Making Strides in Early Head Start-Child Care
Narrator: Our first speaker today is Rae Anderson, Project Director for our National on Early Head Start Child Care Partnerships. Rae? It's my pleasure.
Rae Anderson: Good afternoon and welcome to the Making Strides in Early Head Start-Child Care Webinar. We are happy to be hosting this webinar on behalf of the Office of Child Care and the Office of Head Start. As Dewanna mentioned, it is the second quarterly webinar and we are really excited to have all of you join us this afternoon. Today's webinar is another great opportunity for us to hear about what grantees are doing every day to establish a successful partnerships at the local, community, and state level that allow them to align standards and provide high-quality services. We think it's really important to note that these partnership programs are not happening in isolation. We know that there is a lot of important work that's happening at the local and state level all across the country that has created an environment that really promotes the partnerships and so we really hope that throughout the webinar we can recognize all of the efforts that are underway.
The programs we are going to hear from today are from West Virginia and Utah. These states may be very different from each other in terms of their early childhood landscapes but both have supportive state policies and enjoy momentum that has really helped them in terms of finding early success in implementing their there Early Head Start Child Care Partnership grants. For example, we've learned that in West Virginia they require all employees of licensed childcare facilities to participate in the West Virginia State Training and Registry System which is known as which West Virginia Stars. And so this really helps to inform the grantee about potential partners and their staff and that they have already had training that emphasize the dispositions and competencies that Early Head Start embraces. So this also helps to inform them that participants in West Virginia Stars must maintain a minimum of training hours annually to remain active in their system.
So this allow grantees to know and understand that the Childcare Directors of potential partners were already making arrangements for release time or on-site training so that their staff could fulfill the training requirements and this sort of helped create the foundation that that they needed to really build and you know create strong foundations for training for their Early Head Start Child Care staff. And in Utah you know we've learned that collaboration between the child care system and Early Head Start and Head Start is has a long-standing history and they have worked together in many ways over the years. Some examples of their collaboration include things like the Utah Head Start Association attends their Child Care Licensing Committee Meetings. The Head Start collaboration director is housed in the Department of Workforce Services and reports directly to the Director of the Office of Child Care, which really promotes collaboration. Another example of the two systems working closely together is that the the Child Care system has worked to eliminate co-payments for families that are one hundred percent or below the federal poverty line. So now this really helps them promote enrollment in the program. Utah is also reviewing policies on working families and addressing requirements that might be needed for them for families to receive partnership services.
So we are really excited to be able to feature these two programs. We also recognize that we are in the midst of many changes in early childhood that will help States, Tribes, and Territories better serve children and families. And here at the Partnership Center, we are excited to be a part of the change. Our team is really thrilled to be offering today's webinar in collaboration with the Administration for Children and Families. And so at this time we're going to just briefly review the agenda for today. Then
I'll turn it over to our guests. So, we're going to have a brief welcome and opening remarks from at Rachel Schumacher the director of the Office of Child Care. Then we are going to Traci Dalton who will lead us through a dialogue with our grantees and their partners and then we'll close with brief remarks from Rachel and some suggestions for staying in touch. So at this time it's my honor to introduce our special guest for today Rachel Schumacher, the director of the Office of Child Care Rachel, thank you so much for your leadership on Early Head Start and Child Care Partnerships, and for joining us today.
