Educare of MaineMaine and New England’s First Comprehensive, High-quality Early Childhood Learning Center
Unique State and Local Opportunity • $3 M - Doris Buffett’s Sunshine Lady Foundation as seed money to inspire a Maine “anchor donor” • $1 M – Bounce Learning Network: The Sunshine Lady Foundation partners with Buffett Early Childhood, Kaiser Foundation, Kellogg and others involved with Educare centers nationally to support new Educare Centers when construction begins • $2 M – Bill and Joan Alfond as Maine Anchor donor • $2 M – Governor’s allocation from Federal Recovery Act • Various foundation and private donor contributions
A National Network Completed • COMPLETED CENTERS • Chicago • Omaha • Milwaukee • Tulsa • Denver • Miami
Important Connections are Made Prior to School-Entry 90% of brain growth occurs before kindergarten Newborn brain size compared to that of a 6-year-old brain Newborn neural networks compared to networks of a 6-year-old Source: Paul Lombroso, “Development of the cerebral cortex. VI. Growth Factors I.” Journal of the American Academy of child and Adolescent Psychiatry 37(6): 674-675, 1998.
Educare and the Four “P’s” • Educare is a PLACE • Educare is a PROGRAM • Educare is a PARTNERSHIP • Educare is a PLATFORM for CHANGE
Educare Maine’s Goal • To measurably increase the school-readiness of children served and significantly reduce unnecessary special education costs.
Educare Central Maine The Local Partnership to Implement Educare Maine’s First Center
Capacity and Vacancy Information Note: Effective August 1st, 2008 providers will be required to count their own children ages 6 weeks – 5 years in their numbers. This may reduce current available slots. Data Provided by Child Care Options Resource Development Center
Employee Childcare Survey 2006/2007 Age of child/ren in need of care (Rates include more than one child served in some families) • 92.4% 0-18 months • 88.1% 18 months to age 3 • 79.4% 3-5 • 65.9% Concerned about Quality (The survey included 424 respondents from twenty (20) small, medium and large employers in the greater Waterville Area.) AND • Waterville Public Schools Reports: Only 25% (32 children of the 128) kindergarteners have the opportunity to attend quality care and education preschool programming.
Low-Income Childcare Status • Only 17.5% of infants/toddlers and 59% of all preschool children in the greater Waterville area who qualify for subsidized care receive service. • 94% of the Early/Head Start Grantee (KVCAP) 2007/08 clientele had household incomes at or below federal poverty level (FPL); the remaining 6% were below 135% of the FPL.
Waterville Public Schools Special Education Costs • 2008/2009 special education budget is $3,407,559 out of the total $20,042,000 district budget. • WPS spends 32% of its budget on 18% of its students. • Of the 335 special education students 67% are from low-income families. • Not including the non-special education students, who are low-functioning entering the K-12 system, Educare’s annual savings could be as high as $1,515,628.
George Mitchell Elementary School School-Readiness • 64% of the 625 students enrolled at GJMS receive free or reduced lunch. • 67% of the kindergarten students come from low income families. • 48% of 128 students recently screened for kindergarten scored below the norms that lead to successful transition into public school. • 45% of the class was at risk of reading failure. • Language skills for all populations have decreased by 22% over the past 3 years. • The 2007/08 Maine Education Assessments in Grade 3 revealed that 48% of all students (60% of students from low income families) did not meet reading standards and 34% of all students (45% of students from low income families) did not meet math standards.
Educare is…. A Place… • …where 185 to 200 mostly low-income (Head Start eligible) children from before they are born to age 5 are served, during this most critical brain development stage • …where the children will find a warm, caring and developmentally-appropriate environment that fosters learning
The Place • A 35,477 sq. ft state-of-the-art, “green” facility connected to George Mitchell Elementary School • Facility designed by RDG Planning & Design, national architect firm experienced in early childhood facilities and space development • Contractor is Ledgewood Construction, Portland, ME • Estimated cost of facility is $8.5 million
Design Influence “It suggested to me that there was something to be seen if one had eyes. It made me a believer of me more than before. I believed that the woods were not tenantless, but choke full of honest spirits as good as myself any day, -not an empty chamber, in which chemistry was left to work alone, but an inhabited house, -and for a few moments I enjoyed fellowship with them. Your so-called wise man goes trying to persuade himself that here is no entity there but himself and his traps, but it is a great deal easier to believe the truth.” Henry David Thoreau The Maine Woods
Educare is… A Partnership… …between the school district, Head Start, and Bill/Joan Alfond Foundation that has formed a 501 (c) (3) entity: Educare Central Maine …bound by contract committing to joint governance and long-term support …with a vision to better prepare disadvantaged children to succeed in school and in life.
The PartnershipAnchor philanthropists Bill and Joan Alfond Foundation and Buffet Early Childhood: • Buffet provided initial $3 million and Alfonds $2 million challenge to Maine’s private sector for a $4 million match • Leads the capital campaign to build the Center • Engages the private sector to invest in the Educare project and quality ECH overall • Helps ensure its success over time • Shares governance with other partners.
