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: Georgia, Louisiana, and Michigan.
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’s QRIS National Learning Network (NLN) is convening monthly “Let’s Talk” calls with QRIS administrators and national webinars to share thinking about new directions and promising strategies in QRIS. They are leading a community of practice focused on Continuous Quality Improvement, and a cross-state learning table on developing state policies to promote effective teaching and learning in partnership with Center on Enhancing Early Learning Outcomes.
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 is supporting state advocates and policymakers to increase access to high-quality child care and early education for low-income children by providing expert TA, researching promising policies, and disseminating high-quality information and resources. They are focusing on implementation of the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) reauthorization; maternal depression and policies to promote partnerships between mental health and early childhood stakeholders; racial disparities in access to child care and early education; and early education and immigrant families.
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's biennial State of Early Childhood Workforce report is designed to sustain a focus on the early childhood profession in public discourse, stimulate the incubation and testing of sustainable policies and revenue sources, and spur greater advocacy and policy action to improve working environments and conditions. CSCCE is providing briefings for state advocates and policymakers and developing resources and presentations based on the report to help them use the findings to improve working conditions for ECE professionals. They are conducting new research on the implications of minimum wage laws on the ECE workforce and on efforts to professionalize the field.
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 with BUILD to organize a learning table with up to 8 states to develop strategies that advance recommendations from the Transforming the Workforce report. CEELO is also working with 5 states to produce accurate data on the cost of quality preschool programs and develop communications tools to help policymakers understand and take action based on the findings from the cost modeling. They will review state plans to identify promising practices and missed opportunities as a way to help states incorporate early learning in their Every Student Succeeds Act plans.
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 is communicating and applying the knowledge base about the core skills and capacities needed by adult caregivers and how to build them. They are focusing on the science behind the development of reward and motivation systems; a greater understanding of why some individuals respond differently to interventions than others; and expanding the rapidly evolving understanding of critical periods of development and their implications for the timing of intervention strategies. Scientists and researchers from the Center are available for RR directed toward state policymakers on a select basis.
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.
As states implement professional development strategies to foster quality improvements in early childhood programs, they turn to child care resource and referral agencies (R&Rs) to connect professionals to educational opportunities and offer some training themselves. CCoA is working with NAEYC and holding in-depth conversations with R&Rs, conducting a scan of offerings from educational institutions, and reviewing state initiatives to get an in-depth picture of professional development activities. They will produce a report on the findings in three Alliance partner states. They are also revising the CCAoA State Fact Sheets to enhance Alliance Partner advocacy on quality child care.
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.
CT is providing a range of strategic research and communication services to the Alliance and our partners. They adopt, promote, and expand evidence-based policies and practices to foster the healthy development and education of children birth through age 8. They are managing the widely followed @YoungChildFacts twitter site. They continue to lead a Communications Working Group with state advocates. CT is writing three briefs based on topics identified by our state partners, and providing communications TA to Alliance partners. They direct the Early Childhood Data Collaborative (ECDC) and are working with partners in Nebraska, New York, and Oklahoma to build integrated early childhood data systems.
Committee for Economic Development
The Committee for Economic Development (CED) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan business led public policy organization that conducts research on major economic and social issues, and actively informs and engages the business community in an effort to achieve policy reform. Early childhood is one of CED’s longstanding priorities.
CED is supporting Alliance partners to engage business leaders in advocating for more effective policies and increased funding to support high quality early learning programs. They are working with state advocates to develop business-oriented materials for advocacy purposes including fact sheets, talking points, op-eds, letters-to-the-editor, and social media. They are organizing events to educate business leaders and promote their voice in early childhood policy. CED is also working with finance and communications experts to develop resources that help business leaders understand the need and advocate for more effective financing strategies.
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 collaborates with state advocates to determine each year’s legislative agenda. At the request of, and in collaboration with, Alliance state partners, CSA’s five sibling organizations (Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, Mission: Readiness, ReadyNation, Shepherding the Next Generation, and Champions for America's Future) prepare and release reports to bolster the evidence base; mobilize their members to generate earned media including op-eds and letters-to-the-editor; secure speakers and support for state events; and engage their members to advocate to the governor and legislature through sign-on letters and direct interaction.
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 is engaging its members in a new early childhood leadership initiative. The Implementing College and Career Standards (ICCS) Early Learning Workgroup is supporting seven state teams, who will work with their Chief Academic Officers in a self-assessment and strategic planning process. The outcome will be an action plan that focuses on one or more early learning policy areas from CCSSO’s Equity Starts Early Framework. CCSSO will support this workgroup through coaching, meetings, webinars, and connections with other experts and organizations.
