National TA Network
Alliance for Early Childhood Finance
The Alliance for Early Childhood Finance is committed to ensuring that all American children have access to high-quality early care and education (ECE) services and the supports their families need to thrive as parents and workers. This Alliance, led by Louise Stoney, was established to address the need for deeper, more comprehensive and sophisticated exploration of ECE finance. They lead a national conversation and engage a wide range of stakeholders including: government, business, philanthropy, and ECE providers and the families they serve.
Louise is providing strategic guidance and support to interested state partners on financing supports and services to young children. She is providing TA or rapid response (RR) to state partners who have prioritized financing for the FY17 policy agenda including but not limited to: D.C., Louisiana, and Wisconsin.
The BUILD Initiative (BUILD) supports state leaders to develop a comprehensive system of programs, policies, and services that serve the needs of young children and their families. This systems-building approach effectively prepares our youngest children for a successful future, while carefully using private and public resources. BUILD is a national initiative that supports state leaders across the early childhood spectrum.
BUILD will focus on two areas: support leaders’ knowledge and understanding of policies, infrastructure, and practices needed to support high-quality early learning; and address issues related to racial, ethnic, cultural, language, & income disparities. In the coming year, they will:
- Sustain/expand the QRIS National Learning Network by host a peer learning community, maintaining the Network website, and producing 8 webinars, 24 e- newsletters, and two briefs (QRIS and Head Start, QRIS and Family Child Care); and
- Assist state leaders in the development of cross-cutting policies designed to reduce expulsions in early learning programs by convening a peer learning group of up to 12 states to explore the racial and ethnic disparities in suspensions and the unintended consequences of policies to address preschool expulsion.
Center for Law and Social Policy
The Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) develops and advocates for policies that improve the lives of low-income people. They focus on strengthening families and creating pathways to education and work. Through careful research, analysis, and effective advocacy, CLASP develops and promotes new ideas, mobilizes advocates, and assists government leaders.
CLASP helps state advocates make the case for increased access to high-quality child care and early education for low-income children. They produce research on promising policies, and broadly disseminate their tools and resources. In the coming year CLASP will focus on:
- State policy and budget advocacy;
- Implementation of the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG);
- Infant and toddler state policies;
- Racial disparities in access to child care and early education; and
- Early education for immigrant families.
They will provide TA in Colorado, Kansas, Maine, New Jersey, New York, Washington, and Wisconsin.
Center for the Study of Child Care Employment
The Center for the Study of Child Care Employment (CSCCE) is focused on achieving comprehensive public investments, which enable and reward (compensate) the early care and education (ECE) workforce to deliver high quality care and education for all children. They conduct cutting-edge research and proposes policy solutions aimed at making the ECE system more equitable, efficient, and effective for children, their families, and educators.
CSCCE will produce papers and other media products that address barriers to advancing early education workforce policies. These include:
- A brief on challenges and opportunities of current workforce data collection strategies employed across states;
- A brief on the racial and ethnic stratification of the workforce within the center- based sector;
- An animated video that explains the high cost of child care and low levels of compensation for the workforce, in coordination with Child Care Aware of America;
- A brief on how institutions of higher education are responding to the changing demographics of ECE students and the children they are being prepared to teach, and areas in need of investment; and
- A study of early education higher education programs in Mississippi.
Center on Enhancing Early Learning Outcomes
The Center on Enhancing Early Learning Outcomes (CEELO) is a federally-funded TA center focused on early learning. They strengthen the capacity of State Education Agencies (SEAs) to lead sustained improvements in early learning opportunities and outcomes. CEELO partners with SEAs, state and local early childhood leaders, and other federal and national TA providers to promote innovation and accountability.
CEELO is working in select states to estimate costs of high-quality preK and develop strategies to meet that cost. They will organize a cross-state meeting to help states learn from each other about how they have used the cost modeling tool, how it fits in with other early childhood financing studies or strategies, and how to use the findings to motivate policy action. CEELO will survey state and national early childhood leaders and produce a report, “Future Trends in State Early Education Administration” to identify trends in early education priorities in states to inform research, policy and advocacy. CEELO will provide TA in Louisiana, New York, and other states upon request.
