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FAQs

Here are a few of the questions we commonly get about the Child Care NEXT initiative and process.

Child Care NEXT will fund and support states that are ready to mount long-term campaigns to achieve transformative change in their child care policies and funding. Up to five states will be selected through an RFP process to receive deep, ongoing support to develop and implement campaigns that achieve transformative child care policy in their state. 

The Alliance for Early Success is currently working with the Child Care NEXT Steering Committee to further shape the initiative and design the Request for Proposals. The responses below are our best thinking to date. We will continue to update this page. If you have any questions about Child Care NEXT that are not addressed below, please email us.

 

When is the proposal due, and what will the review process entail?

The proposal is due on April 30 at 5pm PT/8pm ET. Child Care NEXT will invite a select number of proposals for interviews in mid/late May. The interviews will involve at least members of the state team, although we may request to talk to others and will likely reach out to other individuals in the state as well. Topics for the interview will be provided to those state teams that are invited for that phase of the process. Our goal is to announce the selected states by the end of June.

 

Who is behind Child Care NEXT?

Child Care NEXT is managed by the Alliance for Early Success, with the support of a Steering Committee made up of 14 national organizations.

 

What goals and activities does Child Care NEXT support?

This grant opportunity supports ambitious, long-term campaigns. In the first year (roughly June 2021 through June 2022), the grant will help the state teams accomplish the following:

    • 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, beginning around the summer or fall of 2022.

 

What will states receive if selected for this initiative?

In the first year, each state will receive up to $200,000 for start-up and planning activities described above. In 2022, each state will receive up to $500,000 for campaign launch and implementation. States will also receive technical assistance and consultation from national child care policy experts and campaign advisors.

A state match of $100,000 will be required each year both to show state-based investment in the work, and to acknowledge that additional resources will be necessary to launch and sustain a campaign that aims for bold change. If needed, the Alliance and the Child Care NEXT Steering Committee will work with the state teams to meet this challenge. 

After the second year of the project, pending additional funding for the project, states will continue to receive a similar level of funding to sustain the campaign. Alliance and its partners are currently in conversations with several donors to raise the remaining funds.

 

What are the criteria for state selection?

In addition to the information requested in the RFP, Child Care NEXT is interested in selecting a group of states that can serve as “proof points” to demonstrate to policymakers, funders, advocates, etc. that transformative change is possible in different kinds of states. As such, our intent is to support a range of states that are diverse in ways such as: geography; political climate; economic context; racial, linguistic, and cultural communities; urban and rural environments; and others.