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Educare Maine. Maine and New England’s First Comprehensive, High-quality Early Childhood Learning Center. A National Network. Doris Buffett’s Sunshine Lady Foundation contributed $3 million to Maine as seed money to inspire a Maine “anchor donor.”

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Educare Maine


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    1. Educare Maine Maine and New England’s First Comprehensive, High-quality Early Childhood Learning Center

    2. A National Network • Doris Buffett’s Sunshine Lady Foundation contributed $3 million to Maine as seed money to inspire a Maine “anchor donor.” • The Sunshine Lady Foundation partners with other philanthropists involved with Educare centers nationally to support the Bounce Learning Network, which provides an additional $1 million to new Educare centers once agreements are signed. • Educare Maine will now join the Bounce Learning Network.

    3. Educare Maine’s Goal • To measurably increase the school-readiness of children served and significantly reduce unnecessary special education costs.

    4. Educare is…. A Place… • …where 160 to 200 mostly low-income, high-stressed children from before they are born to age 5 are served, during this most critical brain development stage; • …where the children will find a warm, caring and developmentally appropriate environment that fosters learning.

    5. Greater Waterville Alliance on Early Care and Learning The Local Partnership to Implement Educare Maine’s First Center

    6. Capacity and Vacancy Information Note: Effective August 1st, 2008 providers will be required to count their own children ages 6 weeks – 5 years in their numbers. This may reduce current available slots. Data Provided by Child Care Options Resource Development Center

    7. Low-Income Childcare Status • Only 17.5% of infants/toddlers and 59% of all preschool children in the greater Waterville area who qualify for subsidized care receive service. • 94% of the Early/Head Start Grantee (KVCAP) 2007/08 clientele had household incomes at or below federal poverty level (FPL); the remaining 6% were below 135% of the FPL.

    8. Employee Childcare Survey 2006/2007 Age of child/renin need of care (Rates include more than one child served in some families) • 92.4% 0-18 months • 88.1% 18 months to age 3 • 79.4% 3-5 • 65.9% Concerned about Quality (The survey included 424 respondents from twenty (20) small, medium and large employers in the greater Waterville Area.) AND • Waterville Public Schools Reports: Only 25% (32 children of the 128) kindergarteners have the opportunity to attend quality care and education preschool programming.

    9. George Mitchell Elementary School School-Readiness • 64% of the 625 students enrolled at GJMS receive free or reduced lunch. • 67% of the kindergarten students come from low income families. • 48% of 128 students recently screened for kindergarten scored below the norms that lead to successful transition into public school. • 45% of the class was at risk of reading failure. • Language skills for all populations have decreased by 22% over the past 3 years. • The 2007/08 Maine Education Assessments in Grade 3 revealed that 48% of all students (60% of students from low income families) did not meet reading standards and 34% of all students (45% of students from low income families) did not meet math standards.

    10. The Place • Approx. 40,000 sq. ft state-of-the-art, “green” facility located next to George Mitchell Elementary School • Five Acres (DEP approved) • Facility will be designed by national architect firm experienced in early childhood facilities and space development with a local Maine contractor • Estimated cost of facility is $8-$10 million

    11. Building directly next door to the George J. Mitchell Elementary School providing a seamless transition between educational homes to better transition the young learners and their parents. Educare Site LocationGeorge J. Mitchell School Land

    12. Educare is… A Partnership… …between the school district, Head Start, community-based agencies, and private philanthropy …bound by contract committing to joint governance and long-term support …with a vision to better prepare disadvantaged children to succeed in school and in life.

