Right now, we are in a critical time to support access to a high-quality and affordable child care system for all families. You can contribute to this critical mission by nominating yourself or others to be considered for a board position with Child Care Aware® of America (CCAoA). The call for Board of Directors nominations is open from September 19 through October 19, 2018.
As a Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) agency, you play an important role in ensuring consumers receive quality information and are engaged around early care and education topics. That’s why Child Care Aware® of America created a new section of our website devoted to information and materials that can help you:
- Inform and engage early care and education professionals, families and community stakeholders using best-practices;
- Share content that speaks to an array of family experiences, especially those outlined in Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG); and
- Reach families at various points in their journeys, when they will benefit from it the most.
As a Child Care Resource & Referral Agency (CCR&R), you are in the important (and messy) business of getting, using, and reporting data of all kinds. Data is critical to helping CCR&Rs serve providers and families with the most up-to-date information. Capturing this data over time also helps us understand trends in child care so we can target limited funding and services for the greatest impact.
But we all know there are many challenges with managing data. So how do we make sure everyone has the tools to be able to contribute to high-quality data? A little investment in developing your organization’s data literacy and creating an intentional data culture can go a long way. Try the strategies below and comment or email us if there are other steps you’ve taken that have helped you.
Massachusetts was in search of more funding for its Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) agencies after a massive cut to their budget line in 2010. Since then, CCR&Rs in the state have had to continue to do their critical work of managing cases, providing referrals and subsidies and more, despite a 16% increase in workload and decreased funding.
Child Care Aware® of America’s (CCAoA) advocacy team worked with our friends at the Massachusetts CCR&R to help them launch a new digital action center on their network website and come up with an actionable alert and email to share with their appropriate email list. Their goal was to restore the previous funding cut and bring the budget line item for CCR&R work back up to full funding.
Child care resource and referral (CCR&R) agencies are sometimes well-kept secrets in the world just peripheral to child care. We recently found this to be true when my colleagues, Courtnie Wheeless, Florida Office of Early Learning, Marlana Kelly and Lei Kendale, Child Care Aware® of America (CCAOA) External Affairs, and I accepted an invitation to present at the 2018 NEW PATHS Conference in Orlando, Florida.
Our goal was simple: To share resources and knowledge to increase effectiveness of services to children and families in the areas of early child education and child care. Our objectives were to provide an overview of the work and mission of CCAoA and the Florida Office of Early Learning, to introduce CCR&Rs as a resource for eligibility workers, to provide practical application for a child care search, and, finally, to learn from the field of eligibility workers how our work intersects.
In August, Child Care Aware® of America (CCAoA) announced the renewal of our partnership with the Bezos Family Foundation on supporting early care and education professionals as brain builders through Vroom. Now we are accepting applications from State and local CCR&R agencies interested in a nine-month family engagement project through the Vroom Partnership.
As a part of this opportunity, CCAoA will select 10 additional CCR&Rs to be part of a fully-supported training, outreach and promotional initiative to inspire the full potential of brain-building moments with young children based on the strength of their applications.
Now that you understand how important Power to the Profession is for the early childhood education and how you can best prepare your staff, it’s time to think about how you can engage the community in conversations about the initiative. But where should you start?
Child Care Aware® of America (CCAoA) was originally known as the National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (NACCRRA). It was founded in 1987 by a group of dedicated child care resource and referral (CCR&R) agency leaders that banded together to create a national membership agency to help them advance their collective mission. Child care across the nation has come a long way in the past thirty years thanks to the dedicated leaders that began the CCR&R field.
“We have a Facebook page but we don’t get a lot of engagement on it.”
I’ve heard this sentiment time and time again while helping CCR&Rs and providers with their social media marketing strategy. Each time I hear that, I ask the following questions:
- How often do you post on it?
- Do you have a content schedule?
- What’s been your most engaging post in the last few months?
As child care providers prepare for young learners to return to their classrooms, it’s important that they add an emergency plan to their program. It’s unfortunate that we have to think about dangerous situations—natural disasters, fires, bomb threats and dangerous intruders—but it’s necessary to have a plan in place. Through effective preparation, CCR&Rs can help providers prevent, prepare for, respond to, and recover from emergency situations.
Do the child care providers you work with have emergency plans? We hope they do, but if not, here are some critical first steps.
One of the most exciting things about working for Child Care Aware® of America (CCAoA) is the incredible emphasis put on research to drive policy “asks” and advocacy efforts. We spend a lot of time hashing out the best language to use to be sure that our messaging is relevant, appropriate, and research-informed. For the research team, there’s nothing like knowing that the reports and analyses we put a lot of effort into are actually being read. However, the tremendous network of advocates who go to CCAoA for resources do more than read—they take action!
For this post, research is collaborating with Child Care Works to give you some ideas on how to use CCAoA’s most recent, research-based resource, the 2018 State Fact Sheets to advocate for change.
Child Care Aware® of America’s 2018 Leadership Institute is just a little over a month away and I cannot wait! This year’s Institute is being held in beautiful Denver, Colorado, at the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel from Sunday, September 30th to Wednesday, October 3rd. As a child care resource and referral (CCR&R) professional working in Indiana, Leadership Institute was always my favorite event of the year. It was the one time of year where I could meet up with CCR&R leaders from across the nation, learn about their successes and their struggles, and pick the brains of some of the brightest people in the field.
In a recent post, we talked about the benefits of mobile texting for CCR&Rs and child care providers. In this post, we’ll look at two case studies of successful mobile texting in action.
Power to the Profession is a big deal for CCR&R agencies. By establishing a unifying framework for the early childhood profession—including career pathways, qualifications, and compensation—this national collaboration holds the potential to impact how CCR&R agencies conduct business in the future. It’s important to be prepared, but where do you even start?
We’ve compiled a few ideas for involving staff in conversations about Power to the Profession.
In the beginning of the century, just 62 percent of Americans owned a cell phone. Fast forward to today and 95 percent own a cellphone and almost every owner is texting. Cell phone ownership and usage is nearly universal amongst all demographic groups with even those ages 65 and older beginning to find use in the devices.
We have hit the point where mass messages are more likely to be read immediately upon text message delivery versus when sent in traditional newsletters or emails. Studies indicate that anywhere between 95-98 percent of text messages are opened, as compared to 15% of emails.
Some families where breast milk is milk of choice don’t always rely on the mother to handle feeding. Sometimes, the mom pumps milk so that co-parents or other family members participate in the feeding process—and sometimes provide breast milk to child care providers to feed infants too.
If you’re like most CCR&R professionals out there, you’ve likely heard about the Power to the Profession initiative, but you might not know much about it. Maybe you know the initiative was started to transform the early childhood field but aren’t sure what that really means or entails. Maybe you’re already excited about Power to the Profession but you’re still unclear what it has to do with you as a CCR&R or what you can do to get involved.
If you're like most child care resource and referral agencies, you want to get the word out about your agency so that providers, families, and community partners know about your agency and the services you provide, but you have just a small advertising budget to work with. Paid online advertising is a great place to start. Jumping into paid ads can seem overwhelming at first, but it doesn’t have to be. In this post, we’ll break down the two main kinds of paid advertising—paid search and paid social—to help you decide where to begin.