Including and Expanding Early Head Start in State Early Childhood Systems
In May 2010, five state teams came together in Stowe, Vermont, with representatives from ZERO TO THREE and the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) to discuss ways that Early Head Start could be included in state early childhood systems. State teams represented Florida, Maine, North Carolina, South Carolina, and West Virginia.
The goals of the meeting included: highlighting innovative state models and strategies for including and expanding EHS in state early childhood systems; assisting participating states in moving forward to integrate EHS and their developing systems so that more infants and toddlers receive high-quality services; and promoting relationships and continued collaborative work among participants.
ZERO TO THREE and CLASP thank the Birth to Five Policy Alliance for their generous support of this meeting.
Members of state government, federal agency staff, and national organizations gave presentations, led discussions, and shared resources during eight meeting sessions. This webpage provides links to these resources to help all states reflect on how they can promote high-quality services like Early Head Start for infants and toddlers. Read more and access materials by clicking the session titles in the meeting agenda below.
- Applying the EHS Approach to Services and Systems for Infants and Toddlers
--Early Head Start is a program that coordinates early learning, parent engagement, and health and mental health into a comprehensive approach to serving pregnant women, infants, and toddlers. This same coordinated approach is the goal of an effective early childhood system. This session will review the components of EHS and a comprehensive system. It will explore how states might infuse EHS into the larger system and how EHS can be used to improve all services for infants and toddlers.
- Leveraging Existing Funding Sources to Support EHS-Like Services
--Comprehensive services--including health, mental health, nutrition, and family economic support--are not inexpensive. In order to pay for the range of services needed by vulnerable infants, toddlers and their families, state policymakers and local programs have to coordinate and leverage existing funding sources and identify new ones. This session will highlight strategies and lessons learned at the state and local levels.
- Including EHS in the State's Professional Development System
--States' professional development standards and systems vary widely, but EHS workforce requirements can strengthen the qualifications of those working with infants and toddlers. This session will describe how EHS programs ensure qualified staff and how these supports can contribute to state professional development efforts, such as training registries, core competencies, scholarships, articulation, and career lattices.
- Supporting the EHS Model through Communications, Framing, and Messaging
--Framing a message is sometimes the most difficult part of a communications campaign. This session will examine how to help the early childhood field, as well as policymakers, parents, and the general public, understand the importance of the EHS program. It will also suggest how to use "new media" to communicate the message.
- Developing State-Level Policy Priorities for Infants and Toddlers
--Unless states have an intentional focus on infants and toddlers, the needs of the youngest children may not be met within a broader early childhood system. This session will highlight various processes and tools useful to states as they develop policy priorities for infants and toddlers. It will provide an overview of ZERO TO THREE's state self-assessment checklist and the ways states have used it.
- Linking EHS and Child Care Programs
--EHS and child care are two programs with different strengths serving a similar population. This session will address the development of partnerships between EHS and child care, both centers and family child care. It will describe various partnership models and how states are using EHS to leverage quality improvements in the early care and education system.
- Including EHS Data in Integrated State Data Systems
--States are increasingly interested in improving the accessibility and use of data and in developing longitudinal data systems. This session will cover the types of data collected by EHS programs. It will also explore how EHS data can be included in an integrated data system that shares and links data between early care and education programs and with K-12, P-16/20, and public health data.
- Linking EHS and Home Visiting Programs
--EHS is often provided through a home-based model. While the EHS model is comprehensive, programs can benefit from linkages with other home visiting programs. This session will explore options for better connecting EHS with various national, state, and "home-grown" home visiting models. It will focus on how strong linkages might look on the local level and will include a brief overview of the home visiting provisions in the recently passed health reform legislation.