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. She is working with states that have prioritized these issues, including the District of Columbia, Arizona, and Oklahoma.
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.
Based on its new K-3 Policy Database and in collaboration with its K-3 National Advisory Committee, ECS is developing a K-3 Guide to Action to help state policymakers identify opportunities and strategies to support effective teaching and learning in the early elementary grades. The guide will serve as the foundation for a policy consultation project that ECS will implement with five states. Through this project, states will develop strategic plans for promoting quality in the early grades or incorporate early learning strategies into their existing plans. ECS is also working with New America to produce a policy brief on early elementary teacher licensure policies.
EducationCounsel (EdCounsel) 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.
EdCounsel is providing information and enhanced understanding of early learning opportunities in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) so policymakers are more able to include early learning in their state plans. They are providing guidance to interested Alliance state partners on engaging their K-12 leaders and advocates in the planning process. They are developing a set of specific policy recommendations for ESSA implementation to improve and extend birth to third grade opportunities at the state and local levels.
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 Community of Practice. They are providing intensive TA on legislative strategy development in states participating in the Alliance Home Visiting Community of Practice led by ZERO TO THREE. Frontera is also working with the Texas Education Grantmakers Advocacy Consortium (TEGAC) to provide research and expert consultation on engaging philanthropy in early childhood policy advocacy.
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.
Georgetown CCF is exploring and sharing knowledge on state policy opportunities to improve young children’s access to health services and supports, with an emphasis on early childhood behavioral health. They are identifying policy opportunities to elevate children’s needs in health care reform, specifically targeting Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and managed care organizations. Georgetown CCF is researching best practices and educating advocates and policymakers about what is possible within existing health care service delivery.
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 is responding to the challenge many children of immigrant families face when they participate in early care and education (ECE) programs that lack the capacity to effectively respond to their needs. State and local policy responses have lagged behind the issues confronting this growing population. MPI is expanding their capacity-building work with state-level immigrant organizations to help them identify policies that can improve the quality of ECE services for immigrant families. They are publishing a compendium highlighting the community needs and their program and policy priorities.
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.
NALEO Educational Fund is equipping Latino state legislators with tools to become effective early learning policy champions and successful advocates. They are providing learning opportunities that increase the content knowledge and governance skills of their constituents. They are incorporating a session on dual language learners at their 34th Annual Conference. They will convene a regional policy institute on education, including over 25 Latino state legislators from nine Northeastern states around early childhood education. This regional convening also presents an opportunity for NALEO Educational Fund to collaborate with the Alliance network, as well as our state advocacy partners.
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 is developing a policy brief, webinar and blog on Medicaid financing of early childhood home visiting programs. They are providing targeted TA for up to three states needing support on Medicaid-related issues for young children and their families. They are helping develop and participating in an early childhood mental health meeting to be convened by ZERO TO THREE. NASHP is providing expertise to interested states in the areas of home visiting and developmental screening policies.
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 working in Indiana, Iowa, New Mexico, New York, and Wisconsin on their “Power to the Profession” initiative, which works with practitioners to define the profession by developing consensus on issues such as career pathways, core competencies, professional standards, and compensation. They are also working with these states to identify key policies, regulations, governance bodies, and decision-making processes and positions that impact the birth through eight workforce. Through these activities, NAEYC will help states define a more strategic and informed policy agenda that can advance the profession. NAEYC will continue to disseminate their Build it Better framework to help states improve their professional development systems.
National Black Child Development Institute
For 46 years, the National Black Child Development Institute (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. They have a National Affiliate Network of volunteers in communities across the country. NBCDI is committed to improving and advancing the quality of life for Black children and families through education and advocacy.
NBCDI is producing the fifth customized state report based on the national Being Black Is Not a Risk Factor report. BCDI-Georgia will use it to convene and consult with state-based advocates, community leaders, and policymakers about how to address the highest priority concerns related to young Black children in the state. NBCDI is engaging in a strategic planning process to identify how the organization can strengthen their advocacy and policy work at the state level. They are working with expert consultants to facilitate this process, analyze current policies, and identify new opportunities. They are producing a plan of action for effective state advocacy and policies that promotes racial equity in early childhood.
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).