Rachel Schumacher: Thank you, Rae. Thank you so much. And hello everybody out there. Good afternoon. I am very thrilled to be part of this webinar. I feel a little bit like I'm missing my partner here because a Dr. Enriques from the Office of Head Start and I have been on tour all around the country talking to the people who have been making this vision for this incredible program come to reality and this is one of the first times I've talked in a while about the partnership without her right here next to me and us showing everybody that we are partnering at the top right on down. And we really have loved the the process and the ability to work with all of our grantees and their partners around the country. So it's an inspiring project. The Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships, as you know, it's part of the ongoing vision that the Administration for Children and Families and the Office of Early Childhood Development have been articulating since the start of this Administration. Our vision is that all children who are in early childhood settings have the opportunity to benefit from the same types of quality experiences, early learning experiences and that their families are supported in the similar way no matter what the name is over the door. And the Early Head Start Child Care Partnerships really brings this into a fine focus that combines the strength of child care to serve working parents and to be rooted in communities all over the country with the comprehensive and high quality standards and nature of the Early Head Start program. And we're really reaching more infants toddlers and parents around the country through this program. As you know the first year of implementation we had a lot of growth and learning across our grantees, partners, state, and local stakeholders and the federal government. We're certainly learning a lot. I look around at my colleagues in the room we're all learning. From the first announcement of the award to all the visits that folks did last summer, we really learned so much. There's a couple of things I just want to share with you that are really critical that I've learned and reflected on as I've traveled across the country in Regional Meetings we've held plus additional with our Migrant and Seasonal and Tribal grantees. This is really an exciting moment for the Early Childhood field and this program is a laboratory opportunity for us to really see what it takes to provide resources and supports in the child care context to help child care programs do things and expand things they've already been doing to provide high quality services and reach more children with the support and partnership of the Early Start partners and grantees.
At the same time I think it would be, before I launch into some of the things that I'm going to say about what we're learning, I have to mention that the context of the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act reauthorization which happened in the end of is a watershed moment for really changing and pivoting what the Child Care Development Block Grant is and will be coming looking forward into the future the Child Care Development Block Grant was originally thought of the work program and as it was reauthorized by Congress. So the emphasis has really become much more on child development and on continuity of care for children and families. And what a wonderful opportunity to realize some of that vision that Congress had in these Partnerships and beyond for States. Because the idea was to lengthen eligibility for programs could offer services the more stably like the Early Head Start program does in their standards. The idea was to also reach for higher quality levels and progressions of professional
development for our infant toddler and other workforce. So similar things embodied in that program which serves 1.4 million children in an average month, including a third of them infants and toddlers. So we really envisioned learning from this effort the partnerships as being something we leverage and continue to expand and influence the entire Early Childhood System, especially the Child Care Development Fund. Over the course of the last year so since we started this program one thing we've learned really quite clearly is how important partnerships that are built on trust, relationships and understanding of each other's strengths and approaches really critical to their success. One of my early site visits with the program in Rhode Island, where they told us that the point though before they even won the grant they were working really closely with Child Care Providers in their community really thinking through what it was that they needed to do to build a strong partnership and that they have to revisit that on a continual basis to make their partnership strong. And we continue to hear that message. How critical it is that both sides of the equation come to the partnership with trust and open minds. Another thing that's been incredibly exciting about this program and I think we're going to talk a little bit about is that of the partners in this Partnership program are actually Family Child Care Homes.
And Family Child Care providers are, as you know, typically are very isolated and they often don't get this kind of support of being part of a hub or network in partnership with their grantees that they're getting through this particular model. They're getting peer support, networking, professional development, coaching, and the Early Head Start Standards are very different from many states current licensing requirements for family child care homes. So, a lot more fiscal support has been provided to help them have fewer children to adults. So that they can really provide that individualized attention to infants and toddlers. These family child care homes are an incredibly important asset that to our entire early childhood system that we're hoping to learn a lot at the Office of Child Care about how to really leverage and expand the opportunities being provided through these 275 grants when we are talking to our state's about the opportunities and the challenges in building supply of family child care.
I went to visit a Family Child Care Home in Missouri on the Missouri-Kansas border and the, the mom of the provider was her assistant and they were both getting higher education now as being part of those this program. They were just so excited about what they were able to learn and do. The last thing on leave you with is that we know that half the children at least half the children in the child care subsidy program our families that are under the federal poverty level. They would qualify for Head Start, but they haven't been able to get into the program or they need a full-day full-year care and this is just what's been available in their communities as child care.
