What is the Child Care Collaborative?
Great question! It’s a tricky one too because every Collaborative relationship looks different! In a nutshell, any licensed child care provider within the Anoka-Hennepin school district can submit an application for the program. The provider is then matched with a licensed Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE) teacher. The provider and the teacher work together to determine areas in which the provider would like support, more information, or resources, and then develop a plan to meet those needs.
What is the cost of these services?
There is no financial cost for the Collaborative’s services. Your investment is your time spent working with your Collaborative teacher and implementing what you’ve learned.
I am really busy. I just don’t want to take on one more thing.
We hear you. The Collaborative teacher will work with you to schedule visits that work for your schedule. Visits often take place in the morning, because they involve the children in your care. Sometimes visits will take place in the afternoon while the children are napping. Visits usually take place every two weeks, but we will create a schedule that works for you.
The Collaborative experience is designed to be a benefit, not a burden. We meet you where you are at.
What kinds of things can you do for me?
We do lots of things, but here are some common requests we hear from providers:
- I need some help with behavior management.
- What exactly do I need to do to get these kids ready for kindergarten?
- How do I get these kids to clean up?
- I need some ideas that will work for my infants and my school-age children.
- I’m burned out. I love the kids, but I feel so isolated.
- I need some ideas for teaching math skills.
What does a visit look like?
Because we can work with you on a variety of needs, the visits can vary quite a bit too. Visits are usually in person, but we can also do visits via telephone or video. Sometimes we will model a “circle time” with the children and work on some sort of lesson. Sometimes a provider would like us to observe their interactions with the group in order to get feedback or ideas. Other times we may meet over naptime to discuss different ways to assess and communicate progress to parents. We can also help you implement new strategies with your group, like ideas for transition times, introducing a calming corner, or re-teaching clean-up procedures.
I already have a licensor and Parent Aware coach, the Collaborative is just one more thing.
We are not affiliated with either of these organizations and we have no impact on your license or funding. The goal of the Collaborative is not to add paperwork or requirements; rather, we are here to help you meet the goals you have for your program.
If you are working for a Parent Aware rating already, the Collaborative could help you to meet those goals.
Sounds okay…but what’s the catch?
We don’t think there is a catch. For transparency purposes, this is what is expected of you:
- Complete an observation and/or self-assessment at the beginning and end of our time together.
- Maintain communication with your Collaborative teacher.
- Work collaboratively with the ECFE teacher.
- Make efforts to implement new strategies and resources.
- Keep your scheduled visits and communicate timely with any changes.
I’m ready to move forward, what’s my next step?