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Capacity Building Blog Series: Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships Blog #3

February 15, 2022

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Leadership: Capacity Building Checklist for CCR&Rs supporting EHS-CCP

You can find the first two blogs here and here.

Support from community partners is essential in helping the infants, toddlers and families of Early Head Start (EHS) programs develop and succeed. As a community partner, Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&Rs) agencies can support the implementation of Early Head Start Child Care Partnerships (EHS/CCP) by facilitating a system of care through engagement with local EHS/CCCP programs. To that end, it is important for CCR&Rs to expand their knowledge and understanding of EHS and its requirements.

CCR&Rs can facilitate services being provided by EHS/CCP by extending their areas of expertise into partnership programs by assisting EHS/CCP in leveraging funds, pooling resources and accessing

2022-01-27 09_47_07-FINAL_EHS-CCP-CCRR blog 3_CCRR Capacity Building Checklist to support EHS-CCP  -

professional development. CCR&Rs can help build the capacity of the early childhood community to deliver on the mission to improve the health, safety and developmental needs of very young children.

 HOW CAN CCR&R BUILD THEIR CAPACITY TO SUPPORT THE IMPLEMENTATION OF EHS/CCP?

The following list of topics, adapted from the Planning Guide and Organizational Readiness Chart For Early Head Start and Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships, can be of use as services to infants and toddlers are expanded within the community.

PARTNERSHIP BASICS

  • Develop or update relationships with EHS providers, potential child care partners,
    community partners, consultants and other professionals that may support partnership programs.
  • Ensure that staff working to support EHS-CCP are familiar with partnership requirements—including the Head Start (HS) Act and Head Start Program Performance Standards (HSPPS).
  • Align applicable requirements, such as licensing standards with HSPPS, Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) with HSPPS, and state Early Learning Guidelines (ELG) with the HS Early Learning Outcomes Framework (ELOF).

STAFFING AND PROFESSIONAL QUALIFICATIONS

  • Know key EHS positions and qualifications needed to successfully implement the EHS program and to provide high-quality services according to HSPPS.
  • Create a list of EHS/CCP position descriptions and include needed qualifications that align with all requirements and update as needed.
  • Assist in the recruitment of qualified child care management and direct service staff with education and experience relevant to supporting infants, toddlers and their families.

TRAINING AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

  • Collaborate with EHS and CC partners to design professional development opportunities specific to the partnership staff needs.
  • Assist in the development of professional development plans that will ensure infant and toddler staff meet all required qualifications in the HSPPS and state licensing, and QRIS.
  • Share CCR&R training calendars.
  • Develop an understanding of EHS requirements for implementing a research-based coaching strategy.
  • Collaborate in offering quality coaching that aligns with EHS and child care quality initiatives in support of improvement goals and state standards.

COMMUNITY AND FAMILY ENGAGEMENT

  • Develop awareness and knowledge of family and community engagement HSPPS.
  • Collaborate with EHS and child care partners to ensure services are culturally and
    linguistically responsive, promote children’s healthy development, and
    meet the unique strengths and needs of families.
  • Provide referrals to the EHS-CCP to eligible families of infants and toddlers
  • Volunteer expertise for agency board positions or Policy Council as the EHS governing body and policy council include community members.
  • Offer expertise in local community organizations to facilitate community involvement.

OTHER:

  • Become knowledgeable of the HSPPs to support the recruitment and enrollment of children with disabilities, including referrals.
  • Provide ongoing support and professional development to ensure staff can modify approaches for children with identified or suspected delays.
  • Offer expertise in child development, curriculum and teaching by participating in EHS/CCP education/curriculum committees as invited.
  • Offer expertise in health and safety practices by participating in Health Services Advisory Committee meetings as invited.

 As CCR&Rs respond to community needs for affordable, accessible, high-quality child care, the benefits to partnering with EHS-CCP can be significant for all involved. These may include expanding innovations, streamlining services, maximizing funding and resources and, most importantly, increasing benefits for children and families. Working collaboratively, CCR&Rs and EHS-CCP can achieve mutual outcomes for children and families by having all children cared for in safe, nurturing and healthy environments.

Anita E. Allison

Written by Anita E. Allison

Anita E. Allison, M.Ed., is currently a Technical Assistance Specialist with Child Care Aware of America, supporting the Practice team efforts to ensure CCR&Rs, child care providers, and families are provided with information and resources to support their needs. Anita has 36 years’ experience in project management, professional development, and technical assistance in early childhood settings. She has provided project management and oversight for TTA efforts in state child care systems, state pre-K programs and Head Start.