Early care and learning providers have a tough balancing act. They must meet the needs of the children and families they serve, run their operations efficiently (see our November 1 post, “Sustainability Goes Hand-in-Hand With Quality in Early Learning”), stay abreast of the latest regulations and requirements, and strive to continuously improve quality. This can be particularly challenging for small centers and home-based providers, which have limited staff.
A new resource developed by the Bainum Family Foundation in partnership with the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE), using a platform created by CCA For Social Good, provides much-needed support in all of these areas. Early Childhood Share DC (www.ecsharedc.org) is a one-stop resource designed to help providers in the District of Columbia save time, reduce costs, increase quality and share knowledge.
The site features more than 1,200 classroom and administration resources, plus discounts at leading vendors and direct links to key forms and websites. The site was developed with the assistance of many local early learning experts who helped customize it to best meet the needs of the District’s early learning community. Through the Foundation’s sponsorship, this valuable tool is being provided at no cost to all licensed providers in the District, giving our community the advantage of starting with broad reach instead of having to scale up over time.
Early Childhood Share DC is part of the Foundation’s comprehensive commitment to improve early childhood across the District. It will encourage the use of best practices in all early learning settings while creating much-needed efficiencies for providers. And it’s an important first step toward a more fully integrated shared services model in the District — one that will help us achieve the right quality and right supply of early learning seats at the right cost to providers and the children and families they serve.
The Foundation’s staff has been out in the community over the past few months, introducing the new site to providers and others associated with early childhood education — even using the DC Office of the Chief Technology Officer Mobile Technology Lab to engage providers in their own neighborhoods, showing them how to register for and use the site.
Elizabeth Groginsky, OSSE Assistant Superintendent of Early Learning, sees Early Childhood Share DC as a “game-changer” for the District. She noted, “Together, we have chartered new territory and created a more streamlined path to quality for D.C. providers. It would not have been possible without the authentic public/private partnership between OSSE and the Foundation.”
To learn more, read our recent announcement about Early Childhood Share DC or visit the site’s Facebook page. And then help us spread the word about this great new resource for providers in the District.