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Early Childhood Education Positions

 

The Alabama Partnership for Children (APC), the state-level nonprofit agency focused on young children and their families, has multiple openings in exciting new programs to support high-quality child care and children’s early literacy. Entry-level as well as program coordinator positions are available. The positions are full-time, and minimum qualifications include a Bachelor’s degree in early childhood education or a human services field, with experience in childcare/early childhood, training and professional development, and data management preferred. The APC offers an opportunity to work with multiple state agency partners, local service providers, parents/families, and advocates to deliver high-quality programs and services that promote young children’s optimum development. Full-time positions include 100% coverage of health and dental insurance, and a retirement plan is available after one year of successful employment. The agency observes state and federal holidays and has generous annual and sick leave policies. Highly organized and dedicated candidates with a strong work ethic who want to work with a high energy group of supportive professionals in a family-friendly environment are encouraged to apply.

For consideration, please send a resume and letter of interest to:

APC Employment, 2595 Bell Road, Montgomery, AL  36117, or email info@smartstartalabama.org with the subject “Employment”.

EOE M/V/F/D

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Blueprint for Strong Families, School Readiness, and Prosperity Materials Released

 

This 2018 election cycle is important, as all of our state’s administrative offices and up to one-third of our state legislature are up for election. From the Governor’s office down through many county and city officials, we want investments in young children and families to be a primary focus of those in leadership roles. Research proves that early investments pay huge dividends for years to come in better child and adult outcomes. Our message is to “invest in success, rather than paying for failure”.

Most of the concerns our state faces have their roots in early childhood when 90% of the brain is developed and when the potential for building a strong body, mind, and spirit are optimal. Our focus on building and strengthening families is a critical basis on which everything else is built; young children’s health (physical and mental) is a predictor of adult health and well-being outcomes; and high quality early learning experiences are the only proven way to bridge the wide gaps and disparities between what young children know and are prepared to do when they enter school.

Through the Blueprint for Zero to Five framework, a statewide advisory council studies the best data available on Alabama’s young children, examines best practices and successful programs, and establishes priorities for collectively working to improve the well-being of our youngest citizens. These priorities and the group’s recommended investments are included in the Blueprint for Strong Families, School Readiness, and Prosperity found at: http://www.smartstartalabama.org/about/zero-to-five/. We have also included some potential questions you might ask state and local candidates for public office. Your voice matters, and we hope you will promote what we believe are the investments needed to improve our state’s future. If you would like printed copies in folders to share with state and community leaders, groups in your community, or others who might promote our messages, please call 1-866-711-4025 or email info@smartstartalabama.org.

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New Federal Report Endorses National Help Me Grow Model Already Existing in Alabama

 

A new joint policy statement, released by the U.S. Departments of Education and Health and Human Services, includes a recommendation for states to adopt a centralized intake, screening and referral process, specifically naming Help Me Grow® as an effective strategy, a national model from Connecticut Children’s Medical Center up and running in Alabama.

The report, which encourages greater collaboration between federal home visiting programs and federally-required state early intervention programs, notes that Help Me Grow® is a “non-federal system that assists states in identifying children at risk for developmental and behavioral concerns and then helps families find community-based programs and services. Help Me Grow is a system that helps to build collaboration across sectors, including health care, early care and education, and family support.”

Help Me Grow Alabama is a program of the Alabama Partnership for Children as an affiliate of the Help Me Grow National NetworkHelp Me Grow Alabama expanded statewide in 2016 and currently serves all 67 counties in the state through funding from the Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education through the Preschool Development Grant, the Alabama Department of Human Resources, and the Alabama Department of Mental Health through a Project LAUNCH Grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Association. Now, every family in Alabama is able to dial 2-1-1, ask for Help Me Grow Alabama and  speak with a care coordinator who will answer questions, connect them to services, follow up to ensure a connection is made and enroll them in developmental surveillance if interested. The United Way’s 2-1-1 Connects Alabama is a statewide network of regional call centers that provide free easy access to health and human services available throughout Alabama.

“Help Me Grow is a system model that provides a framework for ensuring all children and their families are linked to the services and supports needed to thrive,” said Kimberly Martini-Carvell, executive director of the Help Me Grow National Center. “This policy statement endorses that screening should not happen independent of an integrated system of care that has a strong ability to link children and families to effective services.”

Nearly one-third of Alabama parents say they have a concern about their child’s health or development. Help Me Grow Alabama provides the critical service of identifying concerns early when interventions are less costly and more effective. Health care and early learning providers also use Help Me Grow Alabama to refer families for additional assistance and developmental screenings.

