The 2021 BUILD Conference will offer more than 30 learning sessions and three exciting plenaries to help state leaders explore what constitutes high quality early learning from the perspective of families, young children, and communities that are furthest from opportunity.
Research has shown that young children experience both short-and-long-term benefits from high-quality early care and education. But for Black children from families with low incomes, these high-quality experiences are often inaccessible. In addition, the comprehensiveness of services key to positive outcomes, including lifelong educational, developmental, and economic gains, are not prevalent in early care and education today.
Do you want to connect both formally and informally with early child care experts, sponsors, and colleagues interested in improving quality in early care and education?
Join us virtually on July 19 for one of seven pre-conference sessions, and July 20-22 for more than 30 learning sessions and three plenary sessions.
The registration rate for the plenaries and learning sessions, July 20-July 22 is $450.
There is an add-on for the pre-conference sessions on July 19, the total rate for the conference plus preconference is $475. You must register for pre-conference sessions at the same time you register for the general conference.
This year’s conference will be presented on the Socio virtual conference platform that will allow you to:
- Hang out with your team, old friends and new ones via video lounges that accommodate up to 13 people.
- Connect directly with sponsors through both our sponsor and networking receptions.
- Live chat with presenters during their sessions with additional opportunities for in-depth Q&A with some speakers in the video lounges.
Monday, July 19
- 1:00 PM ET/10:00 AM PT: Preconference Sessions (pre-registration required)
Tuesday, July 20
- 12:30 PM ET/9:30 AM PT: Kick-off and Opening Plenary
- 2:00 PM ET/11:00 AM PT: Networking
- 3:30 PM ET/12:30 PM PT: Plenary Session
- 5:00 PM ET/2:00 PM PT: Evening Sponsor Reception
Wednesday, July 21
- 11:00 AM ET/8:00 AM PT: 1-hour learning sessions throughout the day
- 4:30 PM ET/1:30 PM PT: Networking Reception
Thursday, July 22
- 11:00 AM ET/8:00 AM PT: 1-hour learning sessions throughout the day
- 3:00 PM ET/12:00 PM PT: Closing Plenary Session
Pre-Conference Sessions: July 19, 1-4 PM ET
P1. QRIS 101: Everything You Wanted to Know About QRIS but Were Afraid to Ask
This interactive, introductory session is for anyone interested in learning more about QRIS development and its impact on state early learning systems. Discussion will focus on emerging research and trends; standards, frameworks and supports and their impact on the broader system; and implementation considerations like cross-sector monitoring and supporting diverse provider populations. By the end of this session, participants will have an understanding of the evolution of QRIS over the past two decades and emerging approaches and innovations to state quality improvement efforts.
Presenters: Char Goodreau, NCECQA; Meghan Johnson, Alaska Learn and Grow; Malia Woessner, IdahoSTARS Project
P2. Using and Communicating Data to Advance Racial Equity in Early Childhood Policy
To create an equitable early care and education system, we must apply principles of equity to how we talk about and use data to improve policy and practice. This includes reimagining what research questions and measures we use, rethinking how we engage with stakeholders, and reforming how we communicate data. In this session, join Van-Kim Lin, Esther Gross, and Jessie Laurore of Child Trends to see before and after examples of a brief on Infant and Maternal Inequities that they revised by applying guidelines on equitable communication of data and research. These examples will be used to help guide you/your teams during breakout activities in which you will apply racial equity principles while using and communicating your own data on child care quality.
Presenters: Van-Kim Lin, Esther Gross, Jessie Laurore, Carlise King, and Sarah Daily, Child Trends
P3. Reimagining and Building a System Beyond QRIS
The early care and education system in the United States has long operated from a place of scarcity, failing to meet the needs of educators, children, and parents. New federal attention and investment presents an opportunity to move past entrenched systems that are, by design, inequitable. Hear from a panel of educators and state system specialists. Come to the session ready to acknowledge the limitations of QRIS and other existing ECE policy levers and discuss/imagine what is needed to build an equitable system that centers the rights of educators, children, and families.
Presenters: Ashley Allen, EQuIPD; Caitlin McLean and Ashley Williams, Center for the Study of Child Care Employment; Brooke Skidmore, The Growing Tree Childcare and WECAN Advocacy Group; Patricia Sullivan, Baby Steps Nature School
P4. Making it Count: Data Strategies that Incorporate Inclusive Community Engagement and Promote Equity
Designing inclusive, anti-racist, and equitable early childhood policies requires using data to understand who is impacted and represented, and who isn’t. But is that enough to achieve real equity? This pre-conference session will explore data strategies that are inclusive and equity focused, and that can more fully capture the experiences of Black, Latinx, Indigenous, Asian, and other children, families, and providers of color. This conversation will include inclusive data collection, use of diverse data sources, cross-agency data sharing, and other strategies.
