The Center for High Impact Philanthropy at the University of Pennsylvania has released web-based version of Invest in a Strong Start: An Early Childhood Toolkit for Donors. For individuals and organizations interested in supporting early childhood education, the toolkit provides key facts, strategies for investment, high impact opportunities and key partners you should know.
As an extension of an ongoing partnership with the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the toolkit was created by a team that reviewed over 50 pieces of major research reports and policy analyses, collaborated with national networks, and interviewed experts and leaders in the early childhood field.
The expanded and updated toolkit includes the following components:
- Funder Briefs: Background information and resources of early childhood topics such as strong starts for young children and harmful chemical exposure.
- Blog Interviews: Interviews with field experts
- Strategies for Investing: Information for donors regarding stakeholders and important background information.
- Return on Investment Profile: Information on what programs to support, the benefits and how to invest.
Transform Consulting Group works to stay current with the latest research to inform its clients and align services to “what works”. For more information on the latest research in your industry, contact us today.
Early Learning Indiana is working to engage parents in their child’s education and development and help parents support their child’s learning at home. Through a newly awarded AmeriCorps grant provided by Serve Indiana, Early Learning Indiana will be able to build the capacity of Indiana pre-k programs to engage parents.
A growing body of research suggests that meaningful engagement of families in their children’s early learning supports school readiness and later academic success. As a means to supporting family engagement and children’s learning, it is crucial that programs implement strategies for developing partnerships with families.
The good news is that parents of all income-levels desire and want to be more engaged in their child’s early education. A 2014 nationally representative poll commissioned by the Kellogg Foundation found that 42% of U.S. parents believe that involvement in their child’s education is most critical between birth and through preschool.
The addition of the AmeriCorps grant will provide approximately 15 AmeriCorps members who will work with high-quality pre-k programs in three of the five counties (Allen, Marion and Vanderburgh) participating in the state of Indiana’s On My Way Pre-K pilot program. The AmeriCorps members will train and support providers’ capacity to engage families and develop on-going partnerships with parents and community based organizations.
Transform Consulting Group applauds Early Learning Indiana’s leadership in applying the latest research on family engagement while addressing a critical gap in Indiana’s pre-k programs. Transform Consulting Group was hired by Early Learning Indiana to help them strategize a partnership with AmeriCorps to support the engagement of families in high quality pre-k programs and assist them in completing the AmeriCorps grant application.
Need help updating a program design or applying for a grant? Transform Consulting Group stays current with the latest research. We can use this experience to align your program and organization to “what’s working”. Contact us today, no matter whether the project is large or small!
As part of Transform Consulting Group’s series highlighting federal programs that provide education opportunities and/or youth development services in communities, the next federal program that is highlighted is the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the Early Intervention Program for Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities (Part C). IDEA, Part C is designed to assist any child under the age of three who has a disability or significant delays in development. Part C is a $436 million dollar program administered by states for infants and toddlers with developmental delays or who have diagnosed physical or mental conditions with high probabilities of resulting in developmental delays. Approximately 350,000 children are served by the Part C program with the goal of ensuring that such children are ready for preschool and kindergarten.
Positive early experiences not only benefit children but also their families and communities:
- Services to young children who have, or are at risk for, developmental delays have been shown to positively impact health, language and communication, cognitive development and social/emotional development.
- Families benefit from early intervention by being able to better meet their children’s special needs from an early age and throughout their lives.
- Benefits to society include reducing economic burden through a decreased need for special education.
Each state has a lead agency to administer the program. To select a state, click here. Each state’s Part C program is accountable for delivering the early intervention services in accordance to the federal statute:
- Identify and represent the interests of state and territory infant and toddler early intervention programs at the national level;
- Develop and recommend models, standards, policies, and programs that promote quality services to eligible infants and toddlers and their families; and
- Strengthen current leadership and foster new leadership in early intervention programs at the local, state or territory, and national levels.
Indiana’s Early Intervention Program, Indiana First Steps, is administered by the Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA) with nine regional offices across the state. More information about the Indiana First Steps program can be found by clicking here. Transform Consulting Group has experience working with state and local organizations to apply for and implement federal programs in their community. Contact us today for a free consultation or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.
The National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) has released The State of Preschool 2014 report. The newest edition of this annual report profiles state-funded prekindergarten programs throughout the United States, as well as documenting growth. The annual preschool report helps track and understand progress across states and the nation.
National Highlights in this year’s State of Preschool report includes:
- State funding for Pre-K programs increased by nearly $120 million in 2013-2014.
- In 2013-2014, 29% of America’s 4-year-olds were enrolled in a state-funded Pre-K program.
- After a loss of 4,000 seats in 2012-2013, student enrollment increased by 8,535 in 2013-2014.
- Pre-K quality standards improved in 2013-2014.
The annual report is divided into three sections:
- The first section describes trends in Pre-K enrollment, quality standards, and spending.
- The second section includes detailed state profiles. Profile pages are also included for states without state-funded programs.
- The last section of the report contains appendices with tables that provide the complete 2013-2014 survey data obtained from every state, as well as Head Start, child care, U.S. Census, and special education data.
Other information highlighted in the report includes early learning standards, a resource break-down, and benchmark requirements per state. For the 2013-2014 school year, Indiana did not have a state-funded preschool program, per criteria outlined in the full report. However, Indiana will transition out of one of the ten states without a state funded Pre-K program for next year’s 2014 – 2015 annual report with the Early Education Matching Grant program (EEMG) and On My Way Pre-K (OMY)!
Transform Consulting Group has been working with the Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning (OECOSL) to support the implementation of these new Pre-K programs in Indiana. Contact us today to learn how Transform Consulting Group can help implement your organization’s programs to make a deeper impact in your community. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter!
The Wabash County YMCA is “planting seeds of hope,” in its youth through a new initiative: Wabash County Promise. Wabash County Promise is a community-wide initiative to promote college and career readiness in students in grades K-12.
The initiative includes four key college and career ready components:
- Educational Savings: At school registration, families enroll in a CollegeChoice529 college savings account and may receive help in doing so. Students with a college savings account are more likely to enroll in and complete college.
- College & Career Discovery: All students participate in college and career discovery in the classroom throughout the month of September. In the younger grades this includes lessons such as: “What do I want to be when I grow up,” and “Who are the champions in my life who will help support me along the way?”
- Walk into My Future: “College Go Week” in September provides college visits for students in Grades K-3 to Manchester University to participate in hands-on activities, experience a college campus and participate in a mall walk that symbolizes walking into the future.
- Engaging Champions: Students are encouraged to identify champions in their life who will encourage them and contribute financially to their college savings account. Students in grades K-4 who raise at least $25 receive a matching gift of $75 for their college accounts.
In the first year of the Wabash County Promise:
- Over 1,600 youth visited the campus of Manchester University for the “Walk into My Future Event.”
- 9 out of 10 teachers observed increases in students’ hope for their futures.
- Parental awareness of 529 plans increased from 41% to 82%.
- Students with 529 accounts in grades K-3 increased from 6% to over 72%.
Transform Consulting Group applauds the community of Wabash County to work together in facilitating college and career readiness in all of its youth. Transform Consulting Group supports college and career readiness programs in having clear outcomes and tracking progress on the attainment of their post-secondary education goals. Contact us or visit our website to learn more!