“Alabama was an early adopter of this simple and effective model for identifying and addressing developmental concerns early in a child’s life. As the evidence emerges, Help Me Grow is now identified as an effective and cost-efficient program as indicated by this endorsement from the Departments of Education and Health and Human Services. Working with our state’s 2-1-1 Network and other local and regional partners, our relatively small investment results in huge cost savings and better developmental outcomes for young children in Alabama. That’s a win-win for all,” according to Gail Piggott, executive director, Alabama Partnership for Children.

More information about Help Me Grow Alabama can be viewed here: http://www.helpmegrowalabama.org.

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APC Receives $600,000 Grant to Increase Access to Quality Child Care Statewide

 

The Alabama Partnership for Children has been awarded a $600,000 grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to increase access to quality early care and education programs statewide by educating parents, child care providers and the community about the benefits of regulated child care. The grant will support the Alabama Partnership for Children’s work of promoting public awareness through the Don’t Be In The Dark About Child Care campaign and implementing a technical assistance program to support license-exempt child care centers in obtaining a license from the Alabama Department of Human Resources (DHR).

Due to state legislation enacted in 1984, Alabama is one of the few states that allows certain child care centers to legally operate exempt from a license or inspection for minimum health and safety standards. In recent years, the number of licensed child care centers has continued to decline while the number of license-exempt child care centers has continued to increase. According to the 2016 Alabama Kids Count Data Book published by VOICES for Alabama’s Children, there are currently 1,009 licensed and 942 license-exempt child care centers in operation.

“Far too many Alabama children, including a disproportionate share of low-income children, are enrolled in unregulated child care, but a more alarming truth is that parents are completely unaware. There is an assumption and false assurance that child care programs legally operating have been inspected and are monitored,” said Gail Piggott, executive director of the Alabama Partnership for Children.

Don’t Be In The Dark About Child Care, a partnership campaign of the Alabama Partnership for Children and VOICES for Alabama’s Children promotes public awareness about the threat of unregulated child care to the health and safety of Alabama’s youngest, most vulnerable population. The campaign primarily provides information and resources to parents and families as child care consumers, but it also promotes a broader understanding among the general population about the deficiency in the quality of Alabama’s early care and education system.

A fundamental component of the Alabama Partnership for Children’s work will include providing a technical assistance program to assist license-exempt child care centers in meeting minimum health and safety standards and obtaining a DHR license. “As Alabama parents become more aware about the concerns of unregulated child care, they are making more informed decisions on the child care they choose, and we hope license-exempt programs see this as encouragement to obtain a license and ensure they’re meeting basic health and safety standards,” said Piggott.

According to DHR’s Subsidized Child Care Statistics, there is a current shortage of infant and toddler child care options. The Alabama Partnership for Children’s technical assistance program will focus on supporting existing license-exempt child care centers in order to begin building the supply of quality child care available to working families.

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation funding prioritizes efforts to increase the number of licensed and inspected child care as a necessary step in improving the overall quality of Alabama’s early care and education system. The Alabama Partnership for Children’s work supported by this two-year grant begins January 2017.

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Grantees Receive Grant Funds totaling $1,094,110

The Alabama Department of Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention/Children’s Trust Fund presented grant awards to eleven nonprofits in the 2nd Congressional District, representing $1,094,110 in grant funding. The agencies will use grant funds on evidence-based community programs committed to the prevention of child maltreatment.

Grant recipients included:

  • Aid to Inmate Mothers
  • Alabama Parent Education Center
  • Alabama Partnership for Children
  • Elmore County Office of the Alabama Cooperative Extension System
  • Family Guidance Center of Alabama
  • Family Support Center
  • Gift of Life Foundation
  • Healthy Kids
  • Family Sunshine Center (Montgomery Area Family Violence Program)
  • Second Chance Foundation
  • United Cerebral Palsy of Mobile and Central Alabama

These agencies will focus on programs such as Strengthening Families, Baby Talk, Nurse Family Partnerships, Child Safety Advocacy, Love Me Don’t Hurt Me, Aid to Inmate Mothers, Dedicated Dads, HEARTS Respite Replication Project, Life Skills, Parents As Teachers, and Parent Education and Support.

The Alabama Department of Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention (ADCANP) secures resources to fund evidence-based community programs committed to the prevention of child maltreatment and advocates for children and the strengthening of families.

