Improving Systems, Practices and Outcomes

Financing Strategies and Collaborative Funding

Funding Sources: Supporting Young Children with Disabilities
figure: Funding Sources: Supporting Young Children with Disabilities
Excerpt from Preschool Inclusion Finance Toolkit (2017)

Many collaborative strategies, sample interagency agreements, planning tools, and funding sources exist to assist states and communities in providing inclusive preschool special education services. Additional information related to financing IDEA Part C and Section 619 services can be found on the ECTA Center's topic page on Finance.

Planning Tools and Self-Assessments

PDF: Fiscal Management Checklist for Partnerships (Early Head Start - Child Care Partnership, 2014) - focuses on the fiscal aspects of early education partnerships including: funding sources, braided funding, fiscal agreements and fiscal reporting.

Considerations for Making Finance Decisions to Promote Preschool Inclusion (2012) - a tool kit developed by NECTAC for Section 619 Coordinators, LEA program staff, community partners and early childhood TA providers.

PDF: Putting it Together: A Guide to Funding Comprehensive Services in Child Care and Early Education (2012) by Christine Johnson-Staub of CLASP helps states look beyond major sources of child care and early education funding and consider alternative federal financing sources to bring comprehensive services into early childhood settings. CLASP has also made available a PDF PowerPoint presentation on the guide, which originally aired on September 6, 2012.

PDF: Follow the Money: A Tool for Mapping Funds for Out-of-School Time Initiatives (November, 2009) - includes the steps to take in fiscal mapping for collaboration and sustainability.

PDF: The Road to Sustainability (2002) - a guide from the National Center for Community Education in collaboration with the Afterschool Alliance that provides worksheets and information for building partnerships. (See: pages 2-11)

State Examples of Planning Tools and Self-Assessments

Ohio

WWW: Basic Needs Assessment and Planning Resources (CCIP) (revised, 2009) This Ohio Department of Education document includes resources to use in doing a district/agency needs assessment and plan for the Comprehensive Continuous Improvement Plan (CCIP) such as: 1) a link to a step-by-step needs assessment process with many resources, 2) a list of the current federal/AYP goals, 3) a list of basic data analysis questions, 4) a matrix of CCIP plan requirements, and 5) a list of all the prewritten strategies available in the CCIP.

Wisconsin

Preschool Service Options Considered in Wisconsin (2011-2012) developed by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction was designed for use in gathering data about current placement options and considering ways to increase the number of available placement options in your State.

Definitions of Preschool Options (2011-2012) accompanies the document above and provides definitions for terms references in the description considerations.

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Collaborative Strategies

PDF: Improving Public Financing for Early Learning Programs (2011) - NIEER Policy Brief, W. Barnett, W.S. and Hustedt, J.T. This National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) policy brief examines sources and models of public financing of early care and education to increasing program access and quality.

Selected Resources on Financing Early Childhood Systems to Support Inclusive Options for Young Children with Disabilities (Revised, December 2005) NECTAC Minibibliography

WWW: Spending Smarter: A Funding Guide for Policymakers and Advocates to Promote Social and Emotional Health and School Readiness (2005) by the National Center for Children in Poverty (NCCP) is designed to help state legislators, agency officials, local leaders, families, and other advocates think strategically and meet the challenge of utilizing existing funding streams to promote the social and emotional health and school readiness of young children. An executive summary and full text are available.

Blending and Braiding Funds to Support Early Care and Education Initiatives (2003). This Finance Project strategy brief highlights the successes and lessons learned in blending early childhood funding streams. See p. 6 and pp. 11-16 for information related to formalized agreements.

PDF: Financing Universal Pre-Kindergarten: Possibilities and Technical Issues for States in Using Funds Under the Child Care and Development Fund and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Block Grant (Revised 2003) by the Center on Law and Social Policy (CLASP), is a summary of how Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) and the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Block Grant funding streams may provide additional support for universal prekindergarten, child care, and early education initiatives.

