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Building Collaborative Relationships. Supporting Early Childhood Education Programs. Our Program History. Blue Valley Community Action Partnership Jefferson County Head Start Program Fairbury Public Schools Step-by-Step Program (Early Childhood Special Education/Peer Model Program)

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building collaborative relationships

Building Collaborative Relationships

Supporting Early Childhood Education Programs

our program history
Our Program History
  • Blue Valley Community Action Partnership
    • Jefferson County Head Start Program
  • Fairbury Public Schools
    • Step-by-Step Program (Early Childhood Special Education/Peer Model Program)
  • Initial Collaborative Efforts
    • Dual Program Enrollment
    • Consultation, Referral and Evaluation
identified challenges barriers
Identified Challenges/Barriers
  • Wait Lists
    • Significant increase in number of children eligible for Head Start
    • Child Find efforts resulting in increased number of children with verified disabilities
    • Consistent demand for Peer Model participation
  • Significant percentage of children entering Kindergarten without having quality early childhood education experiences (Achievement Gap)
forming our partnership
Forming Our Partnership
  • Nebraska Early Childhood Grant Program
    • Existing personnel to provide early learning opportunities in 4 half-day sessions
    • Grant Award to provide for 2 additional half-day sessions
  • Between 75 to 85 children (ages 3 to 5) provided early learning opportunities annually
  • Identified program personnel provide special education services for Birth to 3 population within natural environments
  • Enrollment reflects community demographics
our partnership

step

ahead

early childhood program

Our Partnership…
lessons from the field
Lessons from the Field
  • Defining Partnership Roles and Responsibilities
    • Collaborative Participation
      • program planning; start-up process; implementation
    • Early Childhood Advisory Committee
    • Parent Involvement ~ Leadership Team
    • Developing and Maintaining Written Agreements
      • issue of trust; changes in leadership/staffing
potential partnerships
Potential Partnerships
  • Head Start/Early Head Start/Even Start Grantee
  • Local School District
  • Educational Service Unit
  • Private/Parochial Preschool Program
  • Center-based/In-home Childcare Provider
  • City Government/Department ~ Public Library
  • Health Care Agency/Organization
  • Community Organization/Service Club
  • Church ~ YMCA ~ Museum
collaboration program design
Collaboration & Program Design
  • Structure
    • program days; yearly calendar; part/full day
  • Classroom Ratios
  • Facilities
    • fire/safety/health codes; space; equipment; playground
collaboration program design1
Collaboration & Program Design
  • Staffing
    • Rule 11/Highly Qualified/Endorsements
    • Recruitment/Hiring
    • Supervision/Evaluation
    • Substitutes
    • Custodial Services
  • Transportation
    • Head Start ~ School District
    • Parent/Carpool ~ Community
collaboration program design2
Collaboration & Program Design
  • Curriculum Framework Identification
  • Child Assessment and Program Evaluation
  • Professional Development Planning
  • Correlation & Alignment of…
    • Rule 11 Requirements
    • Head Start Program Standards
    • Nebraska Early Learning Guidelines
collaboration program design3
Collaboration & Program Design
  • Budget Considerations
    • Blended/Matching Funding Sources
    • “In Kind”
  • NCLB, ILCD and School Improvement Process Involvement
  • Effective Transitions for Children
    • Birth to Three ~ Center-based Program
    • Early Childhood Program ~ Kindergarten
danger zone
Danger Zone
  • Community Perceptions (Patrons & School Board)
    • Competition vs Partnership
    • Program Development/Expansion during “Hard Times”
    • Quality of Existing Programs/Personnel
  • Staff Perceptions
    • Salary Differential ~ Hourly vs Salaried Positions
    • Preconceived Opinions ~ Practices & Requirements
    • Primary/Elementary Teacher Awareness and Support
    • Inclusiveness and Collegiality
lessons from the field1
Lessons from the Field

COMMUNICATION

IS

CRITICAL

early returns on our investments
Early Returns on Our Investments
  • Inclusive, integrated programs/services for diverse groups of children;
  • Ongoing collaboration and communication with multiple community partners;
  • Highly qualified staff with demonstrated commitment to program development;
  • Significant and effective early childhood transitions;
  • Increased family involvement and capacity to support their children’s development;
  • Documented improvement/progress toward identified child learning and developmental outcomes.
final thought
Final Thought…

A high-quality program, no matter what its name or style is proud of the youngness of its children.

It is geared to honest, real-life children – the noisy, messy, active, dirty kind.

- James Hymes

our contact information
Our Contact Information
  • Jeremy Christiansen

Principal/Director of Curriculum & Learning

Fairbury Public Schools

jerchris@fairburyjeffs.org (402) 729-2418

  • Shari Wurtz-Miller

Children and Youth Services Director

Blue Valley Community Action Partnership

smiller@bvca.net (402) 729-2278