Center on the Developing Child
The Center on the Developing Child (the Center) is the premier translator of the science of early childhood development through the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child, a collaboration with the Frameworks Institute, and strong communications strategies.
The Center aims to catalyze a new era in early childhood investment that uses science to stimulate fresh thinking. They are particularly concerned about the needs of children facing cumulative burdens of poverty, maltreatment, violence, racial and ethnic discrimination, and family mental illness. In the coming year they will:
- Produce communication tools that advocates can use to apply scientific knowledge as a frame for policies including: adult skills and capacities, the development of reward and motivation systems, the effects of early adversity on neuroplasticity, and implications of the science of early child development for policymaking decisions;
- Make two presentations on brain science and the science of child development for Medicaid and Managed Care Directors, who do not have this knowledge but if they did could apply it as they make allocation decisions for things like home visiting, early childhood mental health, screening and follow-up; and
- Continue investigations into the early childhood roots of lifelong health disparities.
Child Care Aware of America
Child Care Aware® of America (CCAoA) advances a child care system that effectively serves all children and families through a national network of members. CCAoA represents child care resource and referral agencies who work to promote national and state policies to improve the quality and affordability of child care.
CCAoA will focus on data collection and analyses. They will work in Louisiana and one other state to analyze supply and demand, identify child care deserts, and use the data as a base for state advocacy. CCAoA will work with the Center for the Study of Child Care Employment to analyze the factors that contribute to high child care costs and then disseminate information for states to use as an advocacy tool. They will continue to support NAEYC’s Power to the Profession initiative by leveraging child care resource and referral chapter agencies to support state advocacy.
Child Trends (CT) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that provides research on a range of early childhood care and education topics, and distributes that knowledge to state and federal policymakers, practitioners, media, researchers, and funders of early care programs.
Child Trends will continue to provide social media content through the @YoungChildFacts and social media toolkits. They will facilitate a communications working group of state partners, as well as provide strategic communications support to 2-4 grantees who do not have internal communications expertise to support their work. They will author a policy brief focused on what we have learned in states from the recent development of Kindergarten Entry Assessments, and one other research brief that will be determined during the year. The ECDC will update its 2013 survey on how states are linking their early childhood data sets. In the coming year they will work in DC, FL, LA, NM, TN, and VA.
Committee for Economic Development
The Committee for Economic Development of The Conference Board (CED) is a national, non-profit, non-partisan, public policy organization led by a network of business leaders. CED conducts research on major economic and social issues to actively inform and engage the business community and achieve policy reform in the nation’s interest. Early childhood education has been a priority issue at CED for more than 40 years.
CED will help Alliance state advocacy partners cultivate business leader understanding, interest, and engagement in early care and education, and provide customized data and resources that highlight the importance of and investment in ECE for future individual and state economic success. CED will also work with select states to promote an early childhood educator refundable tax credit as a potential financing and workforce compensation strategy.
Council for a Strong America
The Council for a Strong America (CSA) is a network of unexpected messengers who champion research-based public investments that help at-risk children succeed. CSA mobilizes law enforcement leaders, retired admirals and generals, business executives, faith leaders, and elite athletes/coaches to call for state policies in high-quality birth through eight investments.
CSA is collaborating with Alliance advocacy partners in 6 states (AZ, GA, LA, ME, PA, WI) to grow and mobilize unexpected messengers for early childhood investments. Through meetings with elected officials, press events, reports, op-eds, etc., CSA will elevate strategic voices that can help make the case for more early childhood funding for children from birth through age eight. They will also engage in nonpartisan issue education to promote early childhood issues in select 2018 gubernatorial races.
Council of Chief State School Officers
The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) builds the capacity of the heads of education in states and state education agencies (SEAs) to develop, fund, and improve the quality of early childhood programs and Kindergarten-3rd grade education. CCSSO’s goals are to prevent achievement gaps for low income, at-risk children and improve early learning outcomes for all children. They convene SEA staff, researchers, and policy experts to work on child and program quality standards, assessments, data systems, accountability, and workforce initiatives.
