National TA Network

Download the full list of National Partners.

Alliance for Early Childhood Finance

Primary Contact(s): Louise Stoney

The Alliance for Early Childhood Finance is committed to ensuring that all American children have access to high-quality early care and education (ECE) services and the supports their families need to thrive as parents and workers. This Alliance, led by Louise Stoney, was established to address the need for deeper, more comprehensive and sophisticated exploration of ECE finance. They lead a national conversation and engage a wide range of stakeholders including: government, business, philanthropy, and ECE providers and the families they serve.

Louise is providing strategic guidance and support to interested state partners on financing supports and services to young children. She is providing TA or rapid response (RR) to state partners who have prioritized financing for the FY17 policy agenda including but not limited to: D.C., Louisiana, and Wisconsin.

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Bipartisan Policy Center

Primary Contact(s): Linda Smith

The Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) combines the best ideas from both parties to promote health, security, and opportunity for all Americans. BPC drives principled and politically viable policy solutions through the power of rigorous analysis, painstaking negotiation, and aggressive advocacy. BPC's Early Childhood Initiative, led by Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) and Representative George Miller (D-CA), is aimed at creating a more comprehensive and sustained approach to improving the quality of care for young children.

Their Early Childhood Initiative, led by Linda Smith, has supported increased funding for child care, reauthorization of the federal home visiting program, and improvements to the child tax credit. Now they seek to create a more comprehensive, integrated and sustained approach to improving the quality of care and early learning for young children across the country. In the fall, they will release a 50-state ranking of early childhood governance structures based on state efficiencies and leadership in coordinating services. They will work with state partners to communicate these findings and encourage advocacy for more coordinated governance and increased funding for early childhood programs. 

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BUILD Initiative

Primary Contact(s): Susan Hibbard

The BUILD Initiative (BUILD) supports state leaders to develop a comprehensive system of programs, policies, and services that serve the needs of young children and their families. This systems-building approach is intended to prepares young children for a successful future, while carefully using private and public resources.

BUILD assists leaders in developing policies designed to promote the early learning and development of children, and address ongoing racial, ethnic, cultural, language, and income disparities. They will continue to host the QRