Implementing Partnerships to Enhance Access to Early Care and Education Programs: Findings from the National Descriptive Study of Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships

Mar 12, 2019

Teacher with preschool childrenFindings from a national descriptive study of Early Head Start-Child Care (EHS-CC) Partnerships reveal new information about how early care and education partnerships expand access to high quality, affordable care for infants and toddlers. In 2015, the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) awarded 250 EHS-CC Partnership grants to bring together the best of EHS and community-based child care. Partnerships did so by combining EHS’s high quality, comprehensive, relationship-based child development and family services with the flexibility of child care and its responsiveness to the social, cultural, and work-support needs of families. The study describes the characteristics of these partnerships, including how they were formed and operated, as well as strategies for implementing partnerships in both child care centers and family child care homes. It also describes the wide range of services offered to children and families who received care through EHS-CC Partnership grant funds.  ACF contracted with Mathematica to carry out a nationally representative study of EHS-CC Partnerships.

Key study findings include the following:

  • Most child care partners received supports from grantees such as: materials or supplies (91 percent); coaching, mentoring, consultation, or one-on-one training (86 percent); and opportunities to obtain a child development associate or higher credential (85 percent).
  • Many grantees and their child care partners had experience collaborating before the EHS-CC Partnership grant.
  • The most frequently cited factor motivating child care partners to participate in the partnership program was improving the quality of infant and toddler care and education.

Lessons learned from this study can inform ongoing and future activities of early care and education partnerships as well as training and technical assistance efforts. For more key findings, or to read the full report, click here.

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