Early Care and Education Funders Collaborative Announces RFP for 2020 Giving Cycle

Washington Area Women’s Foundation is pleased to release an open request for proposals for funding from the Early Care and Education Funders Collaborative for its 2020 Giving Cycle.

The Early Care and Education Funders Collaborative

The Early Care and Education Funders Collaborative (ECEFC), housed at Washington Area Women’s Foundation, launched in 2008 as a multi-year collective investment effort. Its mission is to increase the quality and capacity of, and access to, early care and education in the Washington region, with the goal of reducing school readiness gaps among populations of our youngest children. The ECEFC is supported and directed by corporate funders and local and national foundations. Our target geographic area includes Washington, DC; Arlington and Fairfax Counties in Virginia; the City of Alexandria, Virginia; and Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties in Maryland.

2020 Giving Cycle

With the 2020 Giving Cycle the ECEFC will invest in organizations and/or organizational partnerships that contribute to systems change in the early care and education space while utilizing a racial equity framework and demonstrating a holistic view of child development.

Specifically, the ECEFC is committed to working on and investing in projects in the region that:

  • Improve early childhood systems infrastructure,
  • Work to ensure families have access to high quality early education programs, and
  • Help early educators effectively meet the needs of all children.

Examples of initiatives that are of interest to the ECEFC within each of the three strategic areas include:

  • Effective Systems
    • Early childhood systems alignment across health and education agencies,
    • Promotion of developmentally appropriate kindergarten readiness tools that include social-emotional development,
    • Increased financing of early education systems tied to program quality, family needs, and educator compensation,
  • Family Access
    • Expanding access to and/or increasing the value of child care subsidies to families,
    • Increasing the number of high-quality, culturally responsive early education classrooms and/or programs in high-need neighborhoods,
  • Strong Educators
    • Elevating the early care and education workforce through professionalization, professional development and technical assistance,
    • Lifting up the family child care community as important contributors to the early care and education system.

Successful proposals will demonstrate how their organization’s work or project will:

  • Contribute to quality improvements across multiple programs and/or multiple jurisdictions,
  • Increase program capacity to effectively support all children across multiple programs and/or multiple jurisdictions; and/or
  • Work to reduce barriers for families to access quality programs across neighborhoods and/or the region.

Successful proposals will also work to address disparate outcomes for children, families, and educators with regard to race and ethnicity and demonstrate how their organization’s work or project works to ensure race, culture, class, and ability equity across early education systems.

The ECEFC seeks to award $365,000 in grants this giving cycle to multiple projects across the DC region. Typically, the ECEFC awards between six to eight grants per giving cycle. The average grant awarded in last year’s cycle was $37,600.

All proposal submissions should be for a one-year grant period beginning January 1, 2020 and ending December 31, 2020.

2020 Funding Proposal

Prospective applicants are required to participate in one of two information session webinars prior to submitting a proposal. Use this link to sign up for one of the webinar sessions: [insert link].

Upon completion of the information session webinar, you will receive the application questions and guidelines and may submit your organization’s proposal for funding. Proposals can be submitted either by a single organization or as a partnership or collaboration across two or more organizations.

Grant Timeline

Applicant Information Session Webinars (Prospective applicants must attend one.) August 13th at 9:30 am or August 14th at 1:30 pm (Click here to RSVP for a session.)
Proposals Due September 27, 2019 at 5:00 pm
Site Visits (Pending Selection After Proposal Review) October 23 – November 22, 2019
Notification of Award December 20, 2019
Grant Period January 1 – December 31, 2020

 

Additional Information

Please direct all inquiries to The Women’s Foundation program staff at programs@wawf.org or 202.347.7737.

A Response to The Washington Post Editorial Board

When The Washington Post Editorial Board recently released its endorsements for the upcoming Fairfax County Board of Supervisors primary election, it was criticized for supporting all male candidates. Reporters from other local news outlets interviewed some of the candidates about the questions they were asked by the Editorial Board, and it was discovered that one of the questions that the Post asked all candidates who are parents was how they will manage the long hours and stress of an elected position.