CCSSO will secure expertise to help states engage in data-driven root cause analyses that identify barriers to and strategies for improving outcomes in areas including: scaling district-level improvement efforts on early literacy and math outcomes; incorporating early learning into states’ implementation of their Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) plans; and developing a P-12 family engagement framework.
Harriet Dichter has extensive experience in innovation, partnership, and accountability in early childhood at the local, state, and national levels. As Pennsylvania's founding deputy secretary for the Office of Child Development and Early Learning, she gained national attention for the state's unique new solutions and partnerships. She also was the founding executive director of the Delaware Office of Early Learning, where she accelerated the pace, quality, and accountability of the state's comprehensive work in early childhood.
Harriet provides consultation to select states on using communication and research as a base for effective advocacy, early childhood systems building (e.g. governance, infrastructure, accountability), and effective interactions among advocates and inside government policymakers.
Education Commission of the States
The Education Commission of the States (ECS) is an education compact with commissioners comprised of governors, state legislators, K-12 and higher education department chiefs and other education leaders. They track state policy trends, translate academic research, provide unbiased advice, and create opportunities for state leaders to learn from one another. One way ECS does its work is through its 350+ member Legislative Education Staff Network, which discusses the latest research and best practices in education policy.
ECS is providing intensive TA in 4 states to help develop policies and strategies that improve the quality of instruction in the K-3 grades. They will produce policy briefs on how states are supporting K-3 quality through the Every Student Succeeds Act, and on how state education leaders create and support effective early learning units within state departments of education. They will also update their 50-state database on K-3 quality policies.
EducationCounsel is an education consulting firm that combines experience in policy, strategy, law, and advocacy for significant improvements in the U.S. education system. They develop and advance evidence-based ideas to strengthen educational systems and promote expanded opportunities and improved outcomes for all students from early childhood through postsecondary.
EducationCounsel is providing guidance to interested Alliance state partners on leveraging opportunities to advance early learning through the implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) in states.
Frontera Strategy (Frontera) provides comprehensive policy, resource development, and community outreach services for non-profits and foundations. Jason Sabo, Fontera’s founder, has more than decade of policy experience in Texas, as well as in other states, on issues including PreK and home visiting.
Frontera is working with ZERO TO THREE to co-lead the Home Visiting Advocacy Community of Practice. Frontera is working with the Texas Education Grantmakers Advocacy Consortium (TEGAC) to provide research and expert consultation on engaging philanthropy in early childhood policy advocacy. They are also conducting an environmental scan and providing TA consultation to support states with gubernatorial elections in 2018.
Georgetown University Center for Children and Families
The Georgetown University Center for Children and Families (Georgetown CCF) is an independent, nonpartisan policy and research center founded to expand and improve high-quality, affordable health coverage for America’s children and families. As part of the McCourt School of Public Policy‘s Health Policy Institute, Georgetown CCF provides research, develops strategies, and offers solutions to improve the health of America’s children and families, particularly those with low and moderate incomes. They examine policy development and implementation efforts related to Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and the Affordable Care Act.
GCCF will analyze federal legislative and administrative policy actions in Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and the Affordable Care Act (ACA), with an eye toward implications for state 0- 8 policymaking. For example: What would funding cuts mean for state’s ability to serve young children and their families? Are states proposing waivers to limit Medicaid for young children, and are advocates engaged in the public comment on those waivers? CCF will provide regular updates to the Alliance listserv and through participation in the State Based Advocates for Early Learning monthly calls. They will also be part of the cluster of grants working on early childhood mental health, and serve as an advisor on how to share the science of brain development and key messages with Medicaid Directors and Managed Care Organizations
Migration Policy Institute
The Migration Policy Institute (MPI) is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit think tank in Washington, DC dedicated to analysis of the movement of people worldwide. Within MPI, the National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy is a resource for those who seek to understand and respond to the challenges and opportunities that today’s high rates of immigration create in local communities, including a focus on early childhood and K-12 education policy.
