DEL contracted with Child Care Aware of Washington (CCA of WA) to conduct a two-year pilot to:
- Learn what child care providers need to be successful in providing joint ECEAP and child care services.
- Develop and test the training and coaching approaches needed in addition to the existing support provided through Early Achievers.
- The pilot training, toolkit, and methodology (with individualized coaching between each training sessions) worked. Some refinements to training, sequencing, and other supports were also identified.
Highlighted recommendations:Training and coaching. Allow time for providers and coaches to build relationships and improve programs. This is key to success.
In the pilot, training cohorts helped providers explore potential consortium or subcontracting relationships early. All participants made progress in their understanding of Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP) implementation and are eager to continue despite lack of ECEAP slots. Most participants wanted to reach Early Achievers level four before adding ECEAP.
“The training really sparked my thinking of next steps regarding staffing, professional development, program oversight and implementation of the standards.”Additional coaching is needed in offering comprehensive services, serving English language learners (ELL), and serving children with developmental delays or challenging behaviors. ELL participants needed more time to clarify the meaning of some materials.
Toolkit. The ECEAP Pathway Toolkit (containing visual modules) helped participants to:
- see what is involved,
- understand what implementation looks like,
- compare to current practices, and
- identify where they need to augment (or confirm what they are already doing); see examples, and reflect on their business to create a realistic plan of action.
Considerable flexibility was needed to schedule coaching with busy providers.
DEL also learned from a variety of issues that arose during the pilot, including:
Availability of Early Achievers scholarships and flexibility of the Professional Development plan within the ECEAP Performance Standards provided enough support to meet educational requirements. However, required course offerings are often not available at times or in ways that providers can participate.
Items Requiring Additional Exploration. Because of the lack of available ECEAP slots to implement during the pilot, year two of the pilot will need to explore several topic including, but not limited to:
- Additional supports for completing the ECEAP application process which can be arduous.
- Alignment of marketing, prioritization, and enrollment across existing and new contractors.
- Peer networking so pilot (and future) providers can continue to strengthen relationships.
To read the report and complementary appendices, visit the following links:
- ECEAP Pathway Report
- Appendix 1: Pilot Exploration Questions & Preliminary Answers
- Appendix 2: Coaching Matrix - Relationship-based Professional Coordination & Communication
- Appendix 3: ECEAP Pathway Participant Response to Training
- Appendix 4: Toolkit Table of Contents
- Appendix 5: Community Resource Enhancement Guide
- Appendix 6: Position Description for Organization Lead for ECEAP Pathways