Ounce EHS-CC Partnership Training and Technical Assistance Services

The Ounce of Prevention Fund welcomes the opportunity to better meet the needs of Illinois’ young, high-need children and families by supporting the effective startup of new Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership programs across the state and working to enhance the quality of existing programs.  Building on our experience in operating and supporting Early Head Start (EHS) programs since the model’s inception in 1995, we can provide a customized set of training and technical assistance support services to EHS grantees and their Child Care partners.

The support services design is intended to provide a new or expanding EHS program with a range of supports including:

  • A mutual assessment of program needs across all the EHS service areas for the creation of an individualized plan for the grantee/Child Care partner;
  • A comprehensive series or customized set of learning experiences and transfer-to-practice supports across all the key service areas;
  • A ‘practice federal review’ to ensure full compliance at the 18-month mark of the grant period; and
  • Ongoing training and technical assistance after the start-up period, as needed to sustain full implementation.

We have used this model of training and support with Ounce delegates, and have found it useful in the support of program quality and EHS compliance. Our training and technical assistance model describes the key services we can offer to meet the various needs of EHS programs and their Child Care partners that are awardees of the partnership grant.

Overall Approach –

The Ounce creates learning experiences that are accessible to the user, specific to the daily work of program staff, and focused on improving outcomes for young children and their families.  Our training series will begin by creating an environment of trust during an initial meeting to build a strong working relationship and mutually assess program needs.  We believe that such a process wherein program staff and leaders are fully engaged in training and technical assistance will sustain the quality enhancements that are achieved over the long run.  And as part of its training and technical assistance services, we will work to connect programs to community- based resources that can provide continual quality services.

Training will be conducted by one Ounce staff member for each content area that is selected. Each facilitator has been drawn from a team of specialists in each of the service areas.

Description of Key Elements:

  • Assessment– Use of assessment tools based on Early Head Start Performance Standards to assess program needs in the service area requested.  During the Assessment period, we will gather program demographic data, review service area-related documented work, and discuss learning style approaches with leadership.
  • Training –Training will be conducted using the learning style approach suggested by leadership.  The training will introduce the performance standards to programs staff, show how the standards apply to their work; and distribute reporting and recording forms for staff use. Such training approaches as the fish bowl format, role playing, or active hands-on techniques, will be used as a way of exploring the subject.  We have found that one training encounter serves only as an introduction to the subject matter.  Hearing the content again supports mindful integration of the subject with day-to-day practice.
  • Technical Assistance Sessions – A technical assistance session follows the training session and can take a number of forms. It could be a face-to-face conversation that includes a review of the recommended reporting and recording forms or includes the giving of useful advice on successful ways to approach families and children using the Office of Head Start’s EHS implementation models.  The session could also include classroom observation and feedback on the quality of teacher/child interactions and the use of quality instructional formats. The purpose of the technical assistance sessions is to reinforce the training information in a practical, day-to-day format for the learner.  Between sessions, Ounce staff will research the existing resources in the community and facilitate a community partnership agreement with that local resource.  Where relevant, community partners will be invited to work alongside the Ounce in subsequent TA sessions so that the program can build strong relationships with the resource and plan for partnerships when additional support is needed.
  • Evaluation – Ounce staff will meet with program leadership and coordinators to review participant evaluations, discuss usefulness of the training and technical assistance services, discuss any procedural adjustments needed to enhance service-area execution; make recording and reporting documentation adjustments, and create a plan that will include next steps.  The next steps may include further use of Ounce services or plans to make use of the community partner’s services.  The plan will include tasks, strategies, program staff responsible, due dates and a description of the resources needed to ensure successful service-area execution.
  • Follow-up Coaching for Program Leaders – Our staff will work with program leadership to address management issues that may occur during the implementation of the EHS model.  The coaching will aid in the institutionalization of quality program measures that support compliance with Performance Standards and address the needs of program children and families.

We have used this model of training and support with Ounce delegates and partners, and have found it useful in the support of program quality and EHS compliance.

Outline of Specific Services

Start-Up Series

The start-up series is designed for EHS grantee and Child Care partner staff who are new to the Early Head Start system.   The series will give an overview of the mandated practices needed to successfully implement the EHS model. The start-up series is structured to offer an overall program assessment, multiple training modules that each include two training sessions of up to 2.5 hours each and three two-hour technical assistance sessions at 2 hours each, and a follow-up evaluation session. The Startup Series price includes preparation, training materials and handouts, documentation. Travel expenses will be billed at the federal per diem rate.

Cost – $10,000

Program Start- up Series

  1. Program Management and Design Module – Early Head Start 101
    • Early Head Start Start-Up and Planning
    • Program Administration and Record Keeping and Reporting
  2. Eligibility 101 Module
    • The Enrollment Process
    • Recruitment and Maintaining Full Enrollment
  3. Governance 101
    • Policy Council Implementation
    • The Role of Governing Board in the Governance Process
  4. Health Module
    • Health 101
    • Understanding The EPSDT Process Schedule And Requirements
  5. Education Module
    • Setting Up Early Head Start Educational Programming
    • Designing, Welcoming and Inviting Early Head Start Environments
  6. Parent, Family and Community Engagement Module
    • Parent, Family and Community Engagement Framework Orientation and Self-Assessment Process
    • Supporting Roles of Parents

Customized Training and Technical Assistance Services

In addition to the Start-Up Series described above, the Ounce can also develop a customized training package to suit more specific staff, program and community needs by conducting an initial assessment session with the EHS grantee. Each training session will be followed up with one technical assistance session and an evaluation session. In this way, the grantee and Child Care partner staff receive intense attention to the area requested, along with the development of community linkages that will support ongoing program implementation. We recommend the creation of an ongoing training plan that will support and build staff’s EHS knowledge.

  1. Mutual assessment of Service Area Needs and creation of a T&TA Plan – estimated $1000 ($100 x 10 hours; variable based on size of program)
  2. Training/TA by Service Area – $1000

Includes one training event, one TA, and one evaluation; preparation, materials/handouts, documentation. All travel expenses will be billed at federal per diem rate.

We have provided the overall goals and focus of each service area training and TA effort to help programs connect to ongoing, sustaining supports in their community.

Practice Self-Assessment/Federal Review

Because the EHS-CC grant stipulates that programs meet all performance standards by the first 18 months of operation, we offer a practice self-assessment/federal review 12 months into the new program’s operation. We use the Office of Head Start’s most recent monitoring tool in order to prepare programs for their federal 18-month assessment. This practice assessment and review covers all services areas, includes documentation of strengths and areas to improve, as well as technical assistance to help leaders improve implementation strategies. If further technical assistance is needed, provisions can be made with the Ounce.

Length of Service – One week (30 hours)

Ounce Staff Needed – 5

Cost – $15,000

Contact Person: Deborah Hampton, Director of Grantee Support Services, 773.373.8670