Here at Washington Area Women’s Foundation, we are all about transparency, but we also know that not all questions are helpful. Here are the top five reasons why asking a parent if having kids will affect their job performance as an elected official is completely inappropriate and totally unnecessary:

Number 5 Elected office is just one of many demanding jobs that parents perform on a daily basis.

Parents are public school teachers, nurses, police officers, members of the armed forces. If we don’t question if a parent of young children can be deployed, we don’t need to question if a parent can handle local elected office.

Number 4 Childcare is a policy issue. Full stop.

While it is difficult to find and afford high-quality childcare in the DC metro region, we should discuss the issues from a policy perspective, not as a requirement an individual needs to have in place before securing political office.

Number 3 – Answers to this question are not helpful to voters.

There is no way that a candidate, in response to this question, is going to say, “Now that you mention it, that is a problem for me. I shouldn’t run after all.” Of course every candidate is going to say that they can handle the job. They wouldn’t have decided to run otherwise. Therefore, this question doesn’t actually provide any useful information to voters or to the interviewer who asked the question.

Number 2 – Asking this question demonstrates a gender bias.

This is not a question that would have been asked if all of the candidates were male. Now, that is an admittedly presumptuous statement, but we all know it’s true. If all of the candidates were men, no one would question that the dads would be able to do the job. We know this because there are a billion books and articles on “how women can have it all” but not one about how men can. It’s just expected that men can be parents and professionals simultaneously, but people still question if women can.

Number 1 – It is wrong to judge parents differently.

There is a federal law against employers asking potential job candidates about a number of personal things, including if they have kids. This is in place because, presumably, as a country we don’t want to discriminate against parents. True, it is not illegal to ask a political candidate about her family, but the same ethical principle should apply. Parents and non-parents should be considered fairly for a position, based on their merits.

Instances like this help make the case for our work at The Women’s Foundation, where we center the voices and experiences of women and open doors to opportunities. As more diverse voices and experiences are included in leadership conversations, we’ll all start to ask smarter and more appropriate questions.

Future-Focused Philanthropy: Investing in the Early Care and Education Funders Collaborative

For the past six years, I had the privilege of serving alongside the region’s most distinguished funding professionals via the Early Care and Education Funders Collaborative (Collaborative), housed under Washington Area Women’s Foundation. It was a true bright spot in my 10+ years working in the CSR space and on education-related issues while at The Boeing Company. As I turn a new page in my career, allow this outgoing chair to offer a few reflections on why the Collaborative remains one of the soundest investments available to future-focused funders.

The Collaborative is a force-multiplier for good. A collection of top regional foundations and corporate funders, the Collaborative creates a coordinated system of philanthropic resources to improve access to high-quality early care and education (ECE) for low income families. Funders contribute a modest investment, pool it with the other members and collectively determine where to allocate investments. Working as a team, the Collaborative greatly extends the scale of impact individual funders have on their own. And for many foundations that may be considering a first foray into the ECE field, it’s hard to find a better vehicle that will expand your reach, and your knowledge-base, so easily.

The Collaborative is driving real progress on substantial systemic changes across the region. At a macro level over the past three years alone, the Collaborative leveraged over $37M toward high quality early education interventions and, through partners, influenced nine policy changes to better strengthen safety and affordability. Through strong leadership at the Women’s Foundation, the Collaborative is applying a racial equity lens to these investments.  Additionally, the Collaborative is spearheading the regional effort to create a consistent strategy on workforce development for ECE providers, which is backed by the National Academy of Sciences. The Collaborative is facilitating the dialogue between the region’s policy developers, enabling them to align their goals and build a cooperative workforce plan. Given the mobility of the region’s talent and market pressures on wage growth, consistent policies on competencies and credentialing will be greatly needed.

The Collaborative offers members a real leadership platform. The public is demanding more from our ECE sector. That’s a good thing. But the sector remains grossly under-resourced and underappreciated, even from the philanthropy community. Dollar for dollar, ECE investments offer the most effective use of education funding, mitigating the need for costly interventions later in the K-12 pipeline. Working through the Collaborative, membership provides a real opportunity for companies and other brand-conscious foundations seeking differentiation and impact. The Collaborative provides numerous vehicles for member entities to showcase their efforts in this space. And collectively, given the leadership and composition of the members, it represents one of the strongest voices from the funding community on ECE issues.

