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Lessons Learned from The Quality Child Care Initiative (QCCI) A Project of the Early Childhood Funders Presentation for the Early Childhood Funders October.

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Presentation on theme: "Lessons Learned from The Quality Child Care Initiative (QCCI) A Project of the Early Childhood Funders Presentation for the Early Childhood Funders October."— Presentation transcript:

1 Lessons Learned from The Quality Child Care Initiative (QCCI) A Project of the Early Childhood Funders Presentation for the Early Childhood Funders October 28, 2003 Deborah Kogan Social Policy Research Associates QCCI Evaluator

2 QCCI Emerged as a Project of the Early Childhood Funders in 1997 zTo increase the availability of high quality child care for low-income families in Bay Area. zIn response to welfare reform pressures to move large numbers of mothers with young children into the workforce. zSupported by research findings on the importance of quality child care for early childhood development.

3 Goals of QCCI zIlluminate critical issues in child care. zIncrease the knowledge base of various sectors of the child care community. zDevelop new partnerships between the philanthropic and government sectors. zForm a child care response that addressed regional and local needs.

4 Distinctive Features of QCCI zA comprehensive vision of the issues that affect quality child care, drawing on input from experienced funders, experts, and the child care field. zA program of joint grantmaking that drew on both pooled and directly aligned funds. zA multi-pronged approach that made direct grants, sponsored community forums, funded technical assistance resources, supported grantee convenings, promoted public-private partnerships, and engaged in dissemination of best practices.

5 Distinctive Features of QCCI, Continued zThe availability of a wide range of engagement levels for participating funders. zAn open and highly collaborative leadership structure. zUse of an action learning loop that unites funders and practitioners in a shared learning community. zA regional approach to quality child care issues. zAn ability to support flexible responses to changing circumstances.

6 Two Rounds of QCCI Grantmaking zDuring Round 1, QCCI raised $1.2 million in pooled funds and made 67 grants to 56 organizations targeting five strategic areas: training, advocacy, linkages, facilities, and consumer education. zAt the end of Round 1, participating funders felt that their work together was not yet complete. zFunders contributed $2.1 million to support a second round of QCCI grantmaking. A total of 29 grants were made under Round 2.

7 Framework Guiding Round 2 Grantmaking zFour Strategic Goals: yBuild a sustainable child care workforce. yStrengthen advocacy for child care. yCreate new/improve existing child care facilities. yMake child care more accessible to families.

8 New Approaches Tested During Round 2 zIn response to review and feedback from Round 1, new features included: yA reduction in the number of grants made. yAn increase in the average grant level. yFocus on a priority issue: compensation and retention of the child care workforce. yGrounding of advocacy efforts in focused high-stakes issues. yAn increased emphasis on disseminating best practices using resource/TA organizations.

9 Support for Local Compensation/Retention Projects zProvided coordinated support ($865,000) for local projects and regional technical assistance efforts. zQCCI support was valued by grantees, because: yQCCI support was timely and flexible. yFunding enabled several counties to weave together an integrated project from multiple funding streams. yQCCI supported networking and information sharing among grantees on challenges and accomplishments. yQCCI encouraged grantees to think about both short- term and longer-term strategies.

10 Lessons Learned from Compensation/Retention Projects zWorkforce compensation/retention worked well as an organizing issue for advocacy projects: yIt brought together center-based staff and family- based care providers. yIt enabled child care advocates to build broad coalitions of parents, educators/trainers, labor organizations, worthy wage coalitions, and care giver associations. zSuccessful public education campaigns emphasized the link between improved compensation and improved quality of care.

11 Lessons Learned from Compensation/Retention Projects, Continued zGrantees found it difficult to sustain involvement by child care teachers in advocacy/organizing efforts. zPlanning grantees said that design of local stipend programs will be a “work in progress” for some time. Design issues include: yHow much to raise the bar between initial and continued eligibility? How to reach family child care providers and individuals from underrepresented groups? Whether to link stipends to permit applications?