MPI will launch a series of webinars in two policy priority areas that are highly relevant for children of immigrants:
- Quality rating system design and implementation strategies that are more responsive to the needs of culturally and linguistically diverse families and providers;
- Specific needs of young refugee children including trauma-informed care and integrated health and mental health supports.
MPI will support state early childhood and immigrant advocacy organizations respond to policy changes that can threaten programs serving young children of immigrants and refugees. They will provide targeted TA to the Children’s Institute to improve early childhood outcomes for Dual Language Learners and culturally and linguistically diverse families in Oregon.
NALEO Educational Fund
The NALEO Educational Fund is the principal convener of Latino policymakers across all levels of office. They educate and build the skills of their members so that they understand the various issues of education policy, including early learning, so they have the knowledge, governance, and leadership skills necessary to champion an education agenda in their respective jurisdictions.
NAELO provides learning opportunities that increase the content knowledge and governance skills of their members. With Alliance support they are increasing interest in early childhood to advance and support policies and practices that can improve the academic, socio-emotional, and economic outcomes for Latino children and families. In the coming year, NALEO will:
- Work on a regional strategy, targeting state legislators in the southeastern states; and
- Expand their work to engage non-Latino state legislators who represent districts with a large Latino population and invite them to attend a one-day institute to increase awareness of the needs of this community and to facilitate collaboration between policymakers.
National Academy for State Health Policy
The National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP) is an independent academy of state health policymakers, dedicated to helping states achieve excellence in health policy and practice. A nonprofit and nonpartisan organization, NASHP provides a forum for constructive work on critical health issues across branches and agencies of state government. They convene state leaders to solve problems and share solutions, conduct policy analyses and research, disseminate information on state policies and programs, and provide technical assistance (TA) to states.
NASHP will work on three projects in the coming year:
- Develop a policy brief, webinar, and blog on Medicaid’s role in advancing health equity for young children. This work will be part of a cluster of grants focused on diversity and equity;
- Provide targeted TA to New Mexico to increase the rate of developmental screenings, including social-emotional health; and
- Serve as an advisor on how to share the science of brain development and key messages with Medicaid Directors and Managed Care Organizations.
National Association for the Education of Young Children
The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) is the world's largest organization working on behalf of young children. NAEYC promotes high quality learning for all children birth through age 8 by connecting research, policy and practice.
NAEYC is leading the collective Power to the Profession (P2P) initiative, a multi-year project to develop consensus among early education professional organizations and stakeholders around critical issues related to the workforce birth through age 8. The development and implementation of a policy and financing agenda in keeping with the P2P recommendations will follow, both at the state and the national level. To support these efforts, NAEYC, in collaboration with New America and Child Care Aware of America, will refine their tool for scanning states’ workforce policies and regulatory systems and use it to help 3-5 states identify policy priorities, levers for change, and concrete steps for advocacy. They will also publish two briefs about how to address diversity and equity issues as the movement to advance the profession grows.
National Black Child Development Institute
The National Black Child Development Institute (NBCDI) is committed to improving and advancing the quality of life for Black children and families through education and advocacy. NBCDI has been at the forefront of engaging leaders, policymakers, professionals, parents, and caregivers around critical and timely issues that directly impact Black children and families. NBCDI, its National Affiliate Network, and its members advocate and inform education policies at the federal, state, and local levels to ensure standards, regulations, and resource allocations support equitable systems for Black children and families.
NBCDI is implementing an advocacy initiative to advance racial equity in early childhood education. This year’s initiative will:
- Address issues including disparities in school discipline, supporting the ECE workforce, and improving family engagement and supports;
- Educate and inform advocates and policymakers in Georgia, Texas, and Washington on the inequities in access to high-quality early childhood education by publishing a State of the Black Child Report Card in each state with data and an in-depth analysis of outcomes for young Black children;
- Provide TA to Alliance partners at Wisconsin Council on Children and Families; and
- Partner with 5 Alliance National TA Network partners to advance diversity and equity issues as they impact advocacy and state policy.
