Presentation on theme: "Shared Infrastructure: New Operational Models for Achieving Greater Efficiency, Effectiveness and Sustainability Presented by: Phil Acord President/CEO."— Presentation transcript:
Shared Infrastructure: New Operational Models for Achieving Greater Efficiency, Effectiveness and Sustainability Presented by: Phil Acord President/CEO Children’s Home/Chambliss Shelter May 22, 2006 New York
Description of the Model Several local Early Childhood Education programs pay an annual management fee to Children’s Home, which acts as the primary business manager. Children’s Home handles all administrative and fiscal management, day-to-day supervision of staff and interaction with parents. Under contract with Children’s Home are the following: Chambliss Emergency Shelter Two Head Start Classrooms Two Pre K Classrooms Maurice Kirby Child Care Center Children’s Academy for Education and Learning Newton Child Development Center Volunteer Community School Pro Re Bona Day Nursery Six ECE Classrooms located in Public Schools All programs are either 501(c)3 corporations or under the umbrella of a 501(c)3. Programs keep their own Boards of Directors and individual identities. As much as possible, functions are made uniform to facilitate management, but differences are allowed as required by partners.
Catalyst for Innovation In each situation, there was a need for a service but the entity providing that service could not continue to do so. Sharing resources to ensure that services continued fit into the organization’s mission of serving families and children in the community. In every case, the key people involved believed collaboration would result in higher quality and more efficient use of resources. Success begat success. As Children’s Home did well managing the first programs, the community noticed. So when they needed help, they looked to us. First contract began with Hamilton County Government in 1983 – the County decided to get out of the direct care business and put out a RFP to take over programs they were managing. In 1986 the United Way asked to help a small child care agency that could not afford a director to or meet all UW requirements. A second program joined in Head Start and Pre-K collaborations came about because the administration wanted to serve more children but they didn’t have physical space to do so. Classrooms in the Public Schools started because young teachers were leaving the system due to child care needs. Legal and liability issues prevented the school system from operating child care programs for teachers, so the Superintendent asked Children’s Home to manage them.
Benefits of the Model Collaboration has allowed for: Continuation of small programs that would have gone out of business. Increased program capacity, serving more children in the community. Program improvements and expanded funding base for programs formerly operated by government. Maintaining public school classrooms that would have had to close. Reduction in turnover rate for young teachers. Management contract has allowed partner agencies to: Operate without needing to hire an Executive or a financial person. Improve salaries and employee benefit packages. Generate revenue greater then expenses, to reinvest in the programs. Take advantage of economies of scale, through combined training, purchasing, and negotiation of medical and retirement benefits. Access additional shared resources, including volunteers and donations. Increase their profile because of their association with the collaborative. Develop a sense of belonging as part of one large collaborative. These programs, that were about to go out of business, are now functioning at higher quality and expanding capacity and services.
Implementation Lessons We used the first contract to work out all of the bugs – later contracts benefited from the early trial and error. Never tell an agency or their Board what to do. Usually if you do a good job laying out the facts, they will make the right decision. It was important to try to make things as uniform as possible among the different agencies, such as paydays, financial reports, audits, personnel policies, parent handbooks and client fees. We try not to change anything for the first six months or so until a new partner’s Board and staff are comfortable working with us. Capital has been the biggest challenge in that when we take on another agency, it usually is in need of renovation, equipment, etc. But the collaborative is able to more effectively raise funds than individual small programs.
Looking Ahead… Future Goals: Continued growth to include more collaborations and partnerships. Inclusion of all Early Childhood Education services provided by the local United Way under the Children’s Home umbrella. Establishment of an endowment or restricted fund to keep the model going and expand to help more agencies. Expansion of management contract model to other communities, potentially as a national model for financing child care. Each and every day ECE programs care for over 13.1 million children nationwide. We need a better system to ensure quality and a better way to finance the thousands of individual agencies providing care to children.