April Dodge-Ostendorf

April Dodge-Ostendorf
April Dodge-Ostendorf, MSW, is Director of Strategic Initiatives at Child Care Aware® of America. She has over 15 years of professional experience advancing social service systems for children and families at local, state and national levels. April’s current work includes building cross-organizational knowledge and capacity for effective partnership engagement, fund development, and strategic planning.

Recent Posts

Promising Practices: Using Spanish Radio to Share Child Care Resources

By April Dodge-Ostendorf on January 11, 2019

This story begins in 2008, with Romilia Schlueter—a respected leader in the Dane County, Wisconsin Latina/o community, with decades of experience in the family support and early childhood fields. At the time, she was working at a family resource center that was a member of Supporting Families Together Association (SFTA), Wisconsin’s statewide child care resource and referral agency. The center had a long list of Spanish-speaking families waiting to be accepted into their early childhood home visitation program. Seeing an opportunity to help meet that need, Romilia came up with the idea of delivering early childhood information to families and caregivers via a weekly Spanish-language radio program. Before long Romilia and La Movida, a popular Spanish radio station in Madison, launched Aprendiendo Juntos Fortalecemos la Familia (Learning Together We Strengthen the Family), with Romilia as the host. This initial program evolved into Apoyando Familias, Aprendiendo Juntos (Supporting Families, Learning Together) when Romilia took a position with SFTA in 2011. The radio program was reformatted and its website added a blog, where audio recordings and scripts of more than 300 programs are archived.

Topics: Business Operations for CCR&Rs, Family & Community Engagement

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Celebrating Family Voices

By April Dodge-Ostendorf on January 02, 2019

In 2018, families joined Child Care Aware® of America in a shared mission to move the needle on quality and affordable child care forward. Several issues topped their list of concerns: 

Topics: Systems Building, Family & Community Engagement

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New Consumer Education Tools & Resources Created with the CCR&R in Mind

By April Dodge-Ostendorf on September 21, 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:

  1. Inform and engage early care and education professionals, families and community stakeholders using best-practices;
  2. Share content that speaks to an array of family experiences, especially those outlined in Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG); and
  3. Reach families at various points in their journeys, when they will benefit from it the most.

 

Topics: Family & Community Engagement

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VIDEO: Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies Are Here For You

By April Dodge-Ostendorf on July 30, 2018

The end of summer is a busy time for families seeking child care. This video describes what families and child care resource and referral (CCR&R) professionals, from around the nation, have to say about child care assistance available in your community.

Topics: Family Stories

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Announcing the Family and Community Engagement: Promising Practices Spotlight Series

By April Dodge-Ostendorf on May 24, 2018

Child Care Aware® of America is rolling out a new informative series that illuminates exemplary family and community engagement practices. The Family and Community Engagement: Promising Practices Spotlight Series highlights and celebrates innovative, high-quality family and community engagement programs occurring in a range of early childhood settings. We hope this series will not only introduce you to successful initiatives making an impact in communities across the nation, but that it will inspire you as child care resources and referral staff (CCR&Rs), child care providers and other early childhood leaders as you advance your work with families and communities.

Kicking off the Spotlight Series:  The first spotlight in our series shines on, Apoyando Familias, Aprendiendo Juntos (Supporting Families, Learning Together), a radio show that connects weekly with Spanish-speaking families and caregivers. The program is a product of Wisconsin’s statewide network CCR&R, Supporting Families Together Association. This program demonstrates how organizations can leverage media outreach to create meaningful dialogue with and meet the needs of diverse families with young children and their communities.

Topics: Systems Building, Workforce, Family & Community Engagement

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The Role Families Play in Identifying Child Care Challenges and Identifying Solutions

By April Dodge-Ostendorf on December 07, 2017

Children and their families are the heart of early care and education. We know that when child care providers and early educators work in close concert with families.

  • Young children gain a stronger foundation for learning and development,
  • Overall family well-being is enhanced, and
  • The early care workforce experiences greater job satisfaction, and frequent turnover is less likely.

Topics: Systems Building, Family & Community Engagement

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