National Center for Children in Poverty
The National Center for Children in Poverty (NCCP) is a policy research organization that conducts policy analysis, research, and program development activities focused on reducing child poverty and promoting the healthy development and success of children in low-income families. NCCP disseminates research-based knowledge about effective policies and programs to policymakers and advocates through publications, learning communities, and technical assistance (TA).
In the coming year, NCCP will:
- Update and improve the Early Childhood State Policy Profiles and Young Child Risk Calculator;
- Work with up to 6 states using a two- generation approach to advance policies that benefit young children in deep poverty;
- Promote ECMH policies in Maine and New Mexico;
- Partner with BUILD on suspension/expulsion prevention work;
- Complete a survey of ECE teachers on young children’s challenging behavior and expulsion in Virginia; and
- Update the 50-state ECMH Medicaid report.
NCCP will work with the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning to complete a pilot of two Family Engagement Assessment Tools that will be incorporated into the state’s QRIS and help programs plan quality improvements.
National Conference of State Legislatures
The National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL) is a bipartisan organization that serves legislators and staffs of the nation's 50 states, commonwealths, and territories. NCSL provides research, technical assistance, and opportunities for policymakers to exchange ideas on state issues.
NCSL will continue to track legislation, provide monthly updates on legislative activity, write an annual ECE legislative summary, and produce an annual state budget survey report that tracks ECE investments. In the coming year, NCSL’s Early Learning Project will:
- Build legislative leadership through the Early Learning Fellows program and new symposiums in select states;
- Engage state legislative Children’s Caucuses and interim committees around early childhood;
- Conduct a joint session with legislative chairs of health, human services, and education committees to identify opportunities to create stronger policy alignment across early childhood systems; and
- Conduct a legislative focus group to understand how ECE topics translate to legislators and to identify their priorities.
National Governors Association Center for Best Practices
The Education Division within the National Governors Association (NGA) Center for Best Practices is dedicated to helping governors succeed by strengthening their capacity to both enact and effectively implement high-impact education policies. NGA staff serve as the first point of contact to provide timely, dependable policy support to governors and their education policy advisors.
The NGA Education Division seeks to develop a Governors’ Response Team (GRT) to respond to requests both proactively and upon request. Drawing on the expertise of both NGA staff and Alliance national partner organizations, the GRT will support governors and their staff in policy development, implementation and identifying key leverage points. NGA will also cultivate relationships with Governors' Education Policy Advisors (GEPAs) by developing an orientation handbook for newly hired staff, a mentoring program that matches seasoned GEPAs with rookies, and an annual GEPA institute for face-to-face networking and capacity building. In addition to being an extension of the Governors' education staff, NGA will offer support in targeted policy areas: strengthening the early childhood workforce, raising awareness about the importance of social-emotional developing in learning, and advancing state prenatal to age three policies.
National Women's Law Center
The National Women's Law Center (NWLC) improves the lives of women and girls, with a focus on the needs of low-income women and their families. They get new laws passed and enforced, litigate groundbreaking cases all the way to the Supreme Court, and educate the public about ways to make the law and public policies work for women and their families.
NWLC produces memos, fact sheets, data and policy analyses, and an annual 50-state policy report on child care assistance policies. In the coming year they will:
- Produce a supplemental Issue Brief on the adequacy of payment rates for infant care, tiered rates for quality, and family child care rates;
- Produce a second CCDBG on state progress towards meeting goals in their state plans and use it to encourage support and prompt strategy discussions about how to best implement the new rules; and
- Hold their annual retreat in January 2018 for early childhood leaders to promote networking, information sharing, and advocacy collaboration.
They will provide TA in Kansas, Maine, and New York.
New America (NA) is dedicated to the renewal of American politics, prosperity, and purpose in the digital age through big ideas, technological innovation, next generation politics, and creative engagement with broad audiences. The Early and Elementary Education Initiative, which is part of the Education Policy Program, advances policies and elevates dialogue to support high-quality learning environments for all children from birth through the third grade.