DOC: Finance Reform: Visioning a New Approach to ECE Finance (2002). This paper accompanies the "We Don't Just Need More Money..." PowerPoint presentation, and summarizes a speech given by Louise Stoney at the Maine Head Start Director's Retreat in September 2002.

Fiscal Management Checklist for Partnerships (2002) by Quality in Linking Together Early Education Partnerships (QUILT), a project previously funded by the National Child Care Information and Technical Assistance Center (NCCIC) focuses on the fiscal aspects of early education partnerships including; funding sources, braided funding, fiscal agreements and fiscal reporting.

The Road to Sustainability (2002). This guide by the National Center for Community Education in collaboration with the Afterschool Alliance provides worksheets and information for building partnerships. See pp.26-33 for information related to formalized agreements.

PDF: Making Dollars Follow Sense: Financing Early Childhood Mental Health Services to Promote Healthy Social and Emotional Development in Young Children (August 2002). This National Center for Children in Poverty policy paper highlights the most innovative approaches states and communities are currently using to finance early childhood mental health services and explores what else might be done to mix, match, and leverage all available resources

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State Examples of Collaborative Strategies

Florida

Wisconsin

The Department of Public Instruction works closely with the other early childhood providers on common goals through the WWW: Wisconsin Early Childhood Collaborating Partners to assure comprehensive services for all children in Wisconsin. An example of braided funding to support professional development is available in PDF: Development of the Wisconsin Model Early Learning Standards A Historical View Focusing on the Department of Public Instruction Involvement (2005) detailing the history of implementation of the Wisconsin Model Early Learning Standards. (Specific funding streams and contributions appear on page 14.)

Local Examples of Collaborative Strategies

California

Supporting Early Education Delivery Systems (SEEDS) WWW: Spotlight on California: Creative Inclusion Program Options highlights the efforts of three Visitation Sites providing exemplary models of system change efforts to increase inclusive options for young children with disabilities in preschool programs. The stories provide a glimpse into the process by which each program generated new ideas to influence change in their communities serving young children. Although each program offers a distinct approach to increasing inclusive opportunities in their locales, there are key indicators evident across programs.

Florida

Our Journey in Funding Inclusive Child Care Programs (2011) PowerPoint presentation by the ESE Supervisor, Prekindergarten of Pinellas County Schools, Florida.

Wisconsin

pdf: Financing a Birth to Five Program: The Appleton Area School District Model (2011), by Matthews, H. This Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) paper examines one school district's use of funds from Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) to provide services for very young at-risk children, noting that Title I funds may be used for children beginning at birth and can be an important part of a comprehensive birth-five program in a community.

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Interagency Agreements

To develop a system of collaborative services, state agencies rely on agreements between involved parties. The NECTAC Webpage on Interagency Agreements contains examples of agreements between state agencies, Head Start, and others in support of young children with disabilities, and guidance on writing interagency agreements.

Resources below provide specific details related to collaborative funding to promote inclusion.

State Examples of Interagency Agreements

California

PDF: Handbook on Developing and Evaluating Interagency Collaboration in Early Childhood Special Education Programs (2007) provides specific information and resources designed for early intervention and local education agency professionals in creating and executing agreements between various agencies that will provide efficient and seamless delivery of services.

New Jersey

pdf: Preschool Education Program Contract (2011-2012). This is a standard state-approved contract for districts to use with licensed child care providers.

Virginia

PDF: Virginia Interagency Agreement for Service Delivery for Children with Disabilities and their Families (1999) between the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Administration for Children and Families, Head Start Bureau - Region III and the Migrant Branch; the Virginia Department of Education, and the Virginia Department of Mental Health/Mental Retardation/Substance Abuse Services. See p.18 for recommended practices on funding.

West Virginia

West Virginia Early Childhood Training Connections and Resources provides WWW: templates, samples and instructions for developing local early childhood interagency agreements and collaborative procedures that can be adapted as desired to meet local needs. See also their template on PDF: Resource Sharing (Posted 5/12/11 which includes sample charts for articulating resources to be shared, with or without cost delineation, by each participating agency.)