The Alabama Partnership for Children is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization committed to enhancing the quality of life for Alabama’s children from birth to 5 years of age. This public-private partnership focuses on finding ways to use the state’s limited resources most efficiently to ensure that every Alabama child will have an opportunity to succeed in life. For more information, contact the Alabama Partnership for Children, toll-free, 1.866.711.4025.

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Help Me Grow Services Expand to Families Statewide

Help Me Grow Alabama is partnering with 2-1-1 call centers statewide, allowing every Alabama family the opportunity to make confidential calls regarding their child’s developmental or behavioral concerns. The Alabama Partnership for Children became a licensed affiliate of the Help Me Grow National Network in 2011 to implement this proven model supporting children’s optimal development by linking families to community-based programs and services.

With new funding from the Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education, Help Me Grow Alabama is expanding to the nine 2-1-1 regions serving all 67 counties in the state. The United Way’s 2-1-1 Connects Alabama is a statewide network of regional call centers that provide free easy access to health and human services available throughout Alabama.

“Once implemented, every family in Alabama will be able to dial 2-1-1, ask for Help Me Grow Alabama and  speak with a care coordinator who will answer questions, connect them to services, follow up to ensure a connection is made and enroll them in developmental surveillance if interested” said Katie Naman, Help Me Grow Alabama Coordinator.

Nearly one-third of Alabama parents say they have a concern about their child’s health or development. Help Me Grow Alabama provides the critical service of identifying concerns early when interventions are less costly and more effective.  Health care and early learning providers also use Help Me Grow Alabama to refer families for additional assistance and developmental screenings.

Help Me Grow Alabama was originally launched through the United Way of Central Alabama’s 2-1-1 call center with funds from the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham. In 2014, Project LAUNCH provided additional funding to include The University of Alabama’s Child Development Resources Parenting Assistance Line and expand services to a total of 14 counties.

“We will be moving quickly in each new region, and we thank the pioneers in Central and West Alabama who have laid the foundation for us to follow” said Gail Piggott, executive director of the Alabama Partnership for Children.
In the coming months, the Alabama Partnership for Children and 2-1-1 Connects Alabama will begin hiring and training seven care coordinators to serve all nine 2-1-1 regions. The expansion includes the following 2-1-1 regions: 2-1-1 Information and Referral of North West Alabama in Florence, 2-1-1 HELPline in Huntsville, 2-1-1 First Call for Help in Gadsden, 2-1-1 Connects South Central Alabama in Montgomery, United Way 2-1-1 Community Connections in Auburn, United Way of Southwest Alabama in Mobile and Wiregrass United Way 2-1-1 in Dothan.

More information about Help Me Grow Alabama can be viewed here: http://www.smartstartalabama.org/programs/?pageID=51

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Alabama Project LAUNCH PDI and Summit Presentations and Handouts

Alabama Project LAUNCH
Professional Development Institute
Strengthening Adult Capacities to Ensure
Children’s Optimal Development
May 3, 2016
Presentations and Handouts

Infant/Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation Services

Presenter:  Dallas Rabig, LPC
Infant/Early Childhood Mental Health Consultant (I/ECMHC), Alabama Project LAUNCH


After the ASQ (Ages and Stages Questionnaire): Tools for Parents and Providers

Presenters:
Katie Naman
Help Me Grow AL Director
Jackie Navidad
Help Me Grow AL Professional Development Coordinator
Arkeisha Thomas
Help Me Grow AL Care Coordinator/Tuscaloosa


Reflective Practice – Relationship-Based Work

Presenter:  Dr. Sherry Heller
Associate Professor, Tulane University Institute of Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health


Alabama Project LAUNCH Summit:
Strengthening Adult Capacities to Ensure Children’s Optimal Development
May 4, 2016
Presentations and Handouts

Home Visiting and Early Childhood Systems:  Working Together for Our Future

Presenter:  David Willis, M.D., FAAP
Director, Division of Home Visiting and Early Childhood Systems, Maternal and Child Health Bureau, Health Resources and Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services


Building the Business Case for Investing in Young Children 

Presenter:  Nancy Fishman, M.S.
Deputy Director, ReadyNation/Council for a Strong America


Detecting and Buffering Toxic Stress Through Early Relationships

Presenter:  Jessica Richards, M.S., M.S.W., L.C.S.W.
Psychotherapist in Private Practice

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Home Visiting Advocacy Materials

The Alabama Partnership for Children (APC), with funding from the Alliance for Early Success, is creating opportunities to promote expansion and enhancement of Home Visiting (HV) services in Alabama, in coordination with the Departments of Early Childhood Education and Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention. Through engagement and guidance from the Home Visiting Advisory Board, the APC has prioritized education and advocacy about the needs and concerns of very young children in order to work towards a cohesive message about the importance of Home Visiting for all of Alabama’s children and families. Thus far, the work has resulted in the following resources:

The APC does not provide direct Home Visiting services, but by working with providers of the programs, as well as the agencies that support these programs and the communities and families that receive the services, the APC is linking stakeholders across the state to give Home Visiting a unified voice to better serve children and families and to emphasize the important and unique place for Home Visiting in the early education system.

