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(Alliance 2016 Partner Summit)


September 21-23  |  Scottsdale, AZ


Wednesday, September 21

8:00 am – 5:00 pm

Pre-conference Meetings (by invitation only)

12:30 – 5:00 pm

Site Visit: Gila River Indian Community Site Visit

3:00 pm

Site Visit: Kindergarten Experience Site Visit

4:00 pm

Featured Topic Discussions

NCCP:  Young Children in Deep Poverty 

Sheila Smith and Maribel Granja, National Center for Children in Poverty

The percentage of children living in families with incomes at or below 50 percent of the federal poverty is surprisingly high – 11 percent nationally and even higher in many Alliance partner states.  Learn about resources on young children living in deep poverty and state policies and programs that affect family income, health and the ability to thrive.  Participants will explore strategies and possible ways to collaborate in future work on this topic, and will be invited to join a new Alliance activity, led by NCCP, that will begin this year.

ECS: Quality In K-3 for Every Child, Every Year: Sustaining Pre-K Gains and Improving Achievement in Early Elementary  

Bruce Atchison and Louisa Diffey, Education Commission of the States, 

Lori Connors-Tadros, Center for Enhancing Early Learning Outcomes

We have all worked hard to bring quality, awareness and resources to the pre-K years, but what then? Children are at risk of losing the gains that they make in high-quality pre-K programs if the K-3 experience that follows does not continue at the same level of academic rigor, developmentally appropriate practices, certified teachers, and strong school leadership. Hear about top policy priorities defined by a recent “thinkers meeting” for a quality K-3 system, and opportunities for your states to be involved in achieving these critical policy goals as part of a national movement to ensure equity for all children.


50-State Comparison: K-3 Quality

5:30 pm- Opening Reception

Thursday, September 22

7:30 am 

Breakfast and Consultation Time

New Alliance Partner Breakfast

Philanthropy Engagement Partner Breakfast (invitation only)

8:30 am

Breakout Sessions:

The Future of Child Care Subsidy Policy: What’s on the Horizon for 2017

Helen Blank, National Women’s Law Center

Hannah Matthews, Center for Law and Social Policy

Meaghan Sprout, Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children

The reauthorization of the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) Act made significant changes to state child care subsidy systems, but without accompanying federal resources. States are struggling to come into compliance to implement the new law. Pressure is building as final regulations are expected in the fall. Learn about opportunities and challenges for regulatory, legislative, and budgetary advocacy in the coming year and share strategies for moving forward.


CLASP and NWLC, Implementing the Child Care and Development Block Grant Reauthorization: A Guide for States

Blending, Braiding, Modeling, Maximizing, Advocating for Funding

Louise Stoney, Alliance for Early Childhood Finance

Jenna Conway, Louisiana Department of Education

Jessie Rasmussen, Buffett Early Childhood Fund

Bill Jaeger, Colorado Children’s Campaign

We now know a lot about what quality costs, what states are doing to finance supports and services for young children and just how large the funding gap is likely to be. While strategies and approaches differ, advocates agree that the United States needs to spend more on Early Care and Education. So what’s next? Should we be discussing new financing strategies or focusing on advocacy for increased resources? Is it an either/or question? Participate in a conversation among experts working on finance. What do we already know? What do we still need to learn and do?

The State of Early Childhood Workforce Advocacy: From Incremental to Transformational Change   

Lauren Hogan, National Association for the Education of Young Children

Caitlin McClean, Center for the Study of Child Care Employment

Amy O’Leary, Strategies for Children

Renee Wessels, Buffett Early Childhood Institute

The early childhood profession is at the top of the agenda at both state and national levels. How can we make sure that it will not just be an “issue of the day”? What’s the best way to take advantage of this attention to make policy advances in states? What shifts in strategies and goals should advocates make to truly transform the profession and the policies that support them? This session will engage in a spirited discussion about these questions. Staff from the National Association for the Education of Young Children and the Center for the Study of Child Care Employment will share information about their latest workforce initiatives. Participants will discuss how advocates can leverage this work to create more political traction in their states.