12 Lessons Learned from Compensation/Retention Projects, Continued zImplementation project grantees found it essential to build partnerships with key players in the education/professional development arena: yTo facilitate access to professional and career counseling for child care providers. yTo expand opportunities for classes and workshops needed by individuals participating in the stipend program. yTo increase early childhood education offerings at non-traditional sites, during evening or weekend hours, and for Spanish-speaking participants.

13 Support for Provider Training and Leadership Projects zSupport included $100,000 to each of four resource organizations, with a focus on under- served groups and local areas, to expand training on: yProviding quality care to infants and toddlers. yProviding quality care to an increasingly diverse population of children and families. yProviding quality care to children with a wide array of special needs. yLeadership development for child care center directors.

14 Lessons Learned from Provider Training and Leadership Projects zGrantees found that training projects were not limited to delivery of training. Rather, needed steps included: yMeeting with representatives from targeted communities to build trust and identify needs. yDeveloping training curricula and resource materials in appropriate languages and with culturally sensitive content. yRecruiting and training trainers. yArranging for academic credit for successful completers. yConducting outreach to potential participants. yDelivering training. yProviding ongoing hands-on support to providers.

15 Lessons Learned from Provider Training and Leadership Projects, Continued zProjects reaching out to underserved populations found that intensive interpersonal outreach efforts by community organizers were needed to recruit targeted individuals. zSometimes the necessary precursors to training took time: yOne grantee found it necessary to work at the system level to raise the visibility of children with special needs before undertaking intensive practitioner-level training. yAnother grantee entering a new geographic area found that it had to talk with caregivers and build a trusting relationship before offering training on serving infants and toddlers. zPractitioners valued training that offered academic credits, which helped practitioners advance on the permit matrix and qualify for local stipends.

16 Lessons Learned from Provider Training and Leadership Projects, Continued zOne grantee emphasized the importance of mentor- to-trainee and peer-to-peer dialogue during and after training to share experiences and solidify learning. zOrganizational (employer) involvement in planning and delivery of training supported individual caregiver participation and made it easier for caregivers to apply their new skills in the workplace. zWhen preparing a curriculum for use by a new cultural and language group, a process of “cultural translation” was often needed to reveal the hidden cultural assumptions in the training content before the language translation was made.

17 Support for Parent Advocacy zThe Parent Action for Child Care Today (PACCT) project received a QCCI grant of $80,000, designed to: yDevelop and promote a parents’ platform and communicate it to key state and local decisionmakers in a public Parent Summit. ySupport three local chapters of Parent Voices in recruiting parents and involving them in meaningful child care advocacy work. yIncrease the stature and maturity of Parent Voices as a parent advocacy organization and public policy stakeholder at the state level. zUsing the Parent Summit as a stepping stone, the project helped mobilize parent energy around a key state budget issue (reduction in funding for child care set-aside for families who had recently left welfare).

18 Lessons Learned from Parent Advocacy Project zIt is possible to focus parent advocacy efforts around a critical issue and to influence key decisionmakers at the state level. zThe work of paid staff is essential to sustain the momentum of parent involvement. zInterest from parents in additional counties around the state demonstrated the potential to form new local chapters of Parent Voices. zAs a result of its involvement in state budget issues, Parent Voices has been collaborating closely with other child care, labor, faith-based, and non-profit groups.

19 zQCCI provided a $100,000 grant to Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF) to: yProvide technical assistance to build provider capacity on business practices and facilities development. yLink child care providers to expert consultants in the fields of facilities financing and development. yCreate a Predevelopment Fund to support individual planning and predevelopment grants to licensed nonprofit child care centers (12 grants awarded). yExpand LIIF activities beyond San Francisco to eight additional counties. Support for Child Care Facilities

20 zBuilding relationships with child care organizations and prospective applicants in new counties requires personal contacts and a substantial investment of time and effort. zA number of applicants lacked the threshold organizational capacity to manage a capital development project. Used referral linkages to basic capacity building resources. zPriority centers (those serving low-income families and children with special needs) often need the greatest amount of technical assistance and capacity building. zPredevelopment and planning activities are only the first step in a long process. Need to develop outcome measures that track progress toward actual facility development. Lessons Learned from Facilities Grant

21 Support for Centralized Eligibility Lists (CEL Project) zDuring Round 2, QCCI continued to play an important supporting role in its partnership with the State of California Department of Education/Child Development Division supporting the development of county-level CELs (lists of families eligible for subsidized child care): yFacilitated meetings of the state’s CEL Task Force. ySupported networking among counties on CEL design and implementation issues.