And they are getting now the same level of comprehensive services: the family support worker, the access to health and nutrition, the developmental screenings, that we know that we wish we could provide you are our children in child care settings. It's really exciting! So I'm going to turn it back over to Traci and just say thank you for joining us. Thank you for being part of this amazing journey we're making between Office of Head Start, the Office of Child Care the entire field that is working together to make this successful program. Traci?
Traci Dalton: Thank you, Rachel, and we're really thrilled that you are able to join us today. I want to welcome everyone and I am Traci Dalton the senior Training and Technical Assistance specialist at the National Center on Early Head Start Child Care Partnerships. And I would like to welcome you and thank you for joining us today. Joining me today are staff from two Early Head Start Child Care Partnerships. Salt Lake Community Action Program and Community Action of South Eastern West Virginia. From Salt
Lake Community Action Partnership Program we have with us today: Erin Trenbeath-Murray, Chief Executive Officer, Salt Lake Community Action Partnership, Christy Toala, Early Head Start Child Care Partnership Coordinator, and Shauna Lower, Director of the Center for Child Care and Family Resources at the University of Utah. At the Community Action South Eastern West Virginia (CASE) we have Darlene Martin, Director, Angela Whitaker-Jones, Early Head Start Education Coordinator, Florence Sargent, Director Concord University Child Development Center, and Rita Boyd, Director, Kids at Heart Child Care Center. These two teams will be sharing innovative ways they're making strides in their partnerships every day. So thank you to both teams for joining us today. And before we begin our dialogue I would just like to remind everyone joining us today that at any time if you have questions you can enter them into the question box on your screen. So with that let us begin our conversation today. And let's start by reflecting on relationship building So Erin, would you mind describing how Salt Lake began initially building relationships with partners?
Erin Trenbeath-Murray: Sure. Thanks for having us today. We actually approached our potential community partners before the funding opportunity announcement came out. We went with partners that we already that we already have an existing relationship with and with who has some knowledge of Head Start and the Performance Standards. All of them were NAEYC accredited. So we knew they are providing quality services. And then we prepared a PowerPoint presentation for them that included the proposed financial model, the design, Q&A opportunities, and that way the partners had a clear idea of what to expect.
Traci: Thank you, Erin. It really sounds like you began with the understanding of the importance of relationships right from the beginning. And so I'm curious, Darlene. Did CASE take a similar approach to the Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships by building on existing relationships?
Darlene Martin: Well, yes and no, Traci. Here, the state of West Virginia letter to all the licensed child care providers to inform them about the availability of the funds. However, we did build upon our relationships that were already in progress. Two of our sites that we chose to partner with for this particular partnership, we already were in partnership between them and the Board of Education for the Pre-K movement. So when they learned about the funding they were they were excited to go to the table and wanted to know more about what we needed to do. With Concord we had an ongoing relationship with Concord for many many years, so we were very knowledgeable of them so it made sense to partner with them. And we live in a small community, so we had already met Kids at Heart in many different Early Childhood meetings throughout the state. So at that point we didn't have any knowledge of their day-to-day operations, but they were very open. So we entered the relationship very comfortable with exploring the possibility to partner together.
Traci: You know, as I listened to both of you describe your process it immediately reminds me of some of Rachel's opening remarks describing how critical it is to build trust within the partnership and I imagine that your approach of building on existing relationship has helped to establish trust. Which would be very valuable as you began to work around aligning standards. So could you describe how both of your partnership teens have approached alignment of standards? And Salt Lake, I wonder if you would mind sharing first. Erin: Absolutely! We are taking them a section at a time. Making sure that the partners have a comfortable understanding of the performance standards. We have also started having monthly meetings with the child care directors to make sure that partners and grantee and come together to clarify information about both systems. In addition, we are working with the partners on providing
training for CDA credentials. Providing online courses or attending actual CDA classes, whatever works best for the teachers and the centers.