Presenters: Beth Bye, Connecticut Office of Early Childhood; Tiffany Ferrette, Alyssa Fortner, and Alycia Hardy, CLASP; Carlise King, Child Trends; Elena Trueworthy, Connecticut Head Start State Collaboration Offices
P5. Strengthening Early Learning Systems: Beginning with Equity of Voices
High-quality care and education for all children begins with equity for the adults in their ecosystem. What happens when we elevate, respect, and utilize the wisdom of families, communities, educators, program directors, cooks, bus drivers, and all others who contribute to children’s early learning—especially those who experience marginalization? We co-create quality improvements from a place of mutual respect and shared wisdom. Together we will examine lessons from Learning for Children’s Learning Network model and consider new strategies for building strong, trusting relationships among adults using Learning for Children’s Five Commitments of Optimistic Leadership. By exploring these proven methods for aligning quality improvement and equitable decision making, this session will provide insight into creating early learning systems that counter existing power imbalances and meaningfully represent the communities they serve.
Presenters: Judy Jablon and Nichole Parks, Leading for Children
P6. Early Childhood Trauma: Being Culturally Informed Is Not Enough
As states and territories wrestle with the impact of trauma on young children, how does a state or territory move from being informed and understanding the impact of trauma affecting their most marginalized families, children, and communities to taking action and promoting practices that will enable cultural responsiveness to trauma? This session will investigate universal culturally responsive strategies as well as highlight specific cultural and traditional responses to trauma using an asset-based approach.
Presenters: Danielle Fuentes Johnson and Carey McCann, BUILD Initiative; Monica Noriega, University of California San Francisco; Tonia Spence; Dawn Yazzie, Center of Excellence for Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation
P7. Using Federal Relief Dollars to Advance Toward a Racially Equitable Early Care and Education System for Infants, Toddlers, and their Families
This preconference session is geared to public- and private-sector state leaders who are using/would like to use their authority and influence to shape how their state expends the federal pandemic relief dollars to increase opportunities for infants and toddlers of color, and the adults who care for them. Leaders from several states will share their efforts to spark discussion on strategies to improve workforce compensation, build supply and increase access to high-quality infant and toddler care, connect comprehensive community-level services to support infants, toddlers, their families, and their child care providers, stabilize and support home-based child care, and support racially equitable infrastructure.
We’ll have resource people available to support cross-state discussions on these topics, which will also include bridging the divide between the marginalized families and communities who experience the problems in state-funded programs/services and the proposed solutions.
Presenters: Joan Blough, Child Care Innovation Fund; Miriam Calderon, U.S. Department of Education; Harriet Dichter and Susan Hibbard, BUILD Initiative; Betty Emarita, Development & Training, Inc; Lauren Hogan, NAEYC; Brandy Lawrence, Learning Starts at Birth/Bank Street College of Education; Sara Mickelson, Oregon; Sarah Ocampo-Schlesinger, Association for Supportive Child Care; BB Otero, Otero Strategy Group; Natalie Renew, Home Grown; Kylie Wheeler, Children’s Funding Project
Opening Plenary: Tuesday, July 20, 12:30-2:00 PM ET
What Does the Biden Administration’s Racial Equity Executive Order Mean for Quality and Equity in Child Care: Reflections from a Federal Early Childhood Official and Early Childhood Experts
President Biden’s Racial Equity Executive Order ushers in a “whole-of-government” approach to racial equity, requiring the heads of each federal agency to designate programs and policies within their jurisdiction to assess whether members of underserved communities face systemic barriers in accessing benefits and opportunities under those programs and to determine whether new policies or regulations may be required to advance equity. The Executive Order presents historic opportunities for government to lead with equity, and for state and local early childhood leaders to leverage federal opportunities to reshape early childhood and family-serving programs with a focus on embedding equity to create significant opportunities for children and families marginalized by structural inequities.
This session features a discussion with leading federal officials and early childhood experts regarding the applicability of the Executive Order to child care and other early childhood and cross-sector programs, potential actions that states and local communities can take to leverage the Executive Order and federal funding and policy improvements to support racially equitable policies that expand services to communities, and ways in which the Executive Order and state and national policies can assist not just in building back better, but reimagining our early childhood and cross-sector systems to promote more equitable outcomes for children, families, and early childhood providers.
Presenters include Katie Hamm, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Early Childhood Development, Office of Early Childhood Development; Sylvia Puente, President & CEO, Latino Policy Forum; Aisha Ray, Distinguished Fellow, BUILD Initiative; Ann McClain Terrell, Board Member, NAEYC.
A Conversation with Ibram Kendi: Tuesday, July 20, 3:30 PM ET
Ibram X. Kendi is one of America’s foremost historians and leading antiracist scholars.
BUILD’s Sherri Killins Stewart, Director of State Systems Alignment and Integration will talk with Dr. Kendi about his work and its intersections with early childhood care and education policy, and our work creating equitable, high-quality programs and services that combat persistent poverty and racial marginalization.
Dr. Kendi is the author of seven books including Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America, which won the National Book Award for Nonfiction in 2016 and How to Be an Antiracist, an international bestseller. He is the Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities and the Founding Director of the Boston University Center for Antiracist Research. He is also the 2020-2021 Frances B. Cashing Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for the Advanced Study of Racism at Harvard University. Dr. Kendi is a contributing writer at The Atlantic , a CBS News Racial Justice Contributor, and host of a new podcast, Be Antiracist with Ibram X. Kendi. In 2020, Time magazine named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world.
Closing Session: Thursday, July 22, 3:00 PM ET
Playwright, actor, and educator Anna Deavere Smith uses her singular brand of theatre to explore issues of community, character, and diversity in America.
The MacArthur Foundation honored Smith with the “Genius” Fellowship for creating “a new form of theatre — a blend of theatrical art, social commentary, journalism, and intimate reverie.” The issues of race and social inequality that have become touchstones of her work.
Best known for crafting more than 15 one-woman shows drawn from hundreds of interviews, Smith turns these conversations into scripts and transforms herself onstage into an astonishing number of characters. In her session, Smith will discuss the many “complex identities of America,” and interweave her discussion with portrayals of people she has interviewed to illustrate the diversity of emotions and points of view on controversial issues. Her most recent play, Notes from the Field, looks at the School-to-Prison Pipeline and injustice and inequality in low-income communities. Winner of an Obie Award and the 2017 Nortel Award for Outstanding Solo Show, Notes from the Field was named one of the Top 10 Plays of the year by Time magazine. The film adaptation of Notes from the Field is available through HBO.
Part performance and part conversation, this session will be moderated by Jennifer Park.
Learning Sessions: July 21-22, 1-4 PM ET
Integrating Innovative Approaches and Partnerships into a Statewide System for Continuous Quality Improvement
With public investment in early learning programs set to increase, adopting system wide approaches to improve quality is critical. The Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) has partnered with New Profit and spent the last two years designing the Early Childhood Support Organization (ECSO) initiative to do just that. ECSOs are intermediary organizations with promising practices that result in improved quality in early education and care programs.
New Profit and EEC worked together to select three ECSOs to implement their model in MA, and utilized the EEC licensing system to identify child care programs best suited to partner with the ECSOs. New Profit has made a $1m private grant to support the scale up of each ECSO, and EEC has committed to paying $5000 per year for every classroom each ECSO serves. Over the course of the four years, each ECSO will grow to eventually serve 200 classrooms statewide. Come learn about the details of this innovative public private partnership and what lessons have been learned that are applicable to other states.
Presenters: Julie Asher, New Profit; Samantha Aigner-Treworgy and Sarah Volkenant, Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care
Creating High Quality, Equitable Experiences for Young Children
Central to child development is individualized and responsive instruction, but if structures and measures have not been tailored to our diverse learners, how effective can state policy and programs be for children who are racially and ethnically marginalized, linguistically diverse, and have diverse learning profiles. Learn about the Inclusive Classroom Profile (ICP), Assessing Classroom Sociocultural Equity Scale (ACSES), Classroom Assessment of Supports for Emergent Bilingual Acquisition (CASEBA), and Self- Evaluation of Supports for Emergent Bilingual Acquisition (SESEBA) and how integrating these research- based measures into programs can more effectively create conditions for equitable access to meaningful learning experiences and increase diversity and belonging in programs.
Presenters: Stephanie Curenton, Boston University Wheelock College of Education & Human Development-Center for the Ecology of Early Childhood Development; Alexandra Figueras-Daniel, Straus Center for Young Children & Families, Bank Street College of Education; Jennifer Park, University of Florida-College of Education; Lia Rucker, University of North Carolina, Greensboro; Elena Soukakou, University of Roehampton School of Education
Are We Stable Yet? How States are Using the American Rescue Plan Child Care Funds
The American Rescue Plan Act included almost $40b in child care funds, including $24b in stabilization funds, as well as other funding streams to support young children. In this panel we’ll check in on how states are using the dollars, how providers and families have benefited from them, and the work that remains.
Presenters: Danielle Ewen, Education Counsel; Christine Johnson-Staub, CLASP; Lucy Recio, NAEYC
Equity Starts With Listening: How to Engage Stakeholders with Respect
So you recognize the need to center parent and early educator voices in state ECE policy-making; now what? State leaders often say they are stumped on how to authentically engage those most impacted by ECE policy in the decision-making process. In this session, grassroots organizers from across the country will share what they are hearing about the need to change quality improvement systems, and their expertise in engaging with BIPOC/ALAANA communities to understand their perspectives on this critical issue.
