Early Childhood Funders Learning Circle: Call for Letters of Interest

Today Oregon’s early learning system leaders are paying more attention than ever before to the needs of the early learning workforce. Child care providers, preschool teachers, family advocates, parent educators, and home visitors are increasingly recognized for their professionalism, and training for the workforce is viewed as critically important to the care and education of our children. Experienced trainers and adult educators are essential to build the skills of Oregon’s early learning providers.

Yet, the training needs of important groups of providers have been ignored or marginally addressed: providers of color, providers who speak diverse languages and providers in rural Oregon. Despite strong evidence of the importance and effectiveness of culturally responsive programming and education, very few trainers from these communities are certified to deliver the high-level trainings providers need to advance in Oregon’s career lattice and, few trainings are available in languages other than English.

The Early Childhood Funders Learning Circle, recognizing this disparity, is investing in a project to work with impacted communities to address these systemic gaps. This investment will do the following:

  • Develop a Community Council to lead systems change.
  • Invest in the development and support of trainers of color, rural trainers, and linguistically diverse trainers, through a community based mentorship model. Mentor Master Trainers will be recruited from focus communities to mentor Emerging Master Trainers over a two-year period.
  • Invest in the creation and delivery of advanced trainings in diverse languages.

This opportunity focuses specifically on:

  • The African American, Latino, Chinese, Vietnamese, Native American, Russian, and immigrant/refugee communities.
  • Rural communities
  • Communities that speak diverse languages specifically, Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese, Vietnamese, and Russian, as well as the languages spoken by Oregon’s refugee communities. Please note the ECFLC is committed to ensuring all grant-related materials are translated into each of these languages.

For a full description of the project, please see Attachment A at the end of this document.

The ECFLC seeks representatives from community-based organizations to comprise the project’s Community Council. Selected community organizations will receive a $10,000 stipend to partner with the Oregon Center for Career Development (OCCD) to lead systems change. Applicants must:

  • Have members and staff who represent the grant’s focused communities.
  • Have a track record of successfully working and building trust with community members.
  • Have experience and knowledge of early childhood programming and systems. Applicants are not required to have experience training early learning providers, but should have knowledge of the training gaps and needs within the community they represent.
  • Must have a staff member or community trainer/volunteer able to commit time to the project as a Community Councilor. The Community Council will meet quarterly through mid-2018.

Community Council roles and responsibilities:

  • Participate in a Community Council in partnership with OCCD to identify the components the state’s training and Master Trainer certification program that are barriers for their communities.
  • Establish a language translation policy so that all materials are appropriately translated into languages spoken by the project’s focus populations.
  • Identify the barriers that can successfully be removed in the three-year grant period.
  • Identify trainers in their communities and organizations who can serve as Mentor Master Trainers.
  • Support recruitment of Emerging Master Trainers.

How to apply: Submit your letter of interest by 5 p.m. on March 21st, 2017. Submissions are accepted via Survey Monkey (https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ecflc_loi). Please address each question below.

  • What is your organization’s membership? Who do you serve or support?
  • What is your relationship with and track record of work in the focus community you are applying to represent?
  • What are specific challenges, struggles, and disparities that your community faces as a result of the current structure of the early childhood training program/system?
  • What is your organization’s experience in the early childhood care and education field?
  • What staff resources will your organization make available for participation in this program?
  • Do you think this proposal as currently constructed will meet the needs of your community? If not, what changes are needed?

Legislators Announce Budget-Focused Town Hall Meetings across Oregon

(SALEM) – The Oregon Legislative Assembly’s budget-writing Joint Ways and Means Committee will hold a series of public hearings in seven cities across the state beginning February 10.

The town hall events will create opportunities for Oregonians to provide input into the 2017-19 biennial state budget, according to Representative Nancy Nathanson (D-Eugene) and Senator Richard Devlin (D-Tualatin), the co-chairs of the committee.

On January 19, the co-chairs released an “Existing Resources Framework,” recognizing that existing revenues fall $1.8 billion short of the funding necessary to continue state services at current levels. The entire budget framework and accompanying narrative are available here: https://www.oregonlegislature.gov/lfo/Documents/2017%20Co-Chair%20Document.pdf.

The full schedule for the town hall tour is listed below.

Friday, February 10 — Salem     

5 to 7 p.m.

Hearing Room F

Oregon State Capitol

900 Court Street NE, Salem


Saturday, February 11 — Portland       

Noon to 2 p.m.

Main Mall, Amo DeBernardis CC Building

PCC, Sylvania campus

12000 SW 49th Ave, Portland


Friday, February 17 — Hermiston    

5 to 7 p.m.

Main Commons

Hermiston High School

600 S 1st St, Hermiston


Saturday, February 18 — Madras

1 to 3 p.m.

Performing Arts Center

Madras High School

390 SE 10th St, Madras


Friday, February 24 — Ashland

5 to 7 p.m.

Rogue River Room

Southern Oregon University

1250 Siskiyou Blvd, Ashland


Saturday, February 25 — Eugene  

1 to 3 p.m.

Rooms 308-309 Building 17 (The Forum)

Lane Community College

4000 E 30th Ave, Eugene


Friday, March 3 — Tillamook           

6 to 8 p.m.

Officer’s Mess

Port of Tillamook Bay

6825 Officers Row, Tillamook

February 2017 Collaboration Office Corner

As we move towards full implementation of the new Head Start Program Performance Standards that were released in the fall (which intend for nearly all Head Start programs to offer full school day and full school year services by 2021) it is exciting to know that 16 of the Head Start programs in our state have been awarded extended duration grants. These grants only support a portion of classrooms (as requested by grantee and up to 40% of enrollment) and are only one step in this process.

Congress allocated these funds as a down payment toward ensuring that nearly all preschool-age children in Head Start attend programs that operate for a full day and full school year. This supplemental funding allows Head Start programs to choose the models that work best for their communities when designing programs with more total annual hours. Programs work with parents in deciding to add days at the end of the year, to shorten the summer gap, to add more hours per day or a combination of both; with 1050 hours being the goal and timeframes mirroring Kindergartens in their service area. The operational funds awarded to each grantee will become part of the grantee’s base funding subject to appropriations. The following programs will be implementing their extended duration classrooms with varying timelines, but all should have classrooms operational by the fall of 2017.


Albina Head Start

Clackamas County Children’s Commission

Community Action Organization

Community Action Team Inc. of Columbia County

Community Services Consortium

Eastern Oregon University

Head Start of Lane County

Kids & Company of Linn County

Klamath Family Head Start

Mid-Columbia Children’s Council, Inc

Mt Hood Community College


Oregon Child Development Coalition

Oregon Coast Community Action

Southern Oregon Child & Family Council, Inc.

Umatilla Morrow Head Start, Inc.

For more information see:



Feel free to let me know if there are other things you would like to see in this corner!

Respectfully submitted by Shawna Rodrigues, LCSW
Oregon Head Start Collaborations Director

2017 Children’s Agenda

Children's Agenda

We are once again proud partners in the creation of the Children’s Agenda. We have been a partner since the first Agenda was created in 2015. We’ve been excited to watch the group grow from 65 organizations in the first year, to over 90! By coming together, we can amplify our voices to make Oregon a great place to be a kid!

You can learn more about the Children’s Agenda at http://www.orunitedforkids.org/.

Calling all Head Start preschool teachers!

My research team and I are developing the Facilitators and Self-efficacy for Teaching Outdoors (F-STO). It is a 35-question survey to assess facilitators and level of self-efficacy needed to successfully use outdoor learning centers to foster learning in preschools. The survey will measure how Head Start preschool teachers feel about planning and preparing to teach in an outdoor learning center, demonstrating and teaching in an outdoor learning center, their general comfort in nature, and their perceptions of preschooler benefits and their level of access to facilitators for sustainable use of OLCs and we need YOUR help!

We want to ensure that the survey is measuring what we think it is measuring, and in order to make sure, we need to talk to Head Start teachers, like you, about your thoughts on the survey.

The whole process should take 30 minutes to 1 hour of your time to:

1. Participate in a telephone interview with one of the members of our research team

2. If you are willing, please respond with times you would be available to talk for 60 minutes (just to be on the safe side) in the next week. For your time, we will give you a $10 gift card from Walmart.

We appreciate your help. Please feel free to share this e-mail with other friends who are Head Start preschool teachers.

Thank you,

Jennifer McMillen, PhD Candidate
NCSU, Department FBNS

January Collaboration Office Corner

In early December the Early Learning Division hosted an Early Learning Partnerships meeting between Head Start Directors and Hub leaders in areas where we have Preschool Promise programs. Attendees reported that they appreciated this opportunity to come together and the conversations held were robust and diverse depending on the community and where programs were in developing their relationship and understanding of how to best work with each other. We will continue to build on these meetings by surveying current participants on the best way to build this work out. Feel free to contact me with any thoughts or constructive feedback on how to continue this work!

Over the past year the Early Learning Division has been working closely with our partners in Region 10 to renew a longstanding Memorandum of Understanding that had helped to outline our work together. The result of this work is the “Partnership for Oregon Head Start Guiding Roles and Responsibilities”. This guiding document outlines the way that Office of Head Start Region 10, programs represented by the Oregon Head Start Association, and the Oregon Early Learning Division work together to support the unique funding model for Oregon programs.

Delaying Compliance Date on Background Checks

On December 6, 2016 the Office of Head Start released a notice that will delay the compliance date for background checks procedures, which was originally described in the Head Start Program Performance Standards final rule that was published in the Federal Register on September 6, 2016. The new effective date of September 30, 2017 aligns with background check requirement deadlines for systems in the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) Act of 2014, 20 U.S.C. § 1431 et seq., 20.

Because the Child Care Registry in Oregon currently runs on a 2 year cycle it will be imperative for staff to immediately comply to new standards as they renew in the registry.

Knowledge for knowledge’s sake

As we start 2017 it is exciting to look back at some of the wonderful research that was released in the past month to support the work that we do and also that helps guide us moving forward.  Recent research from the University of Chicago published in December “shows that high quality birth-to-five programs for disadvantaged children can deliver a 13% per year return on investment – a rate substantially higher than the 7=10% return previous established for preschool programs serving 3- to 4-year-olds.” All of this is very exciting as programs look at how to assure their work with families starts earlier. Benefits shown were looked at over a 30 year period making it possible to measure “Lifecycle Benefits” things like eventual labor income, years of education, high school graduation rates, health, and crime involvement. The specific programs whose results were studied provided care for more than 9 hours a day over the course of five years (as well as incorporating nutrition and access to healthcare). Which speaks to the importance of scaffolding developmental supports and offering services for enough hours to support stability for children and parents an opportunity to pursue educational and career goals (http://heckmanequation.org/content/resource/lifecycle-benefits-influential-early-childhood-program-one-pager).

The National Institute for Early Education Research also released the “State(s) of Head Start report” which provides a breakdown of what is happening in states across the country. The exciting news for Oregon (http://nieer.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/HS_Oregon_Profile.pdf) is that we are exceeding both the national average and the research-based threshold in Emotional Support and Classroom Organization for Classroom Quality Scores.  It also reported that only 11% of the children served by Head Start in Oregon have at least 1,020 hours of service per year, compared to the national average of 42% of children. Consequently there is a lot of work to be done in order to increase duration and children’s exposure to our quality classrooms. Region 10 Office of Head Start is working with a number of grantees to increase duration to this threshold as soon as Fall 2017; and sooner for Early Head Start.

Feel free to let me know if there are other things you would like to see in this corner!

Respectfully submitted by Shawna Rodrigues, LCSW
Oregon Head Start Collaborations Director

Partnering with Researchers to Get Families Interested in Engineering

We all know that young children are natural learners, fascinated with the world around them. Furthermore, interests and passions sparked in preschool can often have important implications for years to come. But how do we know when a child is interested in a topic or activity? And how do we work with parents and caregivers to foster and support these early interests?

Thanks to funding from the National Science Foundation, MHCC Head Start has the chance to investigate these questions in collaboration with researchers and educators from around the community. In partnership with the Institute for Learning Innovation, the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI), and the University of Notre Dame, MHCC has launched the Head Start on Engineering project, designed to understand and support how young children and their families get interested in the topic of engineering during early childhood and how these interests develop and flourish with the support of parents, caregivers, and Head Start staff. Engineering is not only a topic of growing importance in schools, but it’s also a life skill, helping children and adults solve problems and create solutions at home, at work, and beyond. Introducing families to the topic of engineering and sparking young children’s interests in planning, building, testing, and problem-solving helps prepare them for school, life, and future careers.

The Head Start on Engineering project launched in October 2016 and began offering programming and resources for families this December. For the first two years of the project, the team is working with Head Start teachers and family workers at the Rockwood site to plan, gather input from families, and test new programs and activities. In the fall of 2016, the team offered two full-day professional development workshops for staff members at Rockwood and three other sites, during which teachers, family workers, and assistants learned about engineering, explored examples of engineering and design in their own lives, tested new engineering activities for families and young children, and provided input on future programs. Beginning this January, a group of Rockwood families has now been recruited to participate in five months of program and research activities, including parent nights, home visits, take-home activity kits, and a field trip to OMSI. Lessons learned and resources developed from this pilot program will be shared throughout the MHCC Head Start organization and will contribute to new plans for future work at sites beyond Rockwood.

