Extending the Benefits of Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships for Children and Families

Research BriefEarly ChildhoodMay 28 2020

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 shared challenge revolves around facilitating “spillover benefits,” or learning how EHS-CCP grantees and child care partners can extend the benefits of EHS to children and families not in partnership slots to the greatest extent possible within policy guidelines.

This brief will provide an overview of different types of spillover as outlined in federal EHS-CCP guidance, present examples of spillover from EHS-CCP grantees and child care partners, and provide recommendations and a tool for planning around spillover.