    13. The Partnership Anchor philanthropist: Bill & Joan Alfond Foundation • Provides $2 million challenge to Maine’s private sector for a $4 million match • Helps in the capital campaign to build the Center • Encourages the private sector to invest in the Educare project • Shares governance with other partners

    14. Public Partners Waterville Public School provides operating dollars and support with existing education dollars, shares governance Head Start/KVCAP Provides Head Start/Early Head Start slots to Educare and applies for new slots if available; works to implement the core quality components of the Educare model and shares governance

    15. Educare “Central” Maine Governance • Partners will form a separate non-profit LLC for fiscal and facilities management and program oversight • Strengthen Community/School Fiscal partnership and planning through Educare Board and Advisory Committee • Establish committees to provide leadership in finance, marketing/collaboration, and staffing/quality standards

    16. Governance Role • Monitoring program implementation and financial status; • Review and oversee evaluation/outcome/accountability for reporting; assisting in securing resources; • Reviewing staff, parent and community recommendations; • Garnering community input and broad parent/community participation and voice; • Reviewing policies and procedures; • Developing strategic planning and position statements; • Providing State of Maine with feedback/information to inform State policy; • Attending community forums upon request; and • Establish function/impasse procedures with the WPS and KVCAP boards and staff; • Hire staff and manage human resources; • Mentor new and emerging Educare partnerships statewide.

    17. Educare Advisory Committee Greater Waterville Alliance on Early Care and Learning • Mike Roy, Waterville City Administrator – State and federal grants for capital and land-use/development process • Martha Naber, Kennebec Valley Community College – Early Childhood Faculty/Teaching Lab lead • Ray Nagel, Dick Farnsworth, Woodfords Family Services – Serving children with Autism • Liz Keach, Project Peds/CDS – Provides funding/expertise for special needs children • Tina Chapman, United Way of Mid-Maine – Community leadership • Kathleen Kenney, Waterville Public Library – Family Literacy Partner • Greater Waterville Communities for Children/Youth Coalition – Partner for resource development and outreach • John Salvato, M.D. for Inside Out Playground – Providing expertise on developmental play

    18. Educare is… A Program… …for children to experience, learn and grow in a nurturing, research-based educational environment with highly-qualified staff …preparing children to enter kindergarten engaged, healthy, and socially and emotionally ready to succeed …where families are valued and given the information and support they need to help their children succeed in education and life.

    19. The Program • will serve as a state-of-the-art professional development and resource center for child care professionals across the state, as well as a teaching lab for students seeking an early childhood degree in Maine • supporting parents and caregivers are essential partners in preparing children for school • will support parents and caregivers with education and comprehensive supports to improve health, self-sufficiency and long-term parent and child well-being and success.

    20. Quality Staffing • Three supervisors with master's degrees; • Twelve lead teachers with bachelor's degrees in early-childhood development; • Two-dozen assistant teachers with either bachelor's or associate's degrees in the same discipline; • 2-3 Family Support Workers; and • Total of 54 employees

    21. The Program Core Features “Ingredients” Core Feature 1: Use Research-Based Practices and Strategies Core Feature 2: Implement Reflective Supervision and Practice Core Feature 3: Maintain Small Class Size and High Staff/Child Ratios

    22. Core Features (cont’d) “Ingredients” Core Feature 4: Maintain High Staff qualifications and Provide Intensive Professional Development Core Feature 5: Offer Family Support Services On-Site to Support Parents in Promoting Healthy Child Development Core Feature 6: Implement an Interdisciplinary Approach

    23. Core Features (Cont’d) “Ingredients” Core Feature 7: Emphasize Children’s Social-Emotional Development Core Feature 8: Provide an Enhanced Focus on Language and Literacy Core Feature 9: Integrate the Arts into the Early Childhood Program Core Feature 10: Emphasize Prenatal Services

    24. Educare will… …using existing resources creatively to better serve families in need of multiple supports that lead to self-sufficiency and family strengthening

    25. Educarerevenue streams are… …for programming that come from existing funding sources (local, state, and federal) …reorganized and maximized to allow for seamless services to children and their families while ensuring critical transitions into kindergarten …NOT impacting local taxpayers

    26. Revenue Streams • Early/Head Start (state/federal) • Waterville Public School Title I Earmark (state/federal) • Maine Dept of Education’s Child Development Services funds • USDA Food (To off-set staff expense) • Medicaid • Maine Dept of Health and Human Services Childcare funds • Parent Co-Pay based on income levels • Private Pay • Space Rentals (Teaching Lab with KVCC) • Other: Grants through foundations and Development Block Grants