Presenters: Danielle Atkinson, Mothering Justice; Leng Leng Chancey, 9to5; Lenice Emanuel, Alabama Institute for Social Justice; LaDon Love, SPACE in Action DC; Rachel Schumacher, Raising Child Care Fund
Philadelphia’s Early Learning Community Speaks Out: An Action Plan for Quality Improvement
Philadelphia is fortunate to have a long history of quality improvement supports, financed through philanthropy, state, and local government. Despite this impressive array of supports, these supports are not always visible to the intended providers, nor are the providers involved in the development of these supports. This session wil describe an inclusive process led by a diverse team involving providers, quality improvement organizations, and funders that developed a set of recommendations to ensure racial equity is embedded in all aspects of quality improvement and that provider voice is heard.
Presenters: Adrienne Briggs, Lil’ Bits Family Child Care Home; Sherilynn Kimble, The Kimble Group, LLC; Sharon Neilson, Woodland Academy Child Development Center
Tribal Stories of Quality from the State and National Levels
Tribal child care leaders are designing new and innovative quality, culturally relevant initiatives to meet the needs of Tribal communities and strengthen the Tribal voice as decisions are being made at the national and state levels. This session provides participants with an opportunity to listen to the stories of how the Tribal Child Care Association of California (TCCAC) has worked diligently with California state leaders to include Tribal voices, to strengthen the Tribal QIS and to become involved with other state quality improvement initiatives. Information will also be shared from the national perspective of the National Indian Child Care Association (NICCA) whose story will enlighten Tribal child care programs on new fiscal resources and opportunities for quality enhancement.
Presenters: Eva Carter, Early Childhood Consultant;Kim Nall, Colusa Indian Community Council; Jennifer Rackliff, National Indian Child Care Association; Dawn Yazzie, Center of Excellence for Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation
Integrating Anti-Racist Approaches in Statewide Quality Improvement Systems
The public investment in early learning systems has increased significantly and are projected to continue to increase significantly in the coming years. With the expansion of access to early learning programs, this is an opportune time for long term planning for system building that is grounded in the principles of racial equity within the classroom. Learn about the Assessing Classroom Sociocultural Equity Scale (ACSES), a tool that captures the quality of interactions between early learning professionals and children of color, how the State of Delaware is thinking about integrating the ACSES and lessons learned from Florida’s systems building afforded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA, 2009). As a bonus, you may hear about opportunities to integrate the ACSES in your Head Start program.
Presenters: Stephanie Curenton, Boston University Wheelock College of Education & Human Development-Center for the Ecology of Early Childhood Development; Jennifer Park, University of Florida-College of Education; Yvette Sanchez Fuentes, Delaware Department of Education
States Taking Action: Centering Educators in Federal Relief Efforts
With new federal investments intended to stabilize the early care and education system, what can states do to center educators in those relief funds? How can these efforts be leveraged toward building a system that is equitable and works for educators, children, and parents? Learn about the national context and hear from two state examples about how they have successfully taken action.
Presenters: Erica Gallegos and Ivydel Natachua, OLÉ; Caitlin McLean and Ashley Williams, Center for the Study of Child Care Employment; Marisa Fear, Strategies for Children, Sarah Sian, Open Center for Children and President Elect of MAAEYC
What We Know and Need to Know About How State ECE Policy Can Reduce Disparities in Outcomes for Infants and Toddlers
The Prenatal-to-3 Policy Impact Center at The University of Texas at Austin LBJ School of Public Affairs translates research on the best public investments into state policy actions that produce results for young children and society. The Prenatal-to-3 State Policy Clearinghouse is an ongoing inventory of comprehensive, systematic reviews of the evidence which identify state policies and strategies that have demonstrated effectiveness at creating the conditions in which young children and their families can thrive.
This conference session will cover what we have learned from these reviews of causal evidence, including what information is available on the ability of these policies and strategies to reduce disparities in outcomes and promote equity. The session will also feature a discussion of what we still need to know to build the evidence base and support equity in ECE policy, including a vision of a research agenda, developed in collaboration with scholars and practitioners, to continue to build a strong and equitable prenatal-to-3 system of care.
Presenters: Iheoma Iruka, University of North Carolina; Cynthia Osborne, Prenatal-to-3 Policy Impact Center
Engaging Parent and Provider Voice to Examine Equitable Access to Early Childhood Programs and Services
Access to early childhood programs and services goes beyond just measuring the supply, or “open seats” of services in a community. In two briefs, Defining and Measuring Access to High Quality Early Care and Education: A Guidebook for Policymakers and Researchers and Conceptualizing and Measuring Access to Early Care and Education Child Trends has introduced and described the Access Framework, a family- centered, multi-dimensional definition of access.
From a family-centered perspective, access means that early childhood programs and services are: 1) affordable; 2) meet parents’ needs; 3) support children’s development; and 4) require a reasonable amount of effort to find. Over the past year, Child Trends has been working with a cohort of 7 state and community grantees of the Pritzker’s Children’s Initiative to apply the four dimensions of the Access Framework to evaluate access to a variety of programs including: early care and education programs, coordinated intake and referral, home visiting, child welfare and other programs and services for young children.
