In 2014, the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) granted funds to establish Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships (EHS-CCPs) to expand families’ access to high-quality child care. Through these partnerships, Early Head Start grantees have worked with center-based and family child care providers to implement Head Start Program Performance Standards (HSPPS) and provide comprehensive services and resources to meet the needs of low-income families with infants and toddlers in community child care settings.
In 2016, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation commissioned Child Trends to engage with six EHS-CCPs that received additional funding from the Foundation to support partnership implementation. From 2016 to 2020, Child Trends carried out activities to learn more about the partnerships, including the challenges and benefits of working in partnerships. These activities included classroom quality observations, in-person interviews, and facilitated group discussions with grantees and partners. The team later convened partnership representatives in a two-day meeting to provide an opportunity for partners to share experiences and learn from one another.
As part of Child Trends’ work to support these partnerships, we have developed toolkit-style resources to help EHS-CCP grantee staff and child care partners work through and overcome typical challenges that they may encounter during the partnership process, and to help partnerships maximize the benefits of working together. One challenge identified by the six partnerships we gathered information from is the need to align multiple sets of program standards, especially those pertaining to both Early Head Start and child care. While some aspects of this alignment process are specified in the federal guidance documents for EHS-CCP, others require partnership teams to consider state-specific standards and determine how best to align requirements. Such work is key to maximizing the benefits of partnerships.
This document presents an annotated bibliography of recent resources on the topic of alignment. While alignment of state and federal standards happens at the state level, the resources below can help child care directors and grantees in EHS-CCPs understand issues of alignment and implications for successful partnership implementation.
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