New America is working on an online guidebook that highlights key concepts from the Transforming the Workforce report. They will produce policy briefs and events to advance the field’s thinking on critical issues related to the workforce, including teachers’ preparation and education requirements. They are collaborating with NAEYC to help 3-5 states conduct a scan of policies and regulatory systems that govern the ECE workforce in order to help states identify priorities and levers for change.
Rhode Island KIDS COUNT
Rhode Island KIDS COUNT is a statewide policy organization that works to improve the health, safety, education, economic well-being, and development of Rhode Island's children. They provide independent, credible, and comprehensive information on Rhode Island's children and bring individuals and organizations together to change or influence programs and public policies that improve children's lives.
In the coming year Rhode Island KIDS COUNT will:
- Co-lead, with Advocates for Children of New Jersey, the Alliance-sponsored State-Based Advocates for Early Learning working group which brings over 30 states together to inform federal advocacy, policies, and programs and to receive immediate updates and help federal advocacy partners when they need to reach the states;
- Lead the Alliance’s Pre-K Advocates Learning Community, a peer leadership group of 14 states working to improve access to high-quality State Pre-K
T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® National Center
The T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® National Center provides leadership in the early childhood education field to states across the country and to our nation’s policymakers on the critical importance and value of an educated, well-paid and stable early childhood workforce to ensure the long term success of our nation’s children in school and in life.
TEACH is working with teams in Indiana, Iowa, Florida, Michigan, Nebraska, North Carolina, Texas, and Wisconsin to raise awareness about early childhood workforce compensation and create new or significantly expanded existing strategies to improve compensation. Through a Compensation Summit and ongoing TA, TEACH works with states to identify and advocate for innovative policy and funding strategies for increased compensation.
Texas Education Grantmakers Advocacy Consortium
Texas Education Grantmakers Advocacy Consortium (TEGAC) is a formal entity comprised of 42 Texas grantmakers. Led by Jennifer Esterline, they come together to protect and improve public education in Texas through state level policy and advocacy.
TEGAC is leading the Philanthropy Engagement Project (PEP). They partner with Frontera Strategy to bring state and local grantmakers together to increase support for, and participation in, early childhood policy advocacy. TEGAC will develop and facilitate a PEP Alumni Group made up of grantmakers from Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. They will continue providing TA in New York and North Carolina, and managing the national PEP Peer Learning Network. This year they will add one more state to the PEP Network.
TrueNorth provides strategic advice to non-profits, foundations, and government organizations serving vulnerable populations. Marci Roth joined TrueNorth Group as partner in February 2013, bringing communication expertise and experience from her previous position as the Senior Director of Policy and Communications at Child Trends where she directed communications, research and policy projects on issues ranging from early childhood to adolescent health.
TrueNorth manages the Alliance digital media communications. They post and tweet for the Alliance through our @4earlysuccess and #bthru8 handles. They keep up to date on Alliance supported work so they can include grantee partners’ briefs, reports, and articles in our social media content. TrueNorth curates our online daily news update using Paper.li, and helps draft and edits the Alliance blog.
ZERO TO THREE
ZERO TO THREE (ZTT) is a national, nonprofit organization that provides parents, professionals, and policymakers the knowledge and know-how to nurture early development. They ensure that all babies and toddlers have a strong start in life. The ZTT Policy Center is a nonpartisan, research-based resource for federal and state policymakers and advocates on the unique developmental needs of infants and toddlers.
In the coming year ZTT will:
- Continue to co-lead the Home Visiting Advocates Community of Practice (CoP) with Frontera Strategies;
- Launch a new CoP for state advocates who are focusing on advancing a broad infant- toddler policy agenda;
- Convene states to learn about best practices in financing infant early childhood mental health services and expand a collection of state initiatives supporting infants and toddlers; and
- Run a Think Babies campaign to increase support for infant-toddler policies.;
ZTT will provide customized TA in Oklahoma and Oregon.