This resource includes the agenda, session descriptions, and resources shared during the BUILD 2021 National Conference.
About BUILD 2021
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
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
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 will include state child care administrators and advocates, Danielle Ewen of EducationCounsel, and Christine Johnson-Staub from CLASP.
Presenters: Christine Johnson-Staub, CLASP; Danielle Ewen, Education Counsel
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
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
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; Gracie McLeod, Family Child Care Provider
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 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: Cynthia Osborne, Prenatal-to-3 Policy Impact Center
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
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
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, Campagna Center; Ty Johnson, Early Learning Ventures; Sherri Sutton, Crane Center for Early Childhood Research and Policy
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
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
Report February 1, 2023
The BUILD Initiative is a national effort that advances state work on behalf of young children (prenatal through five), their families, and communities. BUILD staff partner with early childhood state leaders focused on early learning, health and nutrition, mental health, child welfare, and family support and engagement to create the policies, infrastructure, and cross-sector connections necessary for quality and equity. BUILD provides consultation, planning, and tailored implementation assistance, learning opportunities, resources, and cross-state peer exchanges. These efforts help state leaders improve and expand access to quality and promote equitable outcomes for our youngest children.
Blog January 31, 2023
BUILD recently interviewed five parent leaders about their experience in parent coalitions. In addition to reminding us of the need to address implicit bias on behalf of all families and children, they provided their thoughts on ways to ensure the coalitions fulfill their purpose and best meet the needs of families, and whether there’s room for improvement in the way they function. Here’s what they told us.
Archived Meeting Resources January 31, 2023
States are making significant advancements in their quality improvement systems (QIS) as they look for solutions to widen the aperture and fully embrace a mixed-delivery system that will best serve children, families, and the early care and education workforce. To achieve this, QIS policies need to become more flexible and create different pathways to quality, including a variety of established, high-quality delivery models. In this session participants heard how Montessori programs are working with state leaders from Illinois, Michigan, and Washington to be part of the QIS.