The Early Childhood Workforce Index

Power to the Profession

How to Get Into the ESSA Game

Danielle Ewen, EducationCounsel

Jessica Cardichon, Learning Policy Institute

Jen Goettemoeller, First Five Nebraska

Jeana Ross, Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education

The Every Student Succeeds Act gives states and districts significant discretion to improve academic outcomes and close achievement gaps, including incorporating early learning – from birth through third grade – into their strategies. This session will focus on lessons learned thus far about effective (or ineffective) strategies that early childhood advocates can use to influence the ESSA planning and implementation process. Participants will hear from and engage with early learning leaders from states and education reform organizations that are playing key roles in states.


What Early Learning in ESSA Can Look Like for States and Districts

 Analysis: Early Learning Provisions of the Every Student Succeeds Act

ESSA and Early Childhood Education: Opportunities for State Leadership

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA): An Update on Early Learning Opportunities

9:45 am- Break

10:15 am

Plenary: Cultivating Racial LiteracyDr. Howard Stevenson, University of Pennsylvania

Discussions about racism can be tough, often because of fears about what how they will be received. What is the best way to talk about race and ethnicity? How can we intentionally and effectively address racism in advocacy and policy to achieve more equitable services to children and families? Dr. Howard Stevenson is the Constance E. Clayton Professor of Urban Education and Professor of Africana Studies at the University of Pennsylvania.


Dr. Stevenson’s PPT presentation

11:45 am Lunch and Consultation Time

Alliance Investor Lunch (invitation only)

12:45 pm

Breakout Sessions:

Making the Most of Medicaid for Young Children 

Elisabeth Burak, Georgetown Center for Children and Families

Diana Ragbeer, Florida Children’s Trust

Jane McGrath, Envision NM

Tara Ford, Pegasus Legal Services for Children

Children are the largest group of Medicaid beneficiaries, with 44 of young children ages 0-5 enrolled. Medicaid has tremendous potential to support the healthy development of young children, but variations in state policies result in uneven access to some of the preventive and early intervention supports that can make a difference in the early years. Learn more about the potential of Medicaid, and how Florida and New Mexico are advocating for new ways to leverage it for early childhood programs.


CCF Medicaid and Young Children Fact Sheet:

CCF Immigrant Kids Fact Sheet

How One Florida Newspaper Went Beyond Reporting to Spur Original Research

How Is Florida’s Medicaid Managed Care Working for Children?

Advancing Early Childhood Policies as Labor and Economic Justice Issues 

Helen Blank, National Women’s Law Center

Mindy Binderman, Georgia Early Education Alliance for Ready Students

Dana Hepper, Oregon Children’s Institute

Betty Holcomb, New York Center for Children’s Initiatives

Affordable child care, workforce development and compensation, prekindergarten, and family supports are issues that early childhood advocates, as well as those who work on labor rights and economic justice, focus on. These organizations often have different perspectives, use different messages and frames, and pursue different advocacy strategies and tactics. This session will explore opportunities to build relationships between different advocacy communities that are focusing on similar issues. How can we leverage each other’s assets and expertise to enhance advocacy on behalf of young children and their families?


Set Up for Success: Supporting Parents in Low-Wage Jobs and their Children

Set Up To Fail: When Low-Wage Work Jeopardizes Parents’ and Children’s Success 

Nearly One in Five Working Mothers of Very Young Children Work in Low-Wage Jobs 

Innovative Strategies to Increase Quality for Infant and Toddler Care 

Shannon Rudisill, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services

Alecia Jackson, Head Start Zero-Five Program, Maricopa County

Eve Del Real, Early Head Start Partnership, Maricopa County

Development between birth and three years old is critical for education and life success, yet fewer than 5% of infants and toddlers in poverty can access Early Head Start.  The reauthorization of CCDBG and the Early Head Start Child Care Partnerships are stimulating ingenuity and promoting higher quality care for low-income infants and toddlers.  Come hear how states and communities are implementing creative solutions to coordinate and align services; support healthy social emotional development; improve professional development opportunities; identify standards and implement new guidelines for serving infants and toddlers; and build public-private partnerships.


