In the first year, Child Care NEXT grantees receive funding and intensive support so they can:
- Develop an advocacy roadmap. This is a set of key strategies and tactics, “backwards planned” to win adoption of the vision by the target year. The roadmap will lay out the resources, partners, and capacity required to accomplish the task, which may include steps toward building out new advocacy and organizing capacity/partnerships not currently in existence. The roadmap should also acknowledge contextual political realities in the state that may make success more or less likely, and strategies to address those challenges and opportunities. We expect the roadmap to be more specific about the team’s goals, plans, and activities in the first few years of the campaign, while the work in the latter years will be described at a higher level.
- Conduct policy and political analyses. With support from national experts from the Alliance network and Child Care NEXT partners, state teams will conduct the policy and political research and analyses needed to inform the campaign vision, policy agenda, and advocacy roadmap.
- Strengthen the political base for change. State teams will strengthen leadership and advocacy capacity among stakeholders at all levels – from the neighborhoods to the state capitol – and ensure their campaign vision, goals, and strategies reflect their voices and experiences, especially those most impacted by child care policies and systems.
Before the end of the first year of the project, state teams will also develop a more specific strategic plan and budget for the launching and implementation of their campaigns.