Public Partners Waterville Public School Superintendent – provides existing and expanded Title I and USDA federal operating dollars and support with existing education dollars, shares governance Eric Haley, Waterville Superintendent of School Head Start/KVCAP – Provides Head Start/Early Head Start slots to Educare and applies for new slots if available; works to implement the core quality components of the Educare model and shares governance Kathy Colfer/Pat Kosma, KVCAP
Educare Central Maine Governance • Three lead Partners have formed a 501 (c) (3) corporation to better manage private contributions and ensure separation of resources • Nonprofit leadership will maximize organizational expertise and reduce administrative overhead by contributing to administrative duties such as human resources and fiscal management • Strengthen Community/School Fiscal oversight and planning through Educare Board and Advisory Committee
Governance Role • Monitoring program implementation and financial status; • Review and oversee evaluation/outcome/accountability for reporting; assisting in securing resources; • Reviewing staff, parent and community recommendations; • Garnering community input and broad parent/community participation and voice; • Reviewing policies and procedures; • Developing strategic planning and position statements; • Providing State of Maine with feedback/information to inform State policy; • Attending community forums upon request; and • Establish function/impasse procedures with the WPS and KVCAP boards and staff; • Hire staff and manage human resources; • Mentor new and emerging Educare partnerships statewide.
Educare Advisory CommitteeGreater Waterville Alliance on Early Care and Learning • Mike Roy, Waterville City Administrator – State and federal grants for capital and land-use/development process • Martha Naber, Kennebec Valley Community College – Early Childhood Faculty/Teaching Lab lead • Ray Nagel, Dick Farnsworth, Woodfords Family Services – Serving children with Autism • Liz Keach, Project Peds/CDS – Provides funding/expertise for special needs children • Tina Chapman, United Way of Mid-Maine – Community leadership • Kathleen Kenney, Waterville Public Library – Family Literacy Partner • Lauren Sterling, Greater Waterville Communities for Children/Youth Coalition – Partner for resource development and outreach • John Salvato, M.D. for Inside Out Playground – Providing expertise on developmental play, health and prevention
Educare is… A Program • Master-level teachers supervise Bachelor-level teachers in each classroom • Evidence-based teaching strategies within low teacher to students ratios are employed to support learning and development of the whole child Desired Outcome: • Children willenter Kindergarten meeting school-readiness measures by providing the highest, research-based quality development and education to children most in need so that they will be ready to take advantage of preschool and formal educational and life opportunities;
Program • Three Family Support Workers triage with teachers to engage parents in their child’s learning as well as support the broader needs of each family • Desired Outcome: • Family interactions and relationships between parents and children will be strengthened by helping parents learn how to support their children's healthy development, and their own educational, health, and workforce needs; and
Program • An on-site, state-of-the-art teaching lab with faculty from Kennebec Valley Community College and UMF will exists for students seeking an early childhood degree in Maine as well as ongoing training for childcare providers across the state and region. Desired Outcome: • The number of well-qualified early childhood professionals will Increase and expand the workforce to positively impact children and families across the state.
Operations Income Streams… …include funds for programming that come from existing sources (local, state, and federal) …are reorganized and maximized to allow for seamless services to children and their families while ensuring critical transitions into kindergarten …will NOT impacting local or state taxpayers beyond current levels
Revenue Streams • Early/Head Start (state/federal) • Waterville Public School Title I Earmark (state/federal) • Maine Dept of Education’s Child Development Services • USDA Food (To off-set staff expense) • Medicaid • Maine Dept of Health and Human Services Childcare funds • Parent Co-Pay based on income level • Space Rentals (Teaching Lab with KVCC and other community service partners) • Other: Grants through foundations and Development Block Grants • NOTE: Will seek scholarships to support over-income families that just miss Head Start eligibility
Educare Central MaineDRAFT Budget to Serve 185-200 Children and their Families • Revenue $3,106,700 • Expenses $3,226,000 • Quality Gap $25,000 to $130,000 • (As part of $11 M goal are raising Endowment to off-set Quality Gap to cover any operation needs)
Educare is… …an Opportunity …to make significant impact on the lives of the most vulnerable in our community …to mentor other communities on advancing quality, research-based early childhood education through rigorous evaluation (Doris Buffett has promised $3 million more for second center) …to serve as a PLATFORM for policy change in Maine and nationally.
Ribbon-Cutting 2010 Plan Raised 80% of total construction costs by June 25, 2009 to ensure shovel-ready status and to secure first match from Bill/Joan Alfond foundation Need to raise $1.5 million more to access foundation final match of $1 million Build an Early Childhood Endowment: • $2 million start-up endowment as back-up to support the operations beyond year-one should any “quality gap” exist
34 Research and the Educare Model Ounce of Prevention Fund www.ounceofprevention.org May 2008
Early Educare Successes Early evaluation of Educare programs provide inspiration for investment
Promising Early Returns: Bracken School Readiness: Nearly 100% of kindergarten-bound children leave Educare with school readiness cluster scores that meet or exceed expected levels, especially in the areas of letters, colors, and numbers. Vocabulary:Preschool children begin the year with vocabulary scores in the low-average range (45-49 score). By the end of the year, on average, children have vocabulary scores in the average range, with kindergarten bound children achieving the highest average mean score (95-98 score). Early Literacy: Kindergarten bound children leave Educare with specific early literacy skills that meet or exceed expected developmental ranges (i.e., 69% - 94% depending on the skill), including the more difficult skill areas dependent on good auditory processing capacity of letter sounds, beginning sounds and rhyme awareness.