This cohort is especially working toward developing programs and services that provide equitable access to families from all racial and ethnic backgrounds; by applying the Access Framework to consider the access experiences of families from different racial and ethnic groups. In this session we will provide an overview of the four dimensions of the Access Framework, provide examples of how this framework is being used to guide an assessment of equitable access to child care in New Jersey and other states and communities across the nation. We will offer key questions you can use to assess equitable access for specified groups of children and families in your state or community.
Presenters: Sarah Daily, Zoelene Hill, and Ashley Hirilall, Child Trends; Daynne Glover, Advocates for Children of New Jersey
Delaware’s Journey Toward a QRIS Focused on Continuous Quality Improvement
Over the last two years, Delaware has been on a journey to create a QRIS that: (1) is grounded in a Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) process using indicators of quality proven to improve child outcomes; (2) adheres to principles of equity and inclusion, and (3) provides financial incentives that meet program needs and drive CQI. This session will describe Delaware’s journey, highlighting successes and barriers, as well as ways in which stakeholders have been engaged to promote their buy-in for this fundamentally new approach to the state’s QRIS.
Presenters: Jeffrey Capizzano and Kelly Etter, Policy Equity Group; Yvette Sanchez Fuentes, Delaware Department of Education
Collaboration Between Federal, State, and Tribal Organizations: A Story of Equity for Minnesota Tribal Children and Families
This session demonstrates intentional collaboration to support parent voice and leadership. Indigenous Visioning is an American Indian organization that was established to support tribal communities through local, regional, state, and national partnerships. They are creating a community driven project to strengthen families and communities through an Indigenized Parent Leadership Training in Minnesota. Participants will experience the story of what can happen for tribal families when leaders from the national and state level not only include tribal representatives in a statewide needs assessment, but also provide direct funding to BIPOC communities.
Through the state’s Preschool Development Grant needs assessment, American Indian family voices were prioritized. This helped define the need for ongoing avenues for parent voices to be heard and the need for efforts to support tribal communities through culturally specific parent engagement. As a result, Indigenous Visioning launched a new parent leadership training project for White Earth and Red Lake Nations. Indigenized Parent Leadership Training in Minnesota is modeled on the nationally accredited and evidence-based Parent Leadership Training Institute curriculum
Presenters: Barb Fabre and Tamie Finn, Indigenous Visioning; Stephanie Gehres, ICF; Lucy Littlewolf- Arias, Minnesota Department of Education
Rebuilding Early Childhood Systems for Black and Latinx Children with Racial Equity and Quality at the Forefront
The global pandemic, economic recession and racial injustice will have lasting impacts on Black and Latinx children and families and the early childhood workforce, which is predominantly comprised of women of color. These factors make it imperative that early childhood systems rebuild with racially-and linguistically-equitable policies and practices that address historic inequities. This session will feature a discussion among leading national experts regarding the equitable policies that must be adopted to redress structural inequities and allow children and communities of color the opportunity to heal and thrive. Discussion will center on steps needed to rebuild the early childhood workforce to enable them to provide high-quality care to Black and Latinx children and families. Panelists will also discuss the importance of promoting equity in cross-sector systems, such as economic mobility, housing and environmental justice, among others.
Presenters: Karen Howard, Crossover Partners LLC; Iheoma Iruka, University of North Carolina; Cemeré James, National Black Child Development Institute; Robert Stechuk, UnidosUS
Collectively Connecting, Learning, and Continuously Improving TA/Coaching Practices and Systems
Come learn about a grassroots transformational Community of Practice started by TA leaders from across the country to grapple with how to meaningfully improve technical assistance, coaching, and the adaptive challenges of covid for greater impact. Learn how the group engaged and the lessons explored that apply directly to the field, and how these leaders are redefining equitable TA and Coaching supports in their states. Topics addressed included: Intentional Use of Technology to Support TA, Coaching for Equity, Evaluating the effectiveness of TA and coaching.
Presenters: Jill Bella, McCormick Center for Early Childhood Leadership National Louis University; Charlie Grier, Shine Advance; Alison Leshan, First Up; Sandy Maldonado, Child Care Aware Washington; Debi Mathias, BUILD Initiative; Raquel Munarriz Diaz, Lastinger Center for Learning College of Education University of Florida
What Does Quality and Evidence Look Like When You Care About Racial Equity and Families of Young Children in the Child Welfare System?
In this session, panelists will discuss: Why should we talk about child welfare-involved families at an early childhood conference? What are the challenges of meeting the complex needs of families with evidence-based interventions? How do child welfare and early childhood systems respond to people who have been marginalized by both systems? What are the benefits and limitations of implementing evidence-based models such as home visiting and early childhood court teams, with families of color with young children who are engaged in the child welfare system?