    27. Educare Maine Waterville Budget to Serve 166-200 Children and their Families • Revenue $2,514,092 • Expenses $2,827,436 • 6-10% Quality Gap • $100,000-$250,000 • (Seeking Endowment to off-set Quality Gap)

    28. Educare is… an Opportunity • to make significant impact on the lives of the most vulnerable in our community; • to mentor other communities on advancing quality, research-based early childhood education through rigorous evaluation; and • to serve as a PLATFORM for policy change in Maine and nationally.

    29. The opportunityfor community partners to contribute towards shared goals in education • Waterville Public Schools will provide staffing for child nutrition/meals at no cost and existing Title I support; • KVCAP will provide staff support for disabilities, education, health/nutrition, and family/parent support at no cost; • Woodfords will provide a one-on-one aid for children with Autism;

    30. The opportunity for community partners tocontribute towards shared goals in education • Kennebec Valley Community College and the Resource Development Center will provide professional development onsite training at no cost; • Greater Waterville’s C4CY Coalition will provide resource development support through grant-writing and outreach; • The City to be a statewide leader in economic development by supporting Educare partnership to reduce taxpayer costs towards special education

    31. Ribbon-Cutting 2010 Plan • Secure $2-$4 million to match Alfond contribution • (depending on grants and final building costs) • Build an Early Childhood Endowment: • endowment to support the first Educare center’s “quality gap” • Support other unmet early childhood systems needs that emerge from the Children’s Growth Council and Business Round Table’s recommendations to include replicating Educare

    32. 32 Research and the EducareModel Ounce of Prevention Fund www.ounceofprevention.org May 2008

    33. 33 The Challenge Children from low-income, multi-stressed environments start school far behind their more advantaged peers. They are… Typically between 15 -18 points behind their peers in early reading and math skills, specifically less likely to know their letters, numbers, and other pre-academic concepts More likely to have smaller vocabularies More likely to have social-emotional difficulties Ounce of Prevention Fund www.ounceofprevention.org May 2008

    34. Important Connections are Made Prior to School-Entry 90% of brain growth occurs before kindergarten Newborn brain size compared to that of a 6-year-old brain Newborn neural networks compared to networks of a 6-year-old Source: Paul Lombroso, “Development of the cerebral cortex. VI. Growth Factors I.” Journal of the American Academy of child and Adolescent Psychiatry 37(6): 674-675, 1998.

    35. 35 Striking Differences in Early Language Experience Scientific evidence confirms that how much parents and caregivers talk to their children is critically important to language development. Children who hear fewer words in the first three years of life have dramatically smaller vocabularies than children who have richer early language experiences. 11 Million: Number of words a high-income child hears in a year 6 Million: Number of words a working-class child hears in a year 3 Million: Number of words a very low-income child hears in a year From “Meaningful Differences”; Hart & Risley Ounce of Prevention Fund www.ounceofprevention.org May 2008

    36. 36 When low-income children begin kindergarten, they are already far behind Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Kindergarten Cohort (ECLS-K) SES Differences: Effect sizes (compared to middle class) Focus on the 0 line running across the middle of the box. If a child lands above that line, her math and reading skills are average or higher. If she is below, she is average or below. This illustrates the achievement gap: Those on top of the line - the green and grey - are higher income; those below the line are lower income. And the poorer a child is, the further she is from average math and reading skills. The richer she is, the higher above average she is. There’s the gap – at kindergarten entry. Ounce of Prevention Fund www.ounceofprevention.org May 2008

    37. 37 Disparities in Exposure to Words • Professional class parents directed more than 3 times as many words per hour to their children than did very low income parents Words per hour to the child (ages 10-36 months) From “Meaningful Differences”; Hart & Risley Ounce of Prevention Fund www.ounceofprevention.org May 2008

