New approaches to collaboration among early care and education systems are receiving attention from stakeholders at the Federal, State, and community levels. For example, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Department of Education (ED) have been exploring collaboration issues by convening internal and public meetings across early childhood agencies and program administrators.
Learn More | A Fresh Lookat WorkingTogether: Increasing Access to Quality Early Learning – State Examples
A resource from the United States Department of Heath and Human Services
Most States and Territories now have Governor-appointed State Early Childhood Advisory Councils (ECACs) that are engaged in implementing multi-year plans to promote coordination and collaboration of early care and education policy and services for children from birth to the age of school entry. At the same time, tight State budgets mean a focus on promoting efficiency. Local leaders are seeking innovative and sustainable solutions to meet the diverse needs of the children and families in their communities.
In April 2011, the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) in HHS, in collaboration with ED, convened a day-long meeting of State and local leaders entitled “Working Together: Increasing Access to Quality Early Learning Opportunities” to identify new strategies to overcome collaboration challenges. Head Start State Collaboration directors, Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) administrators, and early childhood specialists in State education agencies attended.
The agenda focused on two topics: leveraging multiple funding streams and joining forces to increase quality of services to children and families, especially for those with low incomes. Participants heard from Federal staff from HHS and ED, listened to presenters engaged in State- and community-level collaborations, and participated in facilitated discussion groups. Speakers from the District of Columbia, Minnesota, New York City, and West Virginia provided details on their efforts and experiences.
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