Traci: This sounds like such a supportive process. So Shauna from a partner's perspective how is the process worked for you?
Shauna Lower: Well, there are times that we might think, will this standard or this practice compromise our childcare mission and vision that we've established for our program. As we are aligning the standards, we really need to concentrate and remember that it takes time. Time to be able to reflect on it and to implement it. It's important that we always remind ourselves, we are going to honor who you are as a child care program. And I feel that what's happening with our program. That we assure people and ourselves that you're not losing your child care of the identity. It takes a lot of educating of our teachers in the classroom. Explaining to them what the process of aligning the standards is it supposed to be, why we're doing it. The tricky thing is highlighting how is the difference from what we are doing already doing. It's very important to make sure we are implementing best practices for each of our classes.
Rachel: Hi. Thank you for that information. This is Rachel, I'm just wondering, you know, embarking on this partnership what you've just described, what has it meant for you as a child care partner? Erin: Well, quite honestly, it's meant the world to me and our programs. I personally and my programs have felt very valued as a partner. Like, we have a lot to offer to this program and not that we are just changing everything we are doing. It has helped my staff embrace that work with that validation. Ultimately these changes will be more sustainable for out because they are integrated into what we are already doing.
Traci: Thank you, Shauna. It sounds like open communication and building on strengths has been very important for your team. And so, Angela how has CASE worked as a team to align standards? Specifically, child care ratios?
Angela Whitaker-Jones: Well, that is one of the standards that we spent a lot of our time and energy on. And, our approach has been to focus on aligning the standard and the daily practice with continuity of care throughout the day. We found that it's been the practice in child care to send their staff home and reassign the children to different caregivers based on daily attendance. So what we're doing is just asking our partners to reflect on the impact that this practice may have on children. And we're working more toward on a paradigm shift of viewing child care for-profit versus viewing child care for quality. To us it's more than just compliance with standards. It's about providing high quality care that will benefit the children and families across board.
Traci: And Florence, do you have any reflections on working to align standards related to child staff ratios?
Florence Sargent: Yes, I would like to share that the Partnership has provided funds to Concord for additional staff members. Which in turn makes complying with the ratios easier for us. The extra support means a lot for teachers and is reflected in the performance in the classroom. It allows for more individual and intentional care. And in fact it increased their knowledge and skills. And now, they're able to implement a research-based curriculum that made the score when they couldn't. And access to the materials and resources in the classroom has made a huge difference.
Traci: Your team's comments seemed to suggest that in working together to align standards there have been times that perhaps you've had to adjust some existing practices, as well as in some cases provide additional resources to make it all work. And Rita, your Center Kids at Heart is also a partner with CASE. So, would you mind sharing from your perspective your reflections on aligning standards?
Rita Boyd: Yes, the partnership has allowed for my staff to receive salary increases. And my teachers are now acting and feeling a lot more professional. They are receiving more training than ever before and that definitely increases the quality of compliance with the performance standards. Also, we are working closely with our parents due to the Early Head Start Child Care Partnerships. And for the first time we have began holding regular parent meetings, which makes a big difference.
Traci: It's very exciting to hear you talk about all of your successes. So, tell us more about the successes your teams have had in aligning standards. Salt Lake, why don't you begin? Erin: We've had a tremendous amount of progress tracking health data and implementing research based curriculum in the infant toddler room. The teachers interactions with children are more intentional than ever. There is a lot of talking in the room which is just amazing to us. Also having family advocates going into the classroom and having an amazing health team that have been incorporated into the Partnership classrooms into the rotations of physicians and dentists.
Traci: How exciting that this Partnership has allowed your program to expand comprehensive services. I can imagine the entire team is really thrilled to see how the hard work put into the aligning standards is benefiting the children and families that you serve every day. Does your team have other examples you'd like to share?
Shauna: Oh, absolutely! For us, one of the biggest successes is being able to name all of our partners for the whole year. We were also very excited when we hit our full enrollment in October of 2015.