I look forward to seeing the Collaborative’s continued accomplishments in the months to come. And I hope to see more bright minds and diverse perspectives from the region’s top companies and foundations at this unique funder table. Only then will we really move outcomes forward for young children and families.

–Tom Bartlett, Former Co-Chair of the Early Care and Education Funders Collaborative.

Tom Bartlett was the Senior Manager for Boeing Global Engagement and Co-Chair of the Washington Area Women’s Foundation Early Care and Education Funders Collaborative. Together with his partner, he is launching a new impact investing firm aimed at helping more non-profits access impact capital. Working with investors, donors and non-profits, they seek to unite unexpected allies in the creation of social change.

 

Beyond the Classroom: The Role of Race and Culture in Improving Early Education Systems

On Saturday, January 20, 2018, more than 200 early education leaders and professionals attended Washington Area Women’s Foundation’s annual regional Early Care and Education Summit. The event, co-hosted by the Early Care and Education Funders Collaborative (ECEFC) and Montgomery College’s School of Education focused on the role of race and culture in improving early education systems.

Participants attend workshops in English and Spanish by leading experts on a range of issues related to the pre-school to prison pipeline, improving quality care and strengthening the workforce, community engagement, working with diverse populations, kindergarten readiness, and ensuring the socio-emotional needs of young children, among other topics. They also engaged in discussions focused on creating early care and education policies that are reflective of the needs of families and communities.

Program Highlights
The Summit launched with an opening keynote presentation by the leadership of the Equity in Early Learning Initiative, a partnership of The Campagna Center, School Readiness Consulting, and Wonders Early Learning + Extended Day.  Lindsey Allard Agnamba of School Readiness Consulting provided a historical perspective of the importance of race in early childhood education policy, with Tammy Mann of The Campagna Center and Joanne Hurt of Wonders Early Learning + Extended Day punctuating Lindsey’s points with stories from their own experiences working in the field.
Participants had the opportunity to attend smaller workshops facilitated by local and national experts, including presenters from Bank Street College of Education, Children’s National Health System, Mary’s Center, Montgomery College, NAEYC, Naval District Washington Region, Northern Virginia Community College, School Readiness Consulting, Trinity Washington University, and Wonders Early Learning + Extended Day.

The day closed with a panel discussing diversity in the early care and education field, with a focus on how early education systems can improve in their support of an inclusive workforce. Cemeré James of National Black Child Development Institute moderated the panel discussion featuring Stacie Burch of Anne Arundel Community College, Florence Kreisman of Mary’s Center, Marica Cox Mitchell of NAEYC, Sonia Prundeda-Hernandez of Montgomery College, and Mandy Sorge of National Governors Association. Cemeré and the panelists highlighted the significance of educators’ advocating for their own advancement and to inform decisions of policymakers that impact them and the children they serve.

Review the Summit program book here.

Commitment to Racial Equity
In 2016, Washington Area Women’s Foundation made a public commitment layering a racial equity lens on our work, on top of our existing gender and class equity lenses.  To compliment The Women’s Foundation’s commitment, the ECEFC formally adopted a racial equity commitment into its work, as well.
With this new consideration, the ECEFC did not only need to incorporate racial equity in how it considers its grantmaking, but across its full body of work, including its annual regional early care and education summit. In addition to deciding to make race and culture the Summit theme, the ECEFC made changes to the programming to ensure that early childhood educators, who are predominately women of color, had the opportunity attend, including holding it on a weekend and offering participation credit across Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC.

Early Care and Education Funders Collaborative
Launched in 2008, as a multi-year, multi-million dollar collective investment effort, the ECEFC holds the distinction of being the only early care and education funders collaborative in the country that works on systems-change across state lines. Its mission is to increase the quality and capacity of, and access to, early care and education in the Washington area, with the goal of closing kindergarten readiness gaps throughout the region. The ECEFC is supported and directed by corporate funders and local and national foundations and staffed by The Women’s Foundation.