To learn more about Head Start on Engineering, visit the project website or email Pam Corrie, director of MHCC Head Start and Early Head Start.

Washington Update – Fiscal Year 2017


Dear Colleague,   

We know you have been anxiously awaiting final “budget” numbers for this Fiscal Year so that you can continue to plan and make adjustments to your program as necessary. We have been following the Fiscal Year 2017 negotiations very closely, and wanted to give you an update.

Federal programs had been funded through a Continuing Resolution (CR) until December 9, or yesterday.  Negotiations this week have resulted in a second CR, extending funding through April 28, 2017.  The agreement includes an across-the-board cut of 0.19% for all accounts (defense and non-defense discretionary), including Head Start.   At this point, we do not know how this cut will impact Head Start but we are already in discussion with the Office of Head Start and will keep you updated as more information becomes available from the Department of Health and Human Services.

To put it bluntly, we are disappointed that Congress chose, once again, to fund the federal government through a series of stopgap measures – not to mention including a slight cut.  Continuing Resolutions short-circuit the normal “budget” process, which is designed to adjust funding levels based on various federal programs needs.  By speaking with a united voice as Congress was working through this “regular order” process, we were able to convey to key decisionmakers the reasons why Head Start was asking for and needed additional funding in FY17.  Another CR prevents us from addressing the additional costs that programs are facing as result of workforce needs and continued program improvement, such as duration extension, until at least the end of April.


Looking ahead, together we will continue to make our case to Congress and the new Administration.  Because the CR’s April expiration date will start to overlap with the beginning of our Fiscal Year 2018 work, we will all have to navigate some muddy waters in the months ahead.  We hope you will continue to share with us and your Members of Congress the real, tangible impacts that this type of “budgeting” is having on the administration of your programs – they are among some of our most compelling advocacy messages.  

In the meantime, if you have any questions about the latest Congressional activity, please do not hesitate to be in touch with NHSA’s Government Affairs team (tsheridan@nhsa.org or fnolan@nhsa.org ).

In partnership,


Yasmina Vinci Executive Director 

December Collaboration Office Corner

It is hard to believe we are already entering the final month of 2016. It has been an exciting year thus far with the implementation of the new Head Start Performance Standards, grants submitted by programs to increase duration for a portion of their students, and both the OHSA Fall Conference and the Director’s meeting in October. It has been wonderful to connect with more of the staff and families from local programs and learn more about what is important to each of you and what successes our programs have been experiencing.
In early December the Early Learning Division is hosting an Early Learning Partnerships meeting between Head Start Directors and Hub leaders in areas where we have Preschool Promise programs. This meeting is intended to start, and work on, the dialogue between these groups as we all work to serve the children and families in our communities. This is just an initial meeting and one of the outcomes of the meeting is to have a clear idea of what we can do to support these partnerships moving forward.

Knowledge for knowledge’s sake

What is the difference between the Head Start Act and Head Start Program Performance Standards?
The Improving Head Start for School Readiness Act of 2007 (Public Law 110-134) authorizes Head Start funds at specific levels and outlines how they will be allocated. The Act outlines the intent of Congress for the program; types of services offered; population served; and reporting, evaluation, and administrative requirements.
The Head Start Program Performance Standards (45 CFR chapter XIII 1302-1305) outline the mandatory regulations that grantees and delegate agencies must implement to operate a Head Start or Early Head Start program. The Performance Standards define the objectives and features of a quality program and provide a structure for monitoring and enforcing quality standards. These standards were updated this fall and went into effect November 7, 2016. The update was meant to streamline the standards, respond to research and things that have been learned from the field, as well as explicitly reference other guiding documents (rather than trying to duplicate them).
The Head Start Act is always the superseding document, if there is ever a conflict between the Act and the Performance Standards. Since the Standards were recently updated they now fully reflect the Act. Should the Act be updated, it may have information that differs from the Standards and in this case programs will need to adhere to the Act.
Much of the information noted came from the ECLKC – the Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center. This is the platform that the Office of Head Start utilizes to share information with grantees. Be sure you are familiar with it and registered to get updates off of it! https://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/
Feel free to let me know if there are other things you would like to see in this corner!
Respectfully submitted by Shawna Rodrigues, LCSW
Oregon Head Start Collaborations Director