NCCP is updating the Early Childhood State Policy Profiles and Young Child Risk Calculator, two 50-state tools that provide a snapshot of the 0-6 population in a state, and the policy choices states makes to support their well-being. They are partnering with Child Trends to develop a research brief on strengthening supports in ECE programs for young children exposed to trauma. They are providing child and family data for NBCDI’s report in Georgia. At the individual state level NCCP is piloting two Family Engagement tools for Georgia's QRIS, helping advance early childhood mental health policies in Maine, and adapting that work in Colorado and Virginia. They are identifying options for advancing policies that benefit young children in deep poverty in up to four states including California and New York.
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‘s Early Care and Education Project will support legislators and legislative staff through education, engagement, and outreach strategies to foster leadership among legislators interested in early care and education policy, and to promote effective policy ideas from best practices in state legislation, emerging ideas, new science, and ways to leverage federal funding to meet state goals. NCSL is hosting the Early Learning Fellows program, a model that has proven successful in building and supporting legislative leadership and moving early childhood policy. They are engaging with legislators and staff to discuss CCDBG reauthorization implementation, funding, and other challenges and opportunities they are experiencing via focus groups, meetings, and phone surveys. They are developing strategic communications to ensure early childhood maintains a high profile for legislators through e-newsletters, social media, and NCSL’s website. They are conducting 50-state legislative bill tracking on ECE.
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 continues to produce and disseminate an annual child care assistance policy report with 50-state data on child care eligibility, co-payments, provider reimbursement, and waiting lists. They are focusing on how states will implement the new child care and development block grant (CCDBG) law. They are conducting a multi-year study with state child care administrators to identify how states are implementing the new law and producing a 50-state report with baseline data and documentation of successes and challenges. They are partnering with CLASP on an updated guide on the final regulations and providing TA to state advocates and policy makers as they adapt their policies to the new regulations.
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.
NA is focusing on the workforce in four related projects. They are writing a series of blog posts to elevate critical ideas, recommendations, and challenges from the "Transforming the Workforce" report. They are collaborating with NAEYC to conduct policy scans in select states to help them develop policy agendas that advance supports for early learning professionals. They are analyzing the roles of principals and child care center administrators, the perceptions of them by policymakers and the public, and the variations in states' requirements for these professionals' education, credentials and experience. NA is also writing articles on what states can do to support local communities seeking to improve children's transitions between PreK and Kindergarten.
Rhode Island KIDS COUNT
Rhode Island KIDS COUNT (RIKC) improves 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. They bring individuals and organizations together to change or influence programs and public policies that improve children's lives.
RIKC co-leads the Alliance sponsored State-Based Advocates for Early Learning working group with Advocates for Children in New Jersey (ACNJ), 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. RIKC facilitates the PreK Advocacy Learning Community with 10 states focused on expanding access to high-quality PreK. At the state level, RIKC is coordinating the state’s Early Learning Council. They are leading advocacy on access to PreK and Head Start, high-quality child care, developmental screening, early childhood special education services, evidence-based home visiting, paid family leave, access to high-quality health and mental health care, and implementation of the Kindergarten Entry Profile. RIKC is participating in the Alliance Home Visiting Advocates Community of Practice led by ZERO TO THREE.
T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® National Center
The T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® National Center (TEACH) supports early childhood organizations in 23 states and the District of Columbia through TA, training, data collection and management tools, resources, and standards. TEACH works with states to advance policy, funding, advocacy and effective strategies to support access to degrees in early childhood education, gains in compensation, and improvements in retention.
TEACH is working with teams in Indiana, Iowa, Florida, North Carolina, 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 35 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), working to adapt the Texas model of bringing state and local philanthropic organizations together to change the way foundations think about and engage in influencing state policy. The goals of PEP are to increase the number of foundations investing in state-level early childhood advocacy and to increase the amount of resources foundations invest in early childhood policy advocacy. In partnership with Frontera Strategy, they are providing survey research, message development, and conducting intensive TA to philanthropy groups in Arizona, New Mexico, New York, and North Carolina. TEGAC is facilitating an Early Childhood Funders Peer Group of foundation trustees and officers from these states who come together to share effective strategies and lessons learned for mobilizing foundations to support early childhood advocacy and policies that are aligned with the Alliance’s Birth Through Eight State Policy Framework.
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.
ZTT is supporting states to advance policies, services, and systems to meet the needs of infants, toddlers, and their families. They are finalizing a state planning tool on early childhood mental health policies and services and providing TA to states working on this issue. They continue to mobilize infant-toddler advocates through The Baby Monitor e-newsletter and advocacy campaigns. They are providing intensive TA on infant, early childhood mental health policy in five states. ZTT is working in partnership with Frontera Strategy, leading two Communities of Practice: home visiting advocacy and building mental health capacity in home visiting.