Christy: If I could also to that for us as partners being able to attend the Region VIII Training and Consultation session really meant a lot to us. It represented a great opportunity to reflect on all of our success so far and to continue learning to one another.
Traci: Thank you, Shauna and Christy for sharing those experiences with us. And CASE, I'm certain you probably have successes as well. Do you mind telling us about them?
Darlene: Yes, sure would enjoy doing that. Let me say first, Traci, that we too were excited about maintaining full enrollment at least three of our partners by April 2015. So, that was the fourth month of operations. We were a little longer getting the last one at Concord, but that was because of the way they shut down in the summer for for their students. But another exciting adventure. But another exciting adventure we had is that we were able to leverage existing partnership we had with Concord and they are they're teaching credit-bearing early childhood courses that can be applied toward a Regents Bachelor of Arts degree with an early childhood emphasis. They're doing this for our Child Care- Early Head Start staff onsite which has been a wonderful advantage to everyone involved. We, we also included the, as goals into our five-year plan for building resilience within the community. And through the Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership we feel we're doing just that. The teachers are rejoicing over implementing research based curriculum. The excitement is carrying into the classroom and for us that's a great success. It translates into higher-quality services.
Traci: I can hear you talk about your excitement and it sounds how rewarding it is for these partnerships and aligning standards making a huge impact for the infants and toddlers, family, staff, and the communities. Thanks for sharing such wonderful example and you clearly experienced great success as a result of all of this hard work, but everyone recognizes there can also be challenges. So have you experienced any challenges while working to align standards? Salt Lake what challenges, if any, have you faced?
Shauna: Well for our partnership, the biggest challenge has been following the group size at all of our sites. The Student-Parent program at the University of Utah already maintained a one to three ratio, but we had to decline a partnership with our two-year-old classroom because we would have not been able to comply with the maximum group size of eight. Because of our particular model, 20 student parents would lose placement in our program we included the two year old classroom. So we thought we couldn't do that. However, our partnership team continues to explore strategies so that we can make that possible.
Traci: Shauna, thank you for sharing that. I'm sure many Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership teams have faced similar challenges. CASE what challenges, if any, have you experienced?
Darlene: Traci we've had many, but I feel our biggest challenge has been in the partnership agreements and contracts. We worked hard. We gathered our data. We met with our fiscal people, but our contracts are just not strong enough. We've requested T/A from our Regional staff, and I can happily say they're going to be supporting us. The partners are also planning to be at the table when we start our revisions with the assistance of the T/A System. We want to make sure that we are maximizing the financial potential to guarantee sustainability.
Traci: It sounds like a team have really worked to develop a supportive process to their challenges. And it's really obvious from all of your responses that both of your teams are so committed to working together to ensuring the partnership works for everyone . And you, again, have shared so many incredible experiences already, but let's shift gears a little bit again and let's talk about what you're really proud of so far. So Rita, we would you like to begin sharing any things you're really proud of through your work in the partnership?
Rita: Sure our hearts are filled with pride every time we receive positive feedback from our parents. For example, one of our parents posted on our Facebook page that she didn't realize how amazing her child was until she heard from her teacher about all the accomplishments in the different developmental areas that he had succeeded in.
Rachel: Wow! This is Rachel. That such a great story. I mean, it's such a great opportunity to encourage parents engagement in their child's development and they're real appreciation for what their child can know and do. And it's something that we just need to, it's one of the more fulfilling things, I think about the work. So thank you so much for sharing that. So what do you think really made that work? Can you talk about how that's helped you make more informed decisions?
Rita: I think the curriculum we're using allows us to get more data from individual children and helps us have more informed and structured conversations with our parents on how their children are doing. We are able to provide concrete examples on what is happening in the classroom. And that makes the
conversation be more impactful. Those parents and teachers feel more comfortable engaging in a conversation.
Traci: Rita, that must be really exciting to see the partnership strengthening the relationship between your staff and parents. That's really exciting to hear about. And Christy with Salt Lake, do you have examples of things your partnership team is proud of during the first year that you would like to share?