Presenters: Kimberly Mann, Illinois Department of Children and Family Services; Aisha Ray, BUILD Initiative and Erikson Institute; Cynthia Tate, BUILD Initiative
What Should We Keep Doing? Practices That Worked During COVID-19
Adapting to the pandemic has meant that many everyday practices in early care and education have shifted and changed. In this session, you will hear from local initiatives about changes they’ve made in their practices (everything from health and safety procedures, family engagement, and coaching and quality improvement) that have improved their work for the better. Each presenter will discuss the positive impacts they’ve seen from the change, and how they plan to sustain this change moving forward as recovery from COVID-19 proceeds. Session attendees will also be asked to share changes in their programs, initiatives, or states they would like to keep doing, and brainstorm resources needed, and barriers to overcome to keep these new practices going in the future.
Presenters: Tamia Davis, Davis Family Childcare; Chrishana Lloyd and Mallory Warner-Richter, Child Trends; Stephanie Simon, First Up
Upholding Tribal Sovereignty through Quality Recognition Systems
QRIS has been an integral part of the early care and learning system in Washington state for over a decade, and we are proud of the steps that providers have made to improve quality. However, we recognized that the system lacked the flexibility and cultural responsiveness to support the vast array of programming across our state. One clear example of that was our tribal partners.
Over the last few years, we built upon our strong government-to-government relationship to explore a tribal pathway for QRIS that recognizes the important and unique work that they do and upholds their sovereignty in educating their children. As part of that process, we were honored to partner with the Aboriginal Head Start Association of British Columbia (AHSABC). AHSABC staff have led groundbreaking work in reimagining tribal evaluation using “The LOVIT Way” Program Evaluation Process. Their work has shifted tribal provider engagement in program evaluation to be energized and inspired to make their programs “the best they can be.” Partnering with AHSABC has led to changes not only our tribal partnerships, but in the entire system of quality rating in Washington state. This conversation between AHSABC staff, Washington state tribal early learning partners, and staff from Washington State’s Department of Children, Youth, and Families will share the story of that journey.
Presenters: Charlotte Campbell, Washington Department of Children, Youth, and Families; Sheryl Fryberg, Betty J. Taylor Early Learning Academy; Joan Gignac, Aboriginal Head Start Association of British Columbia; Kathryn Yates, Chief Leschi Schools
Connected Coaching in a Pandemic
Coaches faced many challenges this past year with the COVID-19 pandemic and the racial reckoning of the events last summer. This session will address several ways that coaches in Washington state responded including immersing teams in a collaborative training and book study based on the book, Coaching for Equity, by Elana Aguilar. This session will focus on how collaboration over a common approach to coaching helped to prioritize plans for addressing equity in the early learning system. We will also share other instances of virtual support to the coach workforce including a virtual professional development intervention focused on supporting children’s social and emotional development and responsive coach consultation to increase comfort with virtual coaching.
Presenters: Sandy Maldonado, Childcare Aware of Washington; Juliet Taylor and Dawn Williams, Cultivate Learning
Culturally Relevant Considerations: Somali Professional Development on Positive Behavior Support
Developing and implementing quality professional development that is accessible to those whose primary language is not English is a priority in Washington state. This is typically done through translation however for the Somali language, a direct translation of English content does not do the job. In this session, we’ll share a culturally relevant approach to a popular form of professional development for early childhood educators. The Somali season of Circle Time Magazine focuses on Positive Behavior Support and has been recreated with new hosts and additional guests to capture unique learning opportunities for Somali speaking audiences. With subtitles in English, the content also serves as a beneficial professional development for all educators to hear more about supporting behavior in culturally-sustaining ways.
Presenters: Maryam Diriye, Samira Mohamud, Juliet Taylor, and Dawn Williams, Cultivate Learning
Partnerships to Improve the Quality of Infant/Toddler Care: Child Care and Early Head Start
Early Head Start – Child Care Partnerships are a proven strategy to improve the quality of care for infants and toddlers and their families. Join this session to hear from program leaders who have implemented this approach with great success. Learn about how partnerships originated; the outcomes sought through these partnerships; how these leaders made them a reality; and lessons learned in the process. Come away with actionable steps to bring this strategy to your community.
Presenters: Michelle Adkins, BUILD Initiative; Terra Bonds Clark and Donald Fuzer, Campagna Center; Sherri Sutton, Crane Center for Early Childhood Research and Policy
Can Strengthening Business Practices Help Level the Field for Child Care Programs in Underserved Communities?
Access to professional development in underserved communities can improve the stability and quality of the child care programs enabling them to better serve children and families. Join a discussion to explore the ways that access to business practices training and supports can help level the playing field for child care programs, including family child care educators. Learn from Strengthening Business Practices trainers about a model that supports trainers and coaches to introduce key concepts for fiscal management, marketing, and staffing.