2018 Washington Region ECE Summit

The Washington Area Women’s Foundation’s Early Care and Education Funders Collaborative and Montgomery College School of Education invite you to join us on January 20, 2018 for a Regional Early Care and Education Summit. The Summit will focus on the impact of diversity and racial stratification on early education systems, including creating a skilled workforce to meet the needs of all children and families and reducing achievement gaps.

>RSVP HERE<

Beyond the Classroom: 

Confirmed speakers and workshop presenters include:

  • Cemere James, National Black Child Development Institute
  • Bweikia Steen, Trinity Washington University
  • Zeporia Smith, Montgomery College

Additional speakers to be announced!

This event is free for early childhood educators and others in the early education field in the DC region, including Washington, DC, Montgomery County, Prince George’s County, Alexandria, Arlington County, and Fairfax County. Participation letters will be provided for educators.

A general admission ticket includes lunch.

Space is limited, so reserve your seat today!

Questions? Email Martine Gordon at mgordon@wawf.org

Washington Region Early Care and Education Workforce Network Implementation Plan For Competency-Based Career Pathways

ABOUT THIS IMPLEMENTATION PLAN

This plan was prepared by FSG through the generous support of the Washington Area Women’s Foundation and its Early Care and Education Funders Collaborative.

FSG

FSG is a mission-driven consulting firm supporting leaders in creating large-scale, lasting social change. Through strategy, evaluation, and research we help many types of actors — individually and collectively — make progress against the world’s toughest problems. Our teams work across all sectors by partnering with leading foundations, businesses, nonprofits, and governments in every region of the globe.

We seek to reimagine social change by identifying ways to maximize the impact of existing resources, amplifying the work of others to help advance knowledge and practice, and inspiring change agents around the world to achieve greater impact.

Washington Area Women’s Foundation

Washington Area Women’s Foundation is the only public foundation dedicated to increasing resources and opportunities for women and girls in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. We mobilize our community to ensure that economically vulnerable women and girls in the Washington region have the resources they need to thrive.

Washington Area Women’s Foundation established the Early Care and Education Funders Collaborative in 2008, as a multi-year, multi-million dollar collective funding effort. The Collaborative is supported and directed by corporate funders and local and national foundations.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

In April of 2015, the National Academy of Medicine and the National Research Council released a report, Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth Through Age 8: A Unifying Foundation, that is both ambitious and visionary in its recommendations for how to transform the workforce and systems that serve children from birth through age 8, or third grade.

To catalyze implementation of the report’s recommendations, the National Academy led a national “Implementation Network” of states across the country working to implement recommendations from the report. Our Washington Region Early Care & Education Workforce Network formed as one of the initial state networks, representing different sectors in early care and education (“ECE”) as well as the geographies of Maryland (Prince George’s and Montgomery Counties), Virginia (Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax Counties), and Washington, D.C. Our region decided to form a team based on the unique needs in our region, including better serving our multi-cultural immigrant population with high numbers of dual language learners; embracing that the ECE workforce in our region is highly transient across state lines and thus could benefit from transferable credentials and compensation levels; and counteracting the lack of connectedness to a valued profession and to peers in ECE.

Our project purpose: “Mapping competency-based career pathways that are linked to quality and compensation and can be used across the region” will result in two concrete, connected deliverables:

Deliverable 1: 

Career pathways document

·   Document based on existing ECE professional credential/knowledge/competency frameworks in our region that establishes a practical and common set of quality standards for competencies at different levels, including suggested compensation levels, that are linked to identified competencies.

Deliverable 2:

Blueprint for an implementation mechanism

·   Certification/credential process that assesses and verifies competencies among the region’s ECE professionals according to the competency levels defined in the career pathways document and that establishes suggested compensation levels that correspond to the certification/credential.
Initial feedback on this project has been gathered from dozens of ECE stakeholders in the region and overall this idea has been met with a positive response. Developing the final deliverables, ideally over the course of 12 months, will require a highly collaborative process of further engaging stakeholders in the region. Moreover, research will be conducted to better understand how to create a career pathways document that is clear and user-friendly; what the competencies should be at each level of the pathway; how the competencies can be assessed and verified by a third party; and what the cost and benefit will be of achieving compensation commensurate with demonstrated competencies.In order for these deliverables to be used in practice, the region will need to create supporting infrastructure, for example shared services and practices related to substitutes, mentors, and/or benefits administration. This project will explore the feasibility of this kind of supporting infrastructure.

