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?