Christy: Yes, like CASE we are really proud of the great things we've been able to accomplish with the families we've served. For example, there family who is really closed off at the beginning of the year and really hard to connect with. And, of course, family engagement is a very important part of the partnership. So we keep kept supporting them and letting them know that we were there for them. They were facing many challenges. They had no car seat. They were struggling with diapers. We were able to get the family assistance through the teacher and the community. We helped them find the car seat and resources for obtaining diapers. It meant so much to them that we were not judging them or saying that they were bad parents. Now they are quick to respond because we've earned their trust. And they can be our voice for reaching other parents.
Shauna: Really what we realized that the University of Utah is that something as simple as helping parents figure out where they can get immunizations and other available resources that are in our community is really meaningful for the families that we serve. We wouldn't have been able to do that without the Head Start Child Care Partnership funds.
Traci: These are such inspiring experiences and it is clear that both of your teams have so many things to be proud of. I'm keep listening to all these positive impacts from your Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership. And not only would it be rewarding, but I'm sure it motivates your teams to keep doing this work. And I do wonder though, how have you done so much in a year. Shauna how have you done it all?
Shauna: Well really from a partner's perspective, I believe one of the reasons why our partnership has been so successful is because it's not just this one way communication. Having someone listen to you rather than just telling you what to do, is providing support from both sides and also celebrating where we are now and who we are. Erin: Good communication is definitely key. Making sure we are having those monthly meeting to share challenges, ask questions and be able to plan together has made all the difference in the world to us.
Traci: Those are really important points for all of us to keep in mind and it certainly has sounded like your regular time together as a team has been valuable to advancing your partnership and that it's been a team approach. Have there been other things you've learned or are learning during your work together on this grant that you think other teams might benefit from?
Shauna: Sure, I would say that we definitely learned a lot this year and patience is a virtue. Some simple things like having checklist available in the classrooms that seem so commonplace for Head Start that may not be for your partners related to health and safety are important. Thinking about the training that we can offer the staff. How can make the classroom better and more enhanced? The most important thing we've learned to have a clear vision of what is expected from partners from the very beginning. And communicating that an effective manner before embarking on this exciting journey.
Traci: I hear you really identifying that sharing a vision and utilizing resources and tools has been an important lesson. And CASE how about you, what lessons would you offer to other teams around the country?
Darlene: Well through this process Traci, we've learned about the importance of spending lots and lots of time with the partners to learn more about their strengths, their needs, their philosophy. Each partner is so unique and they bring a lot to the table, but since we hadn't entered into a partnership like this before I don't feel we afford to turn ourselves enough time to really get to know each other the way we should have. We learned that we needed more guidance and support when drafting a partnership agreement. But we also found out that spending more time together with her perspective partners would help along that too. So my best advice would be allow yourself plenty of time and ask any questions before signing the contract.
Traci: Thanks, Darlene, for sharing your lessons and reflections, as well as Salt Lake. And, you know, partnership teams around the country express how much they value the opportunity to learn from one another. We heard that again and again as we traveled around the country for the Regional training and consultation sessions. And so, I'm confident everyone listening today really appreciated the opportunity to learn some advice from your journey. So as we begin to conclude our conversation today, let's talk about the future. What's next for your partnership teams in aligning and meeting standards in the coming year of the project? CASE do you mind begin?
Darlene: Traci, I think I would like to begin by saying we're excited now as we were a year and a half ago when we began. And think I speak for CASE, well as all four partners. We plan to continue working together in seeking to provide the highest quality services to our children. Our community has gone through some severe economic hardships and we know that these families need us together to support them through their road to self- sufficiency. Like we mentioned before, it's our plan to keep on working to build resilience and commitment in our community. Erin: For -- This is Erin from Salt Lake, and for the next FOA we are just planning to go big or go home. We've had great support from the Region VIII Office and from our child care partners. We plan to reach out the partners and programs who need our support. Like Darlene just mentioned, we feel that we have a strong obligation to our community to help enhance quality care for all children in our community and our surrounding areas.