Early Head Start – Child Care Partnerships 

2:00 pm


2:30 pm

Breakout Sessions:

Bring Your Own Champagne!   

Charlotte Brantley, Clayton Early Learning

Jon Gould, Washington Children’s Alliance

Sarah Stachowiak, ORS Impact

Significant time and attention goes to getting laws passed, but so much work is needed after the signatures dry.   Monitoring implementation and/or advocating for regulations to enact legislation ensure that good intentions turn into good programs and services.  Learn how Colorado created and managed the formal process to get from legislative passage to rule making to implementation.  Hear from Washington one year after the historic Early Start Act passed.


Beyond the Win: Pathways for Policy Implementation

Summary of Washington’s Early Start Act 

Changes to Colorado Child Care Assistance Program (CCCAP) from House Bill 14-1317

Pre-K Advocacy: The Next Generation 

Marina Merrill, Oregon Children’s Institute

Cynthia Rice, Advocates for Children of New Jersey

Judy Reidt-Parker, Ounce of Prevention Fund

It’s no longer enough to cite studies about the long-term impact on pre-k and its return on investment in order to increase funding to improve access and quality. Nor is it enough to advocate for the 10 NIEER quality benchmarks and hope results will follow. This discussion will highlight policies and investments that advocates can focus on to ensure states provide sufficient resources to deliver high-quality pre-k at the local level; the capacity of the public education system to build on early gains, and advocacy strategies to elevate these issues.


Building Early Learning Leaders: New Jersey’s PreK-3rd Leadership Training

Early Learning Instructional Leaders and Strong PreK-3rd Student Assessment Systems: The New Jersey Story

Oregon House Bill 3380 

The Changing Face of Early Childhood: Minority and Dual Language Learners Still Missing Out    

Hannah Matthews, Center for Law and Social Policy

Maki Park, Migration Policy Institute

Roxana Norouzi, One America

Racial and ethnic minorities now constitute half of the nation’s youngest children. Recent studies reveal there are wide differences in access to early childhood programs among children of color. Furthermore, children who speak a language other than English at home enroll in early learning programs at lower rates than their peers. This session will highlight changing demographic trends, barriers immigrant and LEP families face in accessing early childhood programs, CLASP’s Disparate Access report findings, and steps states can take to increase participation of minority children in high quality programs.


Disparate Access: Head Start and CCDBG Data by Race and Ethnicity 

Immigrant and Refugee Workers in the Early Childhood Field: Taking a Closer Look

Immigrants and WIOA Services: Comparison of Sociodemographic Characteristics of Native- and Foreign-Born Adults in the United States

The Changing Face of Early Childhood: Minority and Dual Language Learners Still Missing Out

Ready to Meet the Needs of All Children? A Closer Look at Data on Immigrant Families with Young Children and Their Access to Quality Program Supports

A Divided Electorate is United on Early Childhood Education  

Kris Perry, First Five Years Fund

Elizabeth Burke Bryant, Rhode Island KIDS COUNT

Lisa Klein, Alliance for Early Success (Facilitator)

In the midst of an angry and polarized election, 90% of voters agree on one thing: Congress and the next president should work together to make quality early childhood education more accessible and affordable to low- and middle-income families. Join us for a discussion on the political and policy opportunities for early care and learning post-elections.


A Divided Electorate is United on Early Childhood Education

3:45 pm


4:15 pm

State Team Time (optional)

Featured Topic Discussions:

Follow-up Conversation on Racial Literacy Plenary

Lisa Klein, Alliance for Early Success (facilitator)

Continue the conversation from the morning plenary and collectively consider how we can incorporate what we learned into our day-to-day work.