Presenters: Yvonne Bell, Maryland Department of Education; Zelda Boyd, National Center on Early Childhood Quality Assurance; Rebecca Shaffer, Virginia Department of Education; Patricia Valenzuela, National Center on Tribal Early Childhood Development
Leading for Early Childhood Workforce Equity: A Legislative Panel
Our early childhood workforce (including early childhood educators working in public and private preschools; home- and center-based childcare providers; home visitors; early interventionists; doulas, etc.) does the essential work of caring for and educating our youngest citizens and providing critical services for families. Yet, far too often they live too near or below the poverty line. In this plenary session, hear from elected officials from several states who understand the issues related to the devastatingly low wages of this workforce and are working to change these education and health systems that have perpetuated economic oppression.
Presenters: Senator Sandra Cano, Rhode Island; Senator Jason Lewis, Massachusetts; Senator Michael Padilla, New Mexico; and moderator: Marie St. Fleur, former Massachusetts Legislator
Pathways for Success: Supporting Diversity in the Early Childhood Workforce through Higher Education
How can early childhood teacher preparation programs partner with the funding community to create a more stable and supportive student experience? The EDvance in California has created a network of partnerships that has resulted in unprecedented four-year graduation rates for ECE BA candidates. In this presentation, faculty, students, and a community partner will share perspectives on the structure of the program, its exceptional impact on participants.
Presenters: Brett Collins, Danielle Loughridge, and Gigi Munoz, San Francisco State University; Lygia Stebbing, EDvance
Leveling the Playing Field for Early Educators as They Pursue Degrees: Ensuring Strategies Address Issues of Equity and Diversity
As the expectations for degreed early childhood educators increase, effective strategies and supports are needed to ensure that the field does not lose its rich diversity. This session will include a presentation on what the T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® Initiative is doing to assure equity of access to both scholarships and debt free degree completion. Participants will hear from T.E.A.C.H. program representatives from NC, WI and the District of Columbia about how they are making this happen on the ground and the results they are seeing.
Presenters: Marsha Basloe and Edith Locke, Child Care Services Association; Nar Doumbya, Wisconsin Early Childhood Association; Cemeré James, National Black Child Development Institute
Fiscal Strategies to Promote Equitable Access to High-Quality Early Care and Education
The current financing of the early care and education system does not work well for any one, and it is families and children of color and the ECE workforce that bear the brunt of this broken system. In this session, you will learn about strategies to address the broken financing system, including changing the way child care subsidy rates and quality incentives are set in order to better account for the true cost, with variations based on quality, strategies to prioritize underserved populations, including children and families of color, and ways to think beyond the subsidy system to impact the entire prenatal to five system. The session will also discuss strategies for engaging stakeholders to align on a shared vision and set of principles for the prenatal to five system in order to drive the fiscal and governance change that is needed to create a sustainable, equitable, and comprehensive early care and education system.
Presenters: Jeanna Capito and Simon Workman, Prenatal to Five Fiscal Strategies
Looking at Child Care Licensing Through an Equity Lens
Licensing systems interact with most child care providers and impact the health and safety of millions of young children. This session will introduce some questions that licensing agencies can use to examine whether licensing policies and practices support equitable participation in the early childhood system for providers, children, and families. The Culturally Responsive Community Based Licensing model will be discussed as a method for building caring, reciprocal relationships with child care providers.
Presenters: Rosemarie Allen, Institute for Racial Equity & Excellence; Sheri Fischer, National Center on Early Childhood Quality Assurance; Kelly Maxwell, Child Trends
Quality and Equity in Child Care Systems: A View from South Carolina
States play an important role in reinventing quality to reflect equity. In this session, you will hear directly from a state administrator in South Carolina regarding how they are embracing cultural and family strengths as an integral part of quality. This session will also feature center-based and family child care providers who will discuss how state systems can better assist them in meeting licensing and quality standards.
Presenters: Sherrie Dueno, ABC Quality, South Carolina Department of Social Services; Mia Gentry, ED Licensed Child Care Provider; Karen Howard, BUILD Initiative; Gracie McLeod, Family Child Care Provider
Washington State QRIS: Stakeholder Focused Quality Recognition Revisions
In the past year Washington State’s QRIS called Early Achievers has been undergoing a revision. This revision was spurred by the circumstances of the pandemic and to ensure quality improvement work continues. We took this as an opportunity to hone in on the lessons learned from data collected over the years. State partners came together to propose and receive feedback on the revisions centering equity all along. You will learn about: How state partners collaborated on the proposed system; The stakeholder engagement process that informed the new QRIS; and the components of our virtual QRIS.