22 zModest but strategic investments by the philanthropy community can stimulate the public sector to make significant investments in projects that address the needs of children and families. zQCCI support helped ensure use of uniform design and data elements across county CELs, which was critical to build the potential for state-level summaries. zWithout continued state funding, many counties were unable to continue/move forward on CEL development. Lessons Learned from CEL Project

23 Evolution of QCCI During Round 2 zFunder participation grew from 16 to 21 foundations. Nine new foundations joined the initiative. zSecond-round participating funders were more comfortable contributing to the pooled fund. zQCCI handled turnover in administrative staffing without disrupting operations.

24 Evolution of QCCI During Round 2, Continued zQCCI Leadership Team remained in place overseeing shared funding until the end of QCCI Round 2 grants; led planning for end of formal QCCI grantmaking. zGroup of interested ECF members met to develop new ECF leadership and assess the feasibility of continuing some QCCI-related functions as part of ECF.

25 Exit Strategy for QCCI zShort-term funding to leadership and training grantees to support planning for organizational sustainability. zClear communication with grantees about the end of the formal QCCI collaborative grantmaking program. zDissemination of lessons learned: yAbout funder collaboratives. yAbout regional projects supporting quality child care. zDiscussions about continuing some QCCI-related functions as part of ECF or as independent projects by individual funders.

26 Funder Perspective on QCCI Accomplishments zFunders particularly valued QCCI’s contribution to: yIncreasing the visibility and priority of child care issues on the public agenda. yViewing and addressing child care issues from a regional perspective. yHelping document and disseminate information about best practices in the child care field. yProviding grantees with a single point of access to potential funders. yReinforcing funders’ decisions to make independent grants in the areas of QCCI’s funding priorities.

27 Grantee Perspective on QCCI Accomplishments zGrantees particularly valued the following aspects of QCCI: yGrant flexibility; the willingness of QCCI to adapt terms of grant to meet changing conditions. yThe fact that QCCI gave attention to issues not recognized by other funders, such as advocacy, community organizing, and inclusion of children with special needs. yModest and streamlined oversight and reporting requirements. yProvision of valuable and interesting information at grantee convenings. yAssistance in developing relevant outcome measures.

28 Grantee Interest in Continued Philanthropy Support for Quality Child Care zSurveyed grantees indicated that they hoped the philanthropy community would continue to: ySupport innovative projects, such as CARES, that build on current efforts and require an extended period of time to mature. ySupport advocacy efforts to help protect hard-won child care quality improvements. yHelp broaden the child care discussion to include voices not always heard, including parents and teachers. yConvince the business sector of the economic benefits of quality child care. yConvene regional stakeholders to develop new strategies for quality child care in today’s difficult economic and political environment.

29 Lessons Learned About Funders’ Collaboratives zMost funder staff that participated in the funder survey would recommend that their foundation participate in future collaboratives. zPerceived benefits of collaboration included: yAbility to leverage individual foundation’s investment with pooled funds from other funders. yAbility to learn from other funders (about the field and about other approaches to grantmaking). yCoordinated grantmaking strategy that resulted in a greater impact on the early childhood education field.

30 Lessons Learned About Funders’ Collaboratives, Continued zFunders identified the following factors as contributing to the success of QCCI as a funders’ collaborative: yHaving strong but flexible leadership. yUsing a multi-pronged approach that includes both individual grants and grantee/community convenings. ySecuring funder buy-in to a broad regional picture of the issues and grantmaking strategies. yAllowing funder participation at a variety of different levels of commitment. yOffering both aligned and pooled funding opportunities. yComing together in a flexible and time-limited project, rather than creating a permanent program or organization.


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