    38. 38 The Good News: The Predictive Power of Early Language Experience “Meaningful Differences,” Hart & Risley This study demonstrated that the quantity and quality of a child’s early language experiences (from age 10 months to 3 years) actually are more predictive of his or her language-related achievement through 3rd grade than is their parent’s socioeconomic status. Ounce of Prevention Fund www.ounceofprevention.org May 2008

    39. 39 Social-Emotional Competence and Later School & Life Success Children are best able to succeed in kindergarten and elementary school if they enter school with social-emotional-behavioral competence: Able to attach to others To relate to, trust and join their attention with adults and peers Able to self-regulate To manage and regulate negative emotions in appropriate ways Able to take the initiative in their environments Perceiving of themselves as competent learners Ounce of Prevention Fund www.ounceofprevention.org May 2008

    40. 40 Social-Emotional Competence and Later School & Life Success (cont’d) Healthy social-emotional development often makes the difference between a child who is able to make significant academic progress in grades K-3, and a child who continues to struggle. Kindergarten teachers point to social-emotional competence as being the most important part of school readiness and the number one reason for recommending kindergarten grade retention. Ounce of Prevention Fund www.ounceofprevention.org May 2008

    41. 41 What Matters in the Early Social-Emotional Experience? Up to 50% of families living in poverty have children with less than secure attachments (vs. 30% of all families) Stressors may lead to less secure attachments Stress interferes with healthy child development in all domains and thus, a child’s ability to learn High quality child care is an effective intervention for distressed and/or disorganized families Ounce of Prevention Fund www.ounceofprevention.org May 2008

    42. 42 Syracuse Univ. Family Development Research Program • Longitudinal study of full-time care, beginning in infancy, which included parent involvement & weekly home visits • The curriculum was socially-focused; not much emphasis on cognitive and language development • Positive outcomes for social functioning: • Dramatic reduction in juvenile offenses • Improved family functioning through the teen years Lally, Ron. et al "The Syracuse University Family Development Research Program: Long-Range Impact on an Early Intervention with Low-Income Children and Their Families," in D. R. Powell and I. E. Sigel, 1988.  Ounce of Prevention Fund www.ounceofprevention.org May 2008

    43. Failure to Invest in High Quality Early Care and Education Results in: Increased Special Education Costs in Maine $300 million annually Increased Substance Abuse Costs in Maine $800 million annually Increased Domestic Violence Costs in Maine $1.2 billion annually Increased Criminal Justice System Costs in Maine Keeping one teen out of prison saves $1.7--$2.3 million over a lifetime

    44. 44 Perry Preschool Study Two years of very high-quality preschool and weekly home visits for disadvantaged children in Michigan – mid 60’s Children followed through age 27 Benefits found: Higher achievement through age 14 and improved literacy at 19 At 14, only 15% of program group scored below the 10th percentile in achievement tests, compared to 49% of control Less grade retention and special education placement Schweinhart, L.J., Montie, J., Xiang, Z., Barnett, W.S., Belfield, C.R. & Nores, M.  (2005) “Lifetime Effects: The High/Scope Perry Preschool study through age 40.” http://www.highscope.org Ounce of Prevention Fund www.ounceofprevention.org May 2008

    45. Early Educare Successes Early evaluation of Educare programs provide inspiration for investment

    46. Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test PPVT Vocabulary:Preschool children begin the year with vocabulary scores in the low-average range. By the end of the year, on average, children have vocabulary scores in the average range, with kindergarten bound children achieving the highest average mean score.

    47. Promising Early Returns: PALS Early Literacy:Kindergarten bound children leave Educare with specific early literacy skills that meet or exceed expected developmental ranges including the more difficult skill areas dependent on good auditory processing capacity of letter sounds, beginning sounds and rhyme awareness.

    48. Promising Early Returns: Bracken School Readiness: Nearly 100% of kindergarten-bound children leave Educare with school readiness cluster scores that meet or exceed expected levels, especially in the areas of letters, colors, and numbers.