ZTT: Home Visiting 

Barbara Gebhard and Liz DiLauro, ZERO TO THREE

Home visiting can be an effective strategy for supporting families during pregnancy and throughout their child’s first years, particularly when they are part of a comprehensive and coordinated system of services.  Home visiting combines parenting education, information on child development, referrals to community services, and links to social services. There is growing momentum among state advocates, funders, and legislators for improving and expanding home visiting services. Last year, the Alliance supported ZERO TO THREE to lead two Communities of Practice focused on home visiting: Integrating Home Visiting in Early Childhood Systems and Home Visiting Advocacy in States.  This year, they will expand the Community of Practice on Home Visiting Advocacy in States and begin one focused on incorporating mental health in home visiting.


ZTT Home Visiting

Key Components of a Successful Early Childhood Home Visitation System

ZTT Communities of Practice Home Visiting

CSCCE:  The Early Childhood Workforce Index: a New Tool for State Advocates

Caitlin McLean and Bethany Edwards, Center for the Study of Child Care Employment

The Early Childhood Workforce Index by the Center for the Study of Child Care Employment represents the first effort to establish a baseline description of early childhood employment conditions and policies in every state and to track progress on a state-by-state basis to improve early childhood jobs. Providing states with periodic appraisals of their efforts based on measurable indicators, the Index is aimed at encouraging states to step up their efforts to address persistent workforce challenges and at supporting related advocacy efforts.  Learn more about the Early Childhood Workforce Index and the accompanying interactive mapping tool and discuss how this tool can be used to support advocacy in your state.


The Early Childhood Workforce Index 

6:00 pm

Reception and Poster Session

7:30 pm

Adjourn for the Day

Friday, September 23

7:30 am- Breakfast and TA Matches

8:15 am- Plenary: Digital Communications in a Politically Conservative Environment. Max Fose, IWS, Maximizing Digital Media

Nadine Basha, Board Chair, Arizona First Things First

Sam Leyvas, Executive Director, Arizona First Things First

Learn how digital communication is being deployed to drive awareness and activation to reach targeted audiences, including conservative audiences who traditionally are not as responsive to early childhood education messaging.  Using lessons learned from Arizona First Things First, the 2016 Presidential campaigns, and other advocacy efforts, the panel will discuss how to integrate digital communications with strategic messaging, community leader outreach and grassroots activation. Additionally, the panel will discuss how digital communications is an important tool for brand awareness.



9:45 am 


9:50 am

Site Visits:

Educare Arizona

Dual Language Learner Preschool Site Visits

10:15 am

Featured Topic Discussions:

Follow-up Conversation on Digital Media Plenary

Helene Stebbins, Alliance for Early Success (facilitator)

Continue the conversation from the morning plenary.

NAEYC: Advancing a Unified and Well-Compensated ECE Profession: A Look at the Key Decision Points Ahead

Katherine Kempe and Marica Cox Mitchell, NAEYC

While research shows that effective and well-compensated early childhood professionals are essential for delivering the best outcomes for children, the profession cannot advance to this level without additional public and private investments. But what exactly are we asking investors to pay for? Who will receive comparable compensation as a result of their investments? These seemingly basic questions are especially difficult given the fragmented nature of the early childhood workforce.  Examine these and other critical questions necessary to create a more unified and succinct workforce policy agenda.


Power to the Profession 

Rapid Response: Examples and Opportunities

Lisa Klein, Alliance for Early Success (facilitator)

One of the Alliance hallmarks is Rapid Response (RR). We have the flexibility to respond to immediate or unplanned policy opportunities or crises that most traditional funders do not.  Both state and national TA Network partners can provide RR. The Alliance matches state and national experts grappling with similar issues to get the immediate supports they need. Lisa Klein will facilitate a discussion among past and future users of RR that will include the who, what, when, and how of RR, along with examples of what works and ideas about how to make it even better.

11:45 am- Meeting Adjourns

Learn and Connect

The State of Birth Through Eight – Meet our allies in your state.

Go Deeper – In our online Resource Centers you’ll find the latest resources and reporting on specific policy areas.

The Latest – See what’s happening across the country in early childhood at the state level.