Wisconsin

PDF: Financing Approaches to 4 Year Old Kindergarten (2009), a Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction publication which highlights community approaches to providing prekindergarten. See pp. 44-78 for Interagency Agreement Templates.

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Local Example of Interagency Agreements

Texas

Northside Independent School District (NISD) of San Antonio, Texas has three separate agreements for the various inclusive placement options available for children ages 3-5 with the following: 1) NISD/Community Based Program; 2) Head Start, and 3) NISD employees which is tuition based.

Funding Streams and Accountability

A tab labeled "Grants & Funding" can be found on the WWW: U.S. Department of Education’s Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) website. There you will find information about the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) three formula grant programs authorized by the IDEA. These formula grants are awarded to states annually to support early-intervention services for infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families, preschool children ages three through five, and special education for children and youth with disabilities.

For more details on IDEA finance regulations pertaining to preschool, visit the NECTAC Web page on Section 619 Finance Regulations.

Funding Sources: Supporting Young Children with Disabilities (2011) this visual depiction of funding streams was prepared by NECTAC, and the descriptive listing, adapted from NCCIC, provides links to the primary funding sources (federal, state, local and private) that may be used in supporting high quality inclusive programs.

WWW: Side-by-Side Comparison of Federal and State Requirements for Early Childhood Education Services (March 2014) This docuoment shows key elements of Early Head Start (EHS) and Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) legislation and regulations. It can also serve as a tool for States and local organizations to enter state-specific early education program requirements. Once complete, the grid can be used as an at-a-glance resource to identify similarities and differences across regulations and funding sources, as well as a springboard for determining ways to overcome barriers to successful early education partnerships.

IDEA Finance Considerations for Braiding Funding to Promote Preschool Inclusion (2013) features selected regulatory citations from IDEA for consideration when braiding funding to promote preschool inclusion.

PDF: Financing a Birth to Five Program: The Appleton Area School District Model (2011), by Matthews, H. This Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) paper examines one school district's use of funds from Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) to provide services for very young at-risk children, noting that Title I funds may be used for children beginning at birth and can be an important part of a comprehensive birth-five program in a community.

WWW: Grants.gov is a centralized location for grant seekers to find and apply for federal funding opportunities. The Grants.gov system currently houses information on over 1,000 grant programs for federal grant-making agencies.

PDF: Funding the Future: States' Approaches to Pre-K Finance, 2008 Update (February, 2008). This PreK Now report examines the range of different financial approaches states employ, their effectiveness and sustainability, and how investments can be increased to improve pre-k quality and expand program access.

WWW: Adding It Up: A Rationale for Mapping Public Resources for Children, Youth, and Families (March, 2006) prepared by The Forum for Youth Investment and The Finance Project on the why and how of developing a resource map to develop a vision and framework for taking action. PDF: Adding it Up Brochure is a 2-page fiscal mapping brochure. (Posted 5/12/11)

PDF: Financing Universal Pre-Kindergarten: Possibilities and Technical Issues for States in Using Funds Under the Child Care and Development Fund and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Block Grant (Revised, 2003). This CLASP report summarizes what is clear and what is unclear about the extent to which each of the funding streams could be used in support of universal pre-K initiatives.

The Road to Sustainability (2002). A guide by the National Center for Community Education in collaboration with the Afterschool Alliance provides worksheets and information for building partnerships. Advocating for Support, pages 12-17 and Finding Funding, pages 18-25.

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Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center

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  • Chapel Hill, NC 27599-8040
  • phone: 919.962.2001
  • fax: 919.966.7463
  • email: ectacenter@unc.edu

The ECTA Center is a program of the FPG Child Development Institute of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, funded through cooperative agreement number H326P120002 from the Office of Special Education Programs, U.S. Department of Education. Opinions expressed herein do not necessarily represent the Department of Education's position or policy.

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