In 2015, ELV launched its Quality Child Care Partnership Program, a unique model made possible by the Early Head Start–Child Care (EHS–CC) Partnership grant. Through this grant-funded program, ELV supports vulnerable children and families in underserved areas across Colorado. This program benefits the child care sector by bringing ELV’s shared services technology platform combined with high-quality Early Head Start services to children in their current child care settings.
Overall, the program focuses on five areas:
- Leadership Development
- Professional Development
- Family Development
- Community Development
ELV is currently working with 32 center-based and family child care partners in four Colorado counties – Arapahoe, Garfield, Mesa and Pueblo. These children receive health and developmental screenings and comprehensive services; benefit from smaller adult-to-child ratios and group sizes; and aims to provide environments that are safer, healthier, and more developmentally rich. The staff members employed by child care partners are also benefiting by taking college courses or pursuing a Child Development Associate credential to meet the teacher qualifications of Early Head Start. Additionally, they receive tailored supports in the classroom through highly skilled coaches, and in many cases, are receiving higher salaries and benefits.
EHS QCC Partnership Evaluation Study
ELV contracted with Policy Equity Group to evaluate the Early Head Start Quality Child Care Partnership model during its first year of implementation. According to the evaluation, Policy Equity Group found that in just one year of implementation, ELV helped the child care providers in the EHS-CC Partnership model develop stronger business practices and form a network of connections to other community agencies. These building blocks supported providers in strengthening their capacity to deliver comprehensive services to children, offer meaningful family engagement opportunities, and increase the staff capacity through high-quality professional development. In turn, these changes were likely the drivers behind the improvements in classroom quality and high ratings of parent satisfaction.
It is also worth noting that the impact of the model reached beyond the 240 children who were directly funded through EHS dollars. All families enrolled at the child care sites benefited from program-wide continuous improvement planning, more qualified teachers, stronger curriculum implementation, an enhanced learning environment, and parent engagement and education opportunities.