Traci: Well, thank you and I'm sure that I can speak for everyone joining us today that when I say based on the clear passion you have expressed for serving children, families and your communities and you're clear commitment to partnership and collaboration I'm sure both teams will have a very bright future. And I really want to thank Salt Lake and CASE for sharing your experiences in your journey with everyone today, as well as your lessons. And also you gave us a glimpse into your programs fromthe photos in the PowerPoint today. So we really appreciate that and I think we might have time for a few questions. And so, CASE let's begin with you. If you don't mind. you mentioned earlier about an RBA. Could you just tell us a little more about the RBA and perhaps what courses you might be offering?
Darlene: Sure the RBA refers to the Regent's Bachelor of Arts, and the option that we're doing through our collaboration with Concord is on the RBA with an emphasis in Early Childhood. And the courses that we've offered a part of that catalog and we're actually getting ready to begin the fourth course. Each of these courses has been a four-week intensive with an embedded field placement. And each has also been worth for hours of college credit. So, with the completion of this fourth course that we're getting ready to begin the participants will have earned hours of college credit, and they will be well on their
way to completing their degrees. We decided to leverage our funds this way because most of the partnership staff that we work with already had either a CDA or an ACBS. So, we were really looking at innovative ways to move them along their educational journey and so they've been very excited. participation has been high and as I mentioned, we're getting ready to move into our fourth and final course we'll be able to offer through this collaboration.
Traci: Wow! That's very exciting. And Salt Lake you also mentioned earlier about working together as a team towards providing training for CDA credentials. I thought you might be able to elaborate on that a bit the audience.
Shauna: So, we have an internal adult education program. So we offer CDA courses to the community and we've been able to tact in the partnership teachers to sit in these courses. We also found a resource for online education that they can work at their own pace and be able to function as it benefits the teacher. We also have the University of Utah that will support any classes and any other furthering education teachers have.
Traci: Thank you so much for that. And, we also have received another question. CASE could you expand on what changes you would make, you think in your partnership agreements in the future?
Darlene: So, I think what we missed doing, Traci, was some of Rachel's guidance in her opening remarks. And, that's making sure that everything, the roles and responsibilities are clearly defined as we enter into the partnership. We have what I thought basically good contract. It had been through all the the legalese it needed to go through and fiscal office, but we found down very soon into hat we just hadn't clearly defined the roles or the resources. So that will be our focus.
Traci: Thank you, Darlene. And at this time, I would once again like to thank both teams for sharing your work with everyone around the country today. And it's been a real pleasure for me to get to talk with you. And so, at this time I would also like to invite Rachel Schumacher to come back and share any questions or reflections.
Rachel: Thank you so much and I have just been really enjoying listening to all what you've done. It's so inspiring. I find these partnerships in general so inspiring just hear about it and one of the reasons is because, and it actually touches on a question someone's posed from the audience, is that building the supply of quality infant toddler care is really the major challenge that the child care system needs to face over the next set of years and that this Administration has been trying to focus attention on for some time. And to see what you've been able to do in building out these supports and to think about the opportunity to leverage those initial investments as states who also want to come into play and help perhaps expand access by partnering also with the existing partners. Perhaps offering and contracts and grants to child care providers to be able to help them reserve slots of high quality for infant toddler care in other settings is a really exciting potential next leveraging point next step when you say what's coming next, I think.
And we're at the Office of Child Care looking really closely at all of what you're doing and trying to think about how those next step could happen. And building the supply of infant toddler care is actually something States are required to write to and think about in their Child Care and Development fund plans which we are currently in the process of reviewing. So we're hoping to see a lot more development in that area. Also the law, the new Child Care Development Block Grant law sets aside a
three percent quality set aside to build the supply of infant toddler care. So, I think there's a lot of more beautiful partnership coming as we look forward that can really build on and learn on what these amazing folks we've heard from today have done. The other thing that I really struck me is the two generation nature of what you're doing.