For more information on the APC’s Home Visiting Advocacy work, contact Gail Piggott by email at gpiggott@smartstartalabama.org or by phone at 1-866-711-4025.

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Young Child Wellness Expert Position Announcement

The Alabama Partnership for Children (APC), the state-level nonprofit agency focused on young children and their families, has an opening for a Young Child Wellness Expert (YCWE). Through a SAMHSA Project LAUNCH (Linking Actions for Unmet Needs in Children’s Health) grant, the AL Departments of Mental Health and Public Health are coordinating the initiative in partnership with the APC. The YCWE is a full-time (40 hours/week) position at the APC in Montgomery and will have primary responsibility for all state LAUNCH functions, as well as provide support to local LAUNCH partners in Tuscaloosa. With the LAUNCH staff, primary responsibilities include developing and managing the statewide advisory council, providing administrative and managerial oversight for partner contracts and services, managing an environmental scan, evaluation plan, strategic plan and related actions. YCWE will have primary responsibility for program development, implementation, and grant reporting. Minimum qualifications include a Master’s degree and a mix of experience in early childhood, mental health, health, systems development, and program administration. For consideration, please send a resume by email to kcurlee@smartstartalabama.org or by mail to APC Employment, 2529 Bell Road, Montgomery, AL 36117 by January 10, 2017.
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Early Care and Education Industry Contributes $1.03 Billion Impact, More than 24,000 Jobs in Alabama

MONTGOMERY – A new report released today by the Alabama Partnership for Children (APC), in partnership with Auburn University at Montgomery (AUM), demonstrates that the early care and education industry has a $1.03 billion impact on our state’s economy and is responsible for an average of 24,717 full time equivalent jobs. These findings, which were presented today at AUM, not only demonstrate that the ECE industry in Alabama is a critical sector of our economy in terms of its economic weight, but also its social influence.
This summer, the Alabama Partnership for Children commissioned AUM and M. Keivan Deravi, Ph.D., to determine the economic impact of the Early Care and Education industry on the economy of the state of Alabama.  Statistics presented in the report included licensed and exempt child care centers, family child care homes and group homes, state Pre-K and Head Start.  The APC commissioned this report to help determine the economic magnitude of the early care and education industry, and what its condition means to the economic well being of the state.

“We have known for years what young children need to develop optimally, but we have not fully understood how critical the early care and education industry is to our state’s economy”, said Gail Piggott, executive director of the Alabama Partnership for Children. “Not only do these programs provide employment in small businesses across the state, but they enable parents to go to work each day. In our state, 65 percent of children under the age of six have all parents in the workforce.  Comprehensive early care and education also lays the groundwork for Alabama’s future workforce, by preparing upcoming generations for school and work success.”

In terms of the early care and education industry’s social influence, M. Keivan Deravi, Ph.D, professor of economics at Auburn University at Montgomery and the economic assessment report’s author, notes the “unique feature of the early care and education industry is its potential for creating an enormous and long-lasting social economic benefit for society, at large. A well-funded and well-staffed comprehensive early childhood education program can produce significant positive externalities.”

The Alabama Partnership for Children has been the state’s leading voice for early care and education for over 12 years.  It strongly believes that it is important to support strengthening public investment in quality licensed early care and education, and encourages Alabamians to:

  • Learn more at www.alabamachildcarefacts.org
  • Support efforts to expand First Class Pre-K to more children in our state.
  • Establish and support the Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS) across the state. QRIS provides early care and education facilities with programmatic, professional development and financial supports.  The system also provides parents with a framework to evaluate potential ECE facilities to make the best decision for their family.
  • Advocate that all early care and education programs are inspected for basic health and safety standards.

Click here to view PDF version of the full report: Economic Impact of the Early Care and Education Industry on the Economy of the State of Alabama.

Click here to view the Executive Summary.

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