ELV's commitment is to expand quality child care offerings to thousands of children and families by: 1) Extending ELV services to under-served geographic regions in Colorado; and 2) Successfully replicating the model in Maryland as a pilot and proof-of-concept for further expansion into other states.
ELV will implement this commitment with the following steps: Provide technical assistance to support ELV Alliance start-up, implementation, and capacity building; Develop and maintain cloud-based operating system ('ELV Technology Platform') and further build-out the Platform functionality, including E-learning modules and the shared services child management system ('CORE'); Facilitate partnerships with child care regulators and subsidy programs by integrating their accountability and business processes into CORE, and providing virtual access to CORE data; Produce Alliances with marketing and communications support, including Affiliate (child care provider) recruitment materials, branding and communications templates, and market research tools; Develop and manage strategic inter-agency service delivery and revenue partnerships; Provide technical assistance to the ELV statewide network launch in Maryland; Create a Maryland version of the ELV Technology Platform that fully integrates their ECE systems; Lead federal and state (Colorado and Maryland) policy and finance reform efforts to scale and sustain the ELV Alliance model of shared services.
ELV will deploy the following services, products and resources towards the commitment: Virtual Operating System; Shared Resources; Financial Services; Public-Private Partnerships; Financial Capital- Alliance Start-up Grants, Technology Investment, Human Resources; and Human and Intellectual Capital (ELV Technical Assistance Team, ELV National Leadership Team, ECE Shared -Services National Learning Community, ELV Government Relations Team).
Summer & Fall 2013:
Secure Funding for Alliance Startup, implementation, expansion in Colorado and replication in Maryland
Conduct focus groups with key early childhood stakeholders in MD
Conduct gap analysis to determine the MD adaptations necessary to the current ELV Alliance CORE child management technology to reflect Maryland licensing and subsidy policies
Conduct Due Diligence to identify 2-3 high capacity organizations for CO Expansion and Pilot replication in MD
Conduct legal review in Maryland
Development of CORE system for pilot use with the Maryland licensing and subsidy system
Conduct initial training of non-profit organization that will sponsor the pilot Alliance
ELV expansion in Colorado will reflect market saturation of 20% of licensed child care center programs and 40% statewide geographic reach
Develop and pilot MD Alliance and develop statewide network business plan
Launch one pilot MD Alliance to serve as the laboratory and headquarters for the MD statewide network
Begin recruiting providers in MD to pilot ELV Alliance services and supports
Work closely with pilot Alliance to determine and overcome barriers to implementation and recruitment of providers
Increase capacity of CO Alliances to serve more Affiliates and decrease their need for venture funding
Summer & Fall 2014
Evaluate implementation and make revisions to implementation strategy as needed
Conduct ROI, process, and impact studies in CO and MD
Generate venture funding to support start-up of additional Alliances in MD
Summer of 2015
CO expansion goals to reflect increase market saturation and statewide reach
Launch additional regional MD Alliances
Continue to generate public and private funding to scale Alliances
Each day, millions of children from six weeks to 5-years-old are placed in some form of child care arrangement while parents work. These arrangements range from for-profit and nonprofit center-based arrangements and afterschool programs to care offered out of a provider's home. The quality of such 'market-based' child care varies greatly, but has been found to be, on average, of mediocre quality. Moreover, researchers and advocates are quick to point out the inequities in the child care market with higher-income families accessing significantly higher quality care than their lower-income peers. Among low-income families, the quality of market-based care that they access is quite low; considerably lower than that of the federal Head Start program, for example. It is for this reason that, while a majority of children are cared for in market-based child care arrangements, it is considered the 'weak link' of the country's early care and education system.
A solution to the conundrum described above is to significantly increase the operational efficiencies of child care providers to allow them to provide higher quality care at a lower cost. This concept represents the theoretical foundation of the Early Learning Ventures (ELV) Alliance model. While a number of the 350,000 child care providers in the U.S. are large providers, most care for a relatively small number of children. It is difficult for them to attain an economy of scale because of their small size. As a solution to this problem, ELV is launching statewide networks of hub agencies called 'Alliances' to promote business efficiencies and higher quality among small child care providers in a community.
ELV is seeking co-investors to scale the Alliance model in Colorado and Maryland. The funding will support the start-up costs for Alliance development of the technology that provides the virtual infrastructure for the ELV Alliance network. ELV is striving to create a network of ELV Alliances across Maryland to achieve systemic, long-term, and sustainable improvements in the way we care for the youngest children. The startup costs for the model in Maryland will be significantly lower than those incurred in Colorado, as Maryland will be able to leverage the investment made in developing the ELV platform and Alliance CORE technology, the partnership agreements, the performance and accountability standards, as well as the program and operations tools and protocols.
ELV is eager to provide technical assistance in developing the ELV Alliance and CORE technology platform, partnership agreements, performance and accountability standards as well as the program and operations tools and protocols necessary to establish networks of early child care small business providers.