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Financing Strategies and Collaborative Funding for Inclusive Programs

Topic Editor: Debbie Cate, Katy McCullough

debbie.cate@unc.edu katy.mccullough@unc.edu

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.


Preschool Inclusion Finance Toolkit 2018

ECTA’s 2018 update of the finance toolkit contains more details and examples of funding requirements and strategies that promote early childhood inclusion.


Inclusion of Children with Disabilities in Early Childhood Programs (2019)

This brief, 2-page document describes the legal foundations of serving young children with disabilities in inclusive early care and education programs and how those settings are determined. The document also provides links to federal and technical assistance center resources on early childhood inclusion.

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Photograph: Two preschool-aged children on a grassy space playing with a ball

Planning Tools and Self-Assessments

Fiscal Management Checklist for Partnerships (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)

Developed by NECTAC for Section 619 Coordinators, LEA program staff, community partners and early childhood TA providers.


Putting it Together: A Guide to Funding Comprehensive Services in Child Care and Early Education (2012)

This tool from 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 2012 presentation on the guide.


Follow the Money: A Tool for Mapping Funds for Out-of-School Time Initiatives (2009)

Includes the steps to take in fiscal mapping for collaboration and sustainability.


The Road to Sustainability (2002)

This 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

  • Basic Needs Assessment and Planning Resources (CCIP) (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.

Collaborative Strategies


State Example of Collaborative Strategies

Florida


Local Examples of Collaborative Strategies

Florida


Wisconsin

  • 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.

Interagency Agreements

To develop a system of collaborative services, state agencies rely on agreements between involved parties. Resources below provide specific details related to collaborative funding to promote inclusion.

State Examples of Interagency Agreements

California


New Jersey


Virginia


West Virginia

  • West Virginia Early Childhood Training Connections and Resources provides 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 Resource Sharing (2011) which includes sample charts for articulating resources to be shared, with or without cost delineation, by each participating agency.

Wisconsin


Local Examples 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

U.S. Department of Education’s Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) website provides 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.

See also: Part B 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.


Side-by-Side Comparison of Federal and State Requirements for Early Childhood Education Services (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.


Financing a Birth to Five Program: The Appleton Area School District Model (2011)

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.


Grants.gov

This centralized location allows grant seekers to find and apply for federal funding opportunities. The system currently houses information on over 1,000 grant programs for federal grant-making agencies.


Funding the Future: States' Approaches to Pre-K Finance, 2008 Update (2008)

This Pre-K 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.


Adding It Up: A Rationale for Mapping Public Resources for Children, Youth, and Families (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, this Adding it Up Brochure is a 2-page fiscal mapping brochure.


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 (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.