New Resource-Sharing Platform Aims to Improve D.C. Child Care Quality
Bethesda, Maryland (September 19, 2016) — The Bainum Family Foundation today announced the launch of a new online resource-sharing platform serving early care and education professionals in the District of Columbia. Early Childhood Share DC (www.ecsharedc.org) offers licensed providers a knowledge hub of customizable resources that will make it easier to develop and implement high-quality child care programming. The site was developed by the Foundation in partnership with the District’s Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) and CCA For Social Good, a New Hampshire-based company that provides web-based platforms to help nonprofit organizations and early childhood education (ECE) centers manage the administrative aspect of their organizations.
“It’s simple: The less time and money providers have to spend on supplies, planning, HR tasks, reporting requirements and other administrative work, the more they can focus on delivering high-quality care for District children,” said Barbara Bainum, Chair of the Board, CEO and President of the Foundation. “And with best practices sourced from states and providers across the country, Early Childhood Share DC will give local providers access to ideas and resources that work.”
The site features comprehensive resources on topics ranging from curriculum, program administration, training, health and safety, marketing, family engagement and more. In addition to providing discounts on supplies and services providers use most, the site also consolidates District-specific information and materials like OSSE regulations and forms. Several dozen local early learning experts worked with the Foundation and OSSE to tailor the site to meet the District’s needs.
“As the state education agency for the District of Columbia, we are aware of the time constraints facing our early care and education leaders and are confident that the Early Childhood Share DC platform will help them save time by supporting easy access to resources vital to the operation of their business,” said Assistant State Superintendent Elizabeth Groginsky, who leads OSSE’s Division of Early Learning. “The shared resources on this platform will provide child development center directors and family child care home providers with valuable information to support high-quality care and education for the children and families they serve.”
Early Childhood Share DC makes these vital resources available at no cost to providers. CCA For Social Good has developed similar platforms for 24 other states. In some of those states, child care providers pay monthly or annual access fees, while in others, access is sponsored by foundations or made available through scholarships to providers. Because of the Bainum Family Foundation’s support, access will always be free for OSSE-licensed providers. To create an Early Childhood Share DC account, providers need only visit the site and provide their license number and email address.
“The District of Columbia joins 24 states already leveraging this knowledge hub to support the important work of practitioners and to strengthen quality,” stated Denise Sayer, Vice President of CCA For Social Good. “We are honored to serve Washington, D.C., and be able to provide many communities the means to bring quality to scale.”
The site is designed to respond to the diverse needs of the District’s provider community. OSSE reports that there are nearly 500 licensed providers in the District. That total includes a mix of home-based providers serving up to six children each and child development centers that are often larger. Each type of provider has distinct needs, and Early Childhood Share DC offers resources for both.
The platform’s launch is the latest in a series of Bainum Family Foundation investments aimed at improving the odds for the District’s infants and toddlers. A report released by the Foundation last December found that the District’s achievement gap begins in the cradle, not in the classroom. Young children living in the District’s Wards 7 and 8, it observed, face obstacles as much as 40 times higher than those facing their peers in the District’s more affluent areas.
The Foundation responded this year by launching a Birth-to-Three Policy Alliance that brings together the District’s leading policy and advocacy nonprofits to develop a comprehensive early childhood policy agenda for the District. The Foundation has also invested in helping nonprofit service providers reach more children and families in Wards 7 and 8 and make programmatic upgrades. And the Foundation has established a farm on 263 acres of Virginia farmland, which will deliver fresh fruit and vegetables to families in Wards 7 and 8 beginning in 2017, through a partnership with a local food and nutrition nonprofit.
“Young children in D.C. aren’t facing one challenge — they face multiple, overlapping issues,” said Bainum. “It’s not just about making child care work better, making nutritious food more available, or developing better public policy solutions — it needs to be all of those things, approached in a coordinated way. We appreciate the partnership of OSSE in developing this important new resource for our community.”
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About the Bainum Family Foundation
The Bainum Family Foundation combines proven expertise with a passion for supporting the whole child by providing integrated services to help them thrive. Our circle of collaboration includes investments and support in early learning, wrap-around services and knowledge building. Founded in 1968 by Stewart and Jane Bainum, the Foundation has helped underserved children exit poverty through high-quality educational programs and services for 48 years. For more information, visit bainumfdn.org.
About the Office of the State Superintendent of Education
The mission of the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) is to remove barriers and create pathways for District residents to receive a great education and prepare them for success in college, careers and life. The Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) plays many roles in the lives of children, teens and adults seeking an education in the District of Columbia. The agency sets statewide policies, provides resources and support, and exercises accountability for all public education in DC. For more information, visit osse.dc.gov.
About CCA For Social Good
CCA For Social Good is an operating division of CCA Global Partners, a privately held cooperative that has supported small businesses for over 30 years. CCA For Social Good provides web-based platforms that help thousands of nonprofit organizations and early childhood education (ECE) centers manage the administrative aspect of their organizations. The platforms (integrated password-protected websites) deliver a set of powerful tools and shared resources resulting in more efficient and successful operations. CCA For Social Good puts time and money back in the hands of directors and managers of ECE programs, allowing them to focus where it matters most: on the children in their care. To view a sample platform, please visit www.ecesharedresources.com.
Senior Director of Communications
Manager – CCA For Social Good