The fact that you're focusing on student parents and that partnership in West Virginia is really exciting. I just addressed a group of folks around the country who are focusing on student parents. And we just know there's so much connection between maternal and parental education and early childhood development. So kudos to you for focusing on that particular population but in general this initiative is a chance to really bring that more holistic two- generation approach to the field and really across systems and I think it's great what you're doing. I did have about how participating in this program might have had an effect on your budgets as a child care partner and what it's been enabled you to do and what changes you've been able to do. Whether its had an impact in terms of what financial incentives you've been able to provide for your teachers or anything like that that you wanted to share. Because we know that the workforce is such a key piece of what were challenged by in terms of expanding the infant toddler supply.
Shauna: I can answer that. This is Shauna at the University of Utah. Our two programs that are participating in the partnership, because we operate within the university but we're really a small business operating in this large cog, it's very difficult for us to be able to afford because we went on just fee based with no really monetary, except for building costs that are coming to the child care program. And yet we need to follow all of the large University hiring practices. So it makes it very difficult for us to really provide a worthy wage and to be able to do full-time benefited teachers. So, what this partnership has done for us is to be able to pay to get that their level teachers. Pay them a worthy wage and provide benefits, University benefit, for the teachers to get a high quality staff that we've always wanted in those classrooms.
Rachel: That's great and we know that from a lot of research that can hopefully help to help keep your teachers there and not you know cut down on any type of turnover and things like that . So you really get to have that longevity and experience and continuity, both for the point of view of the child in the family but also for you just having folks who are part of your team for a long period of time. That's great to hear. So, I don't know if there's anyone else wants to add anything, but I should probably turn it back over to Rae. We just want to really thank our partners and grantees for being a part of this. Sharing their journeys, the roses and the thorns and the buds, as they might say in terms of the process. We know we need all of those parts to get to the beautiful flower that you are building and growing on in your work. So thank you so much, and I'll turn it over to Rae now.
Rae: Alright. Thank you, Rachel, and thank you very much to our partnership grantees and their teams for joining us today. I just would like to say that we have just completed a series of 12 Regional training and consultation sessions. Many of you participated in those sessions. And, we heard from you that it would be very helpful to have resources like templates and examples of contracts and checklists that are working for other programs.
And we, we are exploring along with some federal leadership ways that we can make those kinds of things available to you to help support your work. So be watching for those examples, hopefully in the and the not so distant future. We also heard about how valuable it is to collaborate and learn from, from other partnership teams. And so the Office Head Start and and the Office of Child Care are working on
communication platforms that would help facilitate this type of collaboration and communication among and between partnership teams. So again, be watching for more information about how we might support this type of networking and peer support in the future. And we -- there are many, many questions that you submitted in the chat box throughout the webinar today and we just want you to know that we will be addressing your questions. Some questions are for specific partners and grantees from today. Other questions might be more appropriate for our federal partners to address and we do have a mechanism for addressing those questions.
And we, we have a Partnership 411 and a listening link to our webpage. So if you haven't visited the web page, we encourage you to do so. You can see on the screen there are different ways for staying in touch with the Partnership Center. So the conversation doesn't end here. We encourage you to to reach out and, you know, share your ideas and questions with us and we will we will circle back around and try to address those questions that you submitted today. So thank you again for joining us and please, there will be an evaluation that will populate at the close of the webinar and we invite you to complete the evaluation. Thank you again. Have a great day.
See how grantees are bridging EHS and child care systems by aligning standards. Learn from current EHS-CC Partnership grantees and partners, Salt Lake Community Action Program (SLCAP) and Community Action of South Eastern (CASE) West Virginia. Discover their approaches for aligning standards to support infants, toddlers, and their families through EHS-CC Partnerships.