think that is definitely important to keep in mind at all times, and as you move forward and, like I said, the needs of our families change, the needs of the community change, and make sure that you're still in tune with that and with the people that are running their program on their end.
Pilar: For us, it was critical to outline in our MOU or Memorandum Of Understanding or agreement kind of what our roles and responsibilities were, what their roles and responsibilities were, and making sure we each understood what it meant and not just assume that well, you know, it's Early Head Start and you should know what those requirements are, but making sure that they understood why we had to have that specific item included in that MOU, you know, why do we need to include that and why is it important. You know, we serve year-round, we serve during the summers, they don't. When students are enrolled in our program, the expectation is that we're going to continue studying throughout the year and so, you know, for those parents who maybe might not be students in the summertime but their children still need to be there, and so that was something that maybe they might not have gotten used to, but they need to give us access to that building because of the students that we have to serve. And so just, like Vicky said, making sure that there's a clear understanding, communicating openly, and communicating often as well just to make sure that as changes occur that we're on the same page and that we're understanding what needs to be happening and making sure that that we're each meeting our own requirement in the best way possible. So, there will be a bit of a lightning round and just get a couple questions out on the table. So, one that is pretty straightforward, Sharaya was wondering, "How many kids does the program at San Antonio College serve each year?"
Vicky: So, we have 32 that we serve in a given year and then SAC ECC also has 32 children. So, it's altogether, we're looking at 64 that we serve in the center.
Anand: And I have another question. What level of education is required for "educating admin or student parents" on the difference of daycare versus and early learning child care center?
Pilar: So, because families drop off the child in the morning and the child gets their breakfast, their lunch, and their snack, and they're in a center, lots of time, they feel like this is like any other program, we're a, you know, daycare center, we're just here, we drop off the children. And so part of what our responsibility is to make sure that they understand that your child has an individual life lesson plan, we are completing assessments, we have checkpoints that we give, our job is to get your child school ready and we need to partner with you, we want to engage you in this process so that you know where your child is at developmentally, you know what's the next level is for your child's age range, and if there is anything that maybe, you know, they're falling below the expected level and how do we partner, how do we work together to make sure that we get them there, if there's any concerns for meeting individualized family plan with ECI services, you know, why is that important, sometimes do hesitate, they don't understand the importance of certain things that we're seeing in the classroom and they might come in and say, "Well, you know, I don't see that at all." Well, that's when you have to have conversations with the parents and give them the information about what you're looking at, why it's important. And we find that students at the community college are more familiar with some of these things because of that educational level, but what level in our program is required to explain that to parents that's from everybody that some of them are going to from our family service worker, from our program support services, from our site manager,
from our teachers, from our admin, staff, from our specialist. Everyone has that same mentality that we are a learning center. We're here to get your child school ready and to support you as the first teachers and the strong teachers of that child. So, again, that's from every position that we have here.
Anand: And I wanted to bring Lindsey back in in case she had any insights on this question. It may be the last one before we have to quickly wrap up. So, anyone can feel free to write in. But there was a question about how do you braid Head Start funding with child care when subsidy programs only cover full-time students and parents need to work while in college. So, does anyone have any thoughts on that? Again, how do you braid Head Start funding with child care when subsidy programs only cover full-time students and parents need to work while in college? Has any of you come across or -- Please go on, Vicky. Whoever likes to jump in.
Vicky: That is not something that we do. At this time, we provide six and three quarter hours of service per day year-round, and so we don't actually have any kind of subsidized help or anything like that.
Pilar: And students at San Antonio College don't have to be full-time, they just have to be enrolled.
Anand: Thank you, anything else anyone wants to add on that question?
Lindsey: I guess I don't fully understand the question, so maybe I shouldn't answer. I'm not sure if her question is about -- Is it the requirements of the child care subsidy program in her state that didn't go full time or like where does the full-time requirement is going to? So, anyway, I don't know the answer.
Anand: Well, thank you all for trying to weigh in. We're just about out of time. But I do want to mention, as usual, we hope folks will stick around from about the time that we end here for maybe about 15 minutes, we will leave an opportunity for people to continue chatting, and to continue this conversation, but also to be able to share questions with your peers and resources. So, when you get into the post webinar chat which again will happen only on your computers, not on the phone line, there'll be resources that you can download related to this webinar and there's a community college finder, information about Child Care Access Means Parents in School program, and information about Child Care and Development Fund and CCDF Services to parents participating in training or education. So, we hope that you will click on those and download those files. I also wanted to invite folks to join MyPeers, which is our economic mobility learning community and some of you have already joined if you haven't, we'll be sure to make sure that folks have information on how to sign up for that.
In the flier, there will be a link, you can register for an account, you'll get an email message from MangoApps, you can click the login link and create a user profile and just find the economic mobility, the EM learning community and click join on the landing page. And we're really excited because there are some new resources coming soon on MyPeers, one of the Wiki that has definitions and resources on a variety of financial capabilities topics and a document library that has all the resources that are featured on the many, many webinars in this growing series. So, we're trying to make it even easier for you to continue the conversation and to be able to better, more easily, access these resources.
And just a huge thank you to the team behind this webinar series, behind MyPeers, and everyone that makes these presentations possible. And last and certainly not least, a huge thank you to Lindsey, Pilar, and Vicky for taking the time to share their expertise with this community and seal all of our questions. So, with that, we hope you'll stick around again for about 15 minutes.
We'll have the open chat and networking where you can share questions and resources via the chat function and we hope you have a wonderful rest of the day and hope to see you again on the Building Foundations for Economic Mobility webinar series, thank you.Close
Explore how Head Start and Early Head Start programs can play a role in helping student parents identify higher education programs in their area. Learn ways programs can also partner with community colleges to push for the creation of resources for student parents.