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  1. WI FORCES FOR FOUR YEAR OLDS A Wisconsin Project Funded by the Trust for Early Education

  2. OUR PURPOSE To provide quality early learning opportunities and universal services for four-year-old children through community-based public - private partnerships in a wide range of settings including the home.

  3. THE RATIONAL All children need access to quality early learning experiences. • Lets put our heads together and see what life we will make for our children. • Tatanka Iotanks • Sitting Bull, Lakota

  4. RESEARCH SUPPORTS THE IMPORTANCE Research shows the benefit for low income children • Chicago Public School Preschools • Perry Preschool Study • Abecedarian Project

  5. Cost Savings • Early education saves society future monies • For every dollar invested, $7.10 dollars are saved in future spending.

  6. Later Success in Schools Children with preschool achieve greater success during school years • Higher reading and math tests at ages 8,12, and 15 • Reduced special education placements • Reduced occurrences of grade retentions • Higher rates of high school graduation Reynolds, Perry Preschool and Abecedarian

  7. Later Success in Society Children with preschool achieve greater success outside of school years • Lower rates of juvenile arrests • Reduced arrests for violent offenses • Increased employment rates and high wages • Increased numbers of homeowners Reynolds and Perry Preschool

  8. RESEARCH SHOWS NEED FOR ALL Research shows the need and/or benefit for all children and their families: • Brain development and children’s growth • Close gaps in services and achievement • Supports parents, especially those that work • Improve the quality of providers and teacehrs

  9. SUPPORTS BRAIN DEVELOPMENT The brain develops most rapidly during the first years of life

  10. HELPS TO CLOSE GAPS • Schools provide special education for children with disabilities • Head Start address the needs of young children in living in poverty • Low income families can access child care subsidies • Some families can afford private preschools • Some school districts have four year old kindergarten All children can not access these services

  11. SUPPORTS FAMILIES • 70% of the young children have working parents • Child care for two children costs 34% of median income • Some children already in child care have to be transported to also receive special education and/or Head Start

  12. IMPROVE TEACHER QUALITY • High turnover rates of child care teachers • Child care teachers earn less than half of their counterparts in the public school • Percentage of child care/community teachers with BA is decreasing, while those with only high school is increasing • Early childhood educators need specific training and education

  13. COMMUNITIES EXPLORE PARTNERSHIPS Services to four year olds brings unique opportunities to work together to: • maximize existing services • best serve children and families

  14. SCHOOLS RECOGNIZE THEY SHOULD WORK WITH COMMUNITY • Child care centers can not survive financially without four-year-olds • State staffing ratios for infants are 325% higher than for four-year-olds • Infant fees are only 30% higher than fees for four-year-olds

  15. PARTNERSHIPS BECOME BEST PRACTICE • Maximize child care, Head Start, and school for four-year-old kindergarten funds • Bring resources and best practices into one service delivery service approach • Provide array of services to meet varied needs of families

  16. COMMUNITIES EXPLORE PARTNERSHIPS. • LaCrosse was first mid-sized city • Many others are following: Wausau, Portage, Madison, Janesville, Green Bay, Eau Claire, and others • Milwaukee had a long history and began to expand approaches


  18. INDICATORS OF COMMUNITY APPROACHES • Focus on quality for children and their families • Bring all stakeholders to the table • Collaborative planning • Use of different funding streams

  19. INDICATORS OF COMMUNITY APPROACHES • Shared governance and accountability • Community-based and housed in a variety of settings • Comprehensive program and services for all four-year-olds • Staffing patterns that allow for teaming and support a career ladder

  20. CREATING COMMUNITY APPROACHES Coordination Cooperation Collaboration TO Community Based Public - Private Partnerships

  21. COORDINATION and COOPERATION • Focus on quality for children and their families • Bring all stakeholders to the table

  22. PARTNERSHIPS • Start with Advisory Councils or Boards • Diverse membership leads to understanding and respect for diversity of service • Adjust for Different levels of Planning • Create the foundation for the vision • Resolve fundamental questions • Define the desired approaches • Insure ongoing problem solving and governance

  23. LESSONS LEARNED: NEW APPROACHES • Delivery Models • Staffing Patterns • Program Standards & Curriculum

  24. SERVICE DELIVERY MODELS Families and their children have options from a variety of settings: • Community Sites • Community Site/School Teacher • School District Building • At Home Support

  25. Community Sites • Child care, Head Start, or private preschool settings provide services • Licensed four-year-old kindergarten teachers employed by site • Parent Outreach • Wraparound care available • Additional school 4K funding supports

  26. Community Site/School Teacher • Child care, Head Start, or private preschool settings provide services • School District Teacher • Two and a half hours per day • Four or Five days a week • Parent Outreach • Wraparound care provided by child care or private preschool

  27. School District Building • School District 4K Teacher • Two and a half hour program, • Four or five days a week • Parent Outreach • Potential for wraparound services or transportation to • Child care • Head Start

  28. At Home Support • Parent outreach ensured in all programs • For children not in classes, parents receive curriculum ideas developed by collaboration and/or supported by agencies that offer family support services

  29. LESSONS LEARNED: SHARING RESOURCES • Funding Mechanisms • Transportation • Space and Equipment • Professional Development

  30. LESSONS LEARNED: BENEFITS BENEFITS TO: • Children • Families • All community partners • Public Schools • Other community agencies

  31. BENEFITS TO CHILDREN • Can’t be turned away from services • Receive preschool experience with licensed early childhood teacher • Early assessment and identification will provide early intervention

  32. BENEFITS TO CHILDREN AND FAMILIES • Fewer transitions between locations for parents and children • Wrap-around services in one setting provide increased opportunities

  33. BENEFITS TO FAMILIES • Families have options in locations and schedules or to keep their child at home • Financial barriers to preschool are lifted • Families are introduced to public school teachers earlier • Provide opportunities for parent education, family fun nights, nutrition services, family literacy and English as a second language classes

  34. BENEFITS TO ALL COMMUNITY PARTNERS • Learn and support one another • Developed common standards & expectations • Shared staff development resources allows all staff to receive training • Paved the way when seeking additional funding • Provided a level of services not possible for any one agency to do by themselves

  35. BENEFITS TO PARTICIPATING CHILD CARE OR HEAD START • Public school special education staff and services supported the staff and provided direct services to children with disabilities • School funding used by community agencies for staff salaries, supplies, equipment, remodel, or expand their facility

  36. BENEFITS TO PARTICIPATING SCHOOLS • Allowed districts with limited space to still bring in 4K funding • State revenue brought into district • The community sees schools as collaborative not territorial • Reduced some transportation costs for children already in community setting • Engagement with the community for all young children - not just targeted • The transition into kindergarten is easier for children and families • Children come into school more prepared • Special services more accessible and provided earlier

  37. CHALLENGES TO SUCCESS • Moving to True Partnerships • Many voices raise many opinions - Views and voices may still be missing • Collaboration • Integrity of services depends on ability to successfully work together • Policy and budget constraints • Opposition from groups • Concerns over loss of business • Concerns over future loss of leadership


  39. It takes a lot of effort to change our approaches! But our children are worth it!

  40. JOIN THE FORCE Subscribe to the Forces for Fours Listserv Send an email message to majordomo. address-- To: in the body of the message enter-- subscribe Forces44 (Leave the subject line blank. Do not enter name or other information in message)

  41. JOIN THE FORCE Interested in learning more? The Forces for Fours Team will share references, bibliographies, or other materials. We can also make presentations to your group. Jill Haglund 608-267-9625