For the thousands of dedicated ECE professionals in our region, we hope this project will result in greater awareness of where they are on the career pathway; greater ability to engage in continuous improvement of their competencies; increased compensation and compensation alignment among early education and learning settings; and greater connectedness to a valued profession and to peers. This is in service of the ultimate outcome of this work: children in the region benefit from high quality early childhood experiences that foster positive learning and development.

 

DOWNLOAD AND READ THE FULL IMPLEMENTATION PLAN HERE.

Statement on Washington Area Women’s Foundation Leadership in New Regional Effort

Jennifer Lockwood-Shabat’s Statement on

Washington Area Women’s Foundation’s Leadership in New Regional Effort

to Strengthen the Early Care and Education Professional Workforce

 

February 23, 2016 – Today, Washington Area Women’s Foundation President and CEO Jennifer Lockwood-Shabat issued the following statement:

I’m pleased to announce Washington Area Women’s Foundation’s investment in the Washington Region Early Care & Education Workforce Network, a new effort seeking to drive change in the early care and education professional workforce across the Washington region.

 We know that early education is key to a child’s wellbeing and economic security later in life. To provide these critical building blocks for low-income children in our region, we must ensure that early care and education providers are fully equipped with the supports and skills they need. We also know that, despite its critical impact, early care and education is one of the lowest paying professional fields – and jobs are predominately held by women workers, themselves struggling to support families on low wages. By investing in this regional effort, we can support the advancement of these workers, and children and families will have access to higher quality programs.

The Washington Region Early Care & Education Workforce Network was formed as a unified, collaborative response to the recommendations outlined in the report, Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth Through Age 8: A Unifying Foundation,  released last year by the National Academy of Medicine.  This year, the Network will participate with a handful of states from across the country to develop local plans for implementing the recommendations of that seminal report. Our regional implementation plan will be released in October 2016.”

In addition to Washington Area Women’s Foundation’s Early Care and Education Funders Collaborative, other national sponsors of this project include the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, David and Lucile Packard Foundation, McCormick Foundation, and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

###

About Washington Area Women’s Foundation

Washington Area Women’s Foundation is a DC-based public foundation dedicated to mobilizing our community to ensure that economically vulnerable women and girls in the Washington region have the resources they need to thrive. Learn more about The Women’s Foundation’s mission to transform the lives of women and girls, the Washington region, and the world by visiting us online, on Facebook or on Twitter.

About the Early Care and Education Funders Collaborative

Washington Area Women’s Foundation established the Early Care and Education Funders Collaborative in 2008, as a multi-year, multi-million dollar collective funding effort. The Collaborative is supported and directed by corporate funders and local and national foundations. Current investors include: Bainum Family Foundation, The Boeing Company, Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Foundation, The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation, The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, PNC Foundation, Richard E. and Nancy P. Marriott Foundation, Washington Area Women’s Foundation, Weissberg Foundation, and The World Bank Group.

 

To sign up for updates and engagement opportunities from the Washington Region Early Care & Education Workforce Network, click here: http://goo.gl/forms/AvTx1DnmFB

Early Care and Education Funders Collaborative

Managed by The Women’s Foundation, the Early Care and Education Funders Collaborative (ECEFC) is a collective of foundation and corporate investors dedicated to supporting systemic approaches that increase quality, capacity and access to early care and education in the Washington region. Learn more about the Collaborative.

Resource – Early Care and Education in the Washington Region

Early care and education investments help prepare low-income children ages zero to five for kindergarten, a critical opportunity to increase readiness and close the achievement gap, provide an important work support for low-income working families and support the professional development and advancement of early care and education providers. In this fact sheet, we explore early care and education in our region. Click here to read the full fact sheet.

ECE Fact Sheet Cover