Presenters: Rachael Brown-Kendall, Washington State Department of Children, Youth, and Families; Sandy Maldonado, Child Care Aware of Washington; DeEtta Simmons and Dawn Williams, Cultivate Learning, University of Washington
Competencies and Compensation: State Progress in Advancing Quality ECE Higher Education
While the pandemic has challenged all components of the ECE field, including higher education, there have also been promising and innovative responses from the higher education community in adapting to the needs of the workforce and increasing equitable access to and availability of high-quality professional preparation programs. This session will examine the status of early childhood higher education programs, as well as ways in which states and IHEs are aligning with the Unifying Framework and the Professional Standards and Competencies for Early Childhood Educators, and will highlight examples of states prioritizing investments in the higher education programs to ensure that early childhood educators are equitably prepared to be effective practitioners who are fairly compensated for their complex and valuable work.
Presenters: Mary Harrill, NAEYC; Pamela Truelove-Walker, Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education; Deborah Wise, Pennsylvania Office of Child Development and Early Learning
TCC Software Solutions 5-Star Sponsor Session: Early Childhood Data System Projects – Lessons Learned
Early Childhood Data System Projects have become high profile and high stakes. The pandemic has put additional burden on government agencies to quickly develop and release automated solutions that designed to stabilize provider environments and to facilitate flexible family child care arrangements. Listen to a state and a county administrator discuss the lessons they learned over the last two years about navigating the world of early childhood data systems including Stakeholder Engagement, Project Communication and Internal Capacity Building.
Presenters: Mike Boyle, Dawn Downer, and Michelle Thomas, TCC Software Solutions; Tim Gibbons, Early Childhood Education Initiatives, Mecklenburg County, NC, 1 Additional State Representative
Recognizing and Supporting Home-based Child Care as Small Businesses
Home-based Child Care (HBCC) is a bedrock of responsive, family-centered care in communities across the US. Yet, HBCC providers, predominately women of color, are often excluded from supports for small businesses, as they are viewed as babysitters and/or not serious small businesses. Explore how leaders have advocated for various policies to ensure home-based providers are seen as part of the ECE system and supported the same as other small businesses; and how federal relief funds can be used to strengthen home-based business practices.
Presenters: Charlotte Campbell, Washington Department of Children, Youth, and Families; Sheryl Fryberg, Betty J. Taylor Early Learning Academy; Joan Gignac, Aboriginal Head Start Association of British Columbia; Kathryn Yates, Chief Leschi Schools
Relationship-Based Supports: Critical to Quality Home-based Child Care
Home-based Child Care (HBCC) supports family choice and provides culturally and linguistically equitable care. Yet, it often is not recognized as a part the ECE system and is not supported on par with center- based care. Additionally, HBCC supports often are provided through a center-based lens though HBCC is a completely different childcare model, demanding a more individualized relationship-based approach. Explore new research and exciting practices proving that relationship-based supports are an effective approach to supporting HBCC capacity and increasing quality.
Presenters: Juliet Bromer, Danielle Caldwell, Colette Masty
Making Early Care and Education (ECE) Systems and Quality Improvement Strategies More Effective for Bilingual Learners
As states and communities focus on building back better, ensuring more equitable ECE systems, how are you supporting the historically marginalized and vulnerable dual language learners and families whose home language is other than English? How can federal relief and stimulus dollars be leveraged to support this growing population of young children? What strategies exist for teaching and learning in ECE settings where there are multiple home languages? Explore how communities are engaging with dual language families and children, innovative approaches to professional development that support superdiverse classrooms, and how states can use one-time funding to make equitable change.
Creating Equitable Early Care and Education (ECE) Systems: Centering the Voices and Strengths of Family Child Care (FCC) Leaders
This first of three HBCC provider-focused sessions highlights FCC associations and provider-led community-based networks addressing racial and linguistic inequities in ECE systems by offering responsive supports to FCC educators in Black, Latinx, and immigrant communities of color. Topics include: challenges FCC advocates and peer-led grassroots organizations face; strengths-based solutions they use to meet the needs of these FCC providers; panelists’ experience in implementing/sustaining FCC associations and peer-led networks; moving the field toward equitable and high-quality ECE systems that include FCC.
Presenters: Decarla Burton, Erma Jackson, Ruth Kimble, Martina Rocha
Website June 23, 2021
The American Rescue Plan, like the COVID relief bills before it, present opportunities for states to think beyond one-time aid and make transformative new investments and significant changes to state early childhood policy. This set of resources on the Alliance for Early Success website aggregates information on how states can — and are — using these crucial funds to rebuild and reimagine the way they support young children and their families.
Website June 1, 2021
The business model for small child care programs is fundamentally flawed, but banding together may help providers operate more efficiently and reach the scale they need to weather financial storms. Shared Services is one approach that is working. The Opportunities Exchange website, dedicated to helping the early childhood field achieve financial sustainability and strong child outcomes through shared services, offers many resources about shared services.
Report June 1, 2021
This report explores opportunities to further develop and improve a system of quality improvement and supports in Philadelphia. Based on input from more than 300 early childhood providers, 16 quality improvement organizations, and four public and private funders, the report offers 17 recommendations for quality improvement.