Materials and Links
Speakers: Fran Majestic, Office of Head Start; Barbara Gebhard, ZERO TO THREE; Rachel Schumacher, CLASP; and Sue Mitchell, Pennsylvania Office of Child Development and Early Learning
- Presentation with slides from all four speakers and list of federal programs and acronyms
- Read more about Pennsylvania's Keystone Babies program
Speakers: Rachel Schumacher, CLASP; Karen Garbarino, Vermont Department of Children and Families; Steven Dow, Community Action Project of Tulsa, Oklahoma
- Rachel Schumacher's presentation on leveraging funding and list of federal programs and acronyms
- Karen Garbarino's presentation on the Vermont's Children's Integrated Services (CIS) initiative; visit the CIS website to learn more
- CLASP and ZERO TO THREE - State Profile: Oklahoma - "Building on Early Head Start, Pilot Early Childhood Program"
- CLASP - "FAQ: Using Title I of ESEA for Early Education"
- ZERO TO THREE - "Tracking Services for Infants, Toddlers, and Their Families: A Look at Federal Early Childhood Programs and the Roles of State and Local Governments"
- ZERO TO THREE - "Inspiring Innovation: Creative State Financing Structures for Infant-Toddler Services"
- National Center for Children in Poverty - "Spending Smarter: A Funding Guide for Policymakers and Advocates to Promote Social and Emotional Health and School Readiness"
- The Commonwealth Fund - "ABCD: Lessons from a Four-State Consortium"
Speakers: Valeri Lane, Early Head Start National Resource Center; Lanier DeGrella, Child Care Services Association, North Carolina
Summary of EHS Staff Requirements, prepared by Valeri Lane
Speakers: Debbie Rappaport, ZERO TO THREE; Wade Fickler, The Children's Institute, Oregon
- Debbie Rappaport's presentation on communications and framing to support EHS
- ZERO TO THREE - "Effective Communication about the Early Years: Understanding the Basics of Framing"
- Harvard Family Research Project - "New Releases on Benchmarking Electronic Communications"
- Visit Allison Fine's blog, Social Media and Social Change
- Visit Beth Kanter's blog, How Networked Nonprofits Are Using Social Media to Power Change
- The Children's Institute provides research and communications support for Oregon's Ready for School: Start Small, Grow Great initiative. Materials include:
Speakers: Cindy Oser, ZERO TO THREE
- Cindy Oser's presentation on state policy priorities for infants and toddlers
- ZERO TO THREE - "Infants and Toddlers in the Policy Picture: A Self-Assessment Checklist for States"
- National Infant & Toddler Child Care Initiative - Strategic Planning Toolkit
- CLASP - A Tool Using Data to Inform a State Infant/Toddler Care Agenda, part of the Charting Progress for Babies in Child Care Project
- National Center for Children in Poverty - Improving the Odds for Young Children Project
Speakers: Rachel Schumacher, CLASP; Karen Heying, National Infant & Toddler Child Care Initiative; Mary Weathers, ACF Region VII Head Start; Valeri Lane, Early Head Start National Resource Center.
- Federal guidance: ACF Policy Interpretation Question: The length of CCDF eligibility for children in collaboratively-funded slots
- National Child Care Information and Technical Assistance Center (NCCIC) - Quality in Linking Together Early Education Partnerships (QUILT) - QUILT Partnership Checklist: Shaping a Partnership
- NCCIC - Partnerships, Alliances, and Coordination Techniques (PACT) - see especially the section on "Managing and Facilitating Successful Partnerships"
- CLASP and ZERO TO THREE - "Building on the Promise: State Initiatives to Expand Access to Early Head Start for Young Children and Their Families"
- CLASP and ZERO TO THREE - "State Early Head Start Initiative Profiles," see especially:
Speakers: Barbara Gebhard, ZERO TO THREE; Elizabeth Hoffmann, CLASP; Khari Garvin, North Carolina Head Start State Collaboration Office; Sue Mitchell, Office of Child Development and Early Learning, Pennsylvania
- Download CLASP's "Tool Using Data to Inform a State Infant/Toddler Care Agenda."
- Read an introduction to CLASP's DataFinder and the list of Early Head Start state data available through this tool.
- Visit CLASP's "In the States" resource to find your state and download your "Head Start by the Numbers" profile.
- Visit the Data Quality Campaign's website
- Learn more about Pennsylvania's Early Learning Network
Speakers: Valeri Lane, Early Head Start National Resource Center; Danielle Langley, Aroostook Council for Healthy Families, Maine
- Office of Head Start Information Memorandum: Child Development Services During Home Visits and Socializations in the Early Head STart Home-Based Program Option