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Policy analysis

Workforce Designs

This report synthesizes information on State policies that connect professional development activities and support effective implementation of a state system of professional development in early care and education. It was designed for state policy makers, early education advocates, and program administrators working to connect professional development activities and initiatives into an integrated system. The report highlights principles and six policy areas that build or sustain an integrated system of professional development.

Transforming the Workforce for Children ages B-8: A Unifying Foundation

In this report, The Institute of Medicine and National Research Council provides recommendations to improve the quality of professional practice and the practice environment for care and education professionals who work with children from birth through age 8. It includes recommendations at the local, state and national level geared toward improving higher education and ongoing professional learning; strengthening qualification requirements based on knowledge and competencies; and promoting evaluation that leads to continuous improvements in professional practices.

Streamlining Access to Work Supports: A National Issue for Low-Income Families

This issue brief argues that States can save money, decrease administrative burden, and better serve low-income families if they create integrated eligibility services for support programs that they administer. The authors describe how significant differences in eligibility rules, service delivery, funding structures, and documentation requirements have created an inefficient system that burdens States and can prevent low income families from receiving the services that they need. The brief outlines this issue and offers potential state-level solutions.

Kids Matter: Improving Outcomes for Children in Washington State

This publication outlines a collaborative and comprehensive strategic framework for building the early childhood system in Washington State in order to improve outcomes for children (Kids Matter). This plan offers a framework that supports the efforts of local and state stakeholders to coordinate, collaborate, and integrate efforts that will lead to children being healthy and ready for school.

Human Services Systems Integration: A Conceptual Framework

This paper examines similarities in service integration efforts and uses this information to develop a set of organizing principles and constructs for planning a service integration initiative. First, it elaborates on two key dimensions—relationship intensity and institutional similarity—critical for understanding any particular integration effort. Second, it proposes a strategy for framing integration efforts based on these two dimensions. Third, it considers the implications of this framework for developing an integration agenda.

The Capacity of the Early Care and Education System: Response to Section 85 of Chapter 215 of the Acts of 2009

This PowerPoint reports on the capacity of the Massachusetts early education and care system to enhance the quality of programs. It outlines the Massachusetts Department of Early Care and Education’s five-part strategic framework and describes progress to date.

Integrating Systems of Care: Improving Quality of Care for the Most Vulnerable Children and Families 

This document highlights the importance of engaging communities, youth, and families as the prime movers in creating an integrated human services system. It also uses a series of case scenarios to illustrate the many positive effects that a coordinated and collaborative approach can have on children and their families. The document underscores the importance of advocating for change through many examples of successful systems integration efforts at state and local levels, and it summarizes recommended advocacy and social marketing methods.

Using the Child Care and Development Fund to Support a System of Quality Improvement for School-age Programs

This strategy brief describes approaches and considerations for using the Child Care and Development Fund to support quality improvement in school- age programs. It is intended to provide information for Child Care and Development Fund administrators looking to improve access to high-quality school-age care that reflects the unique needs of school-age children. The brief is based on a review of the literature and interviews with state child care staff and their school-age partners in seven States.

Increasing State and Local Capacity for Cross-Systems Innovation: Assessing Flexibility and Opportunities under Current Law

This paper aims to improve understanding of the flexibility, opportunities, and barriers that exist under current federal law with respect to cross-program integration within human services programs and across the welfare and workforce systems. It analyzes three models for service integration and presents recommendations for the Federal executive and legislative branches of government.

Spending Smarter A Funding Guide for Policymakers and Advocates to Promote Social and Emotional Health and School Readiness

This guide describes effective programs, highlights policy opportunities, and offers fiscal strategies to promote the emotional health of young children and their families. It provides state and local leaders with strategies to maximize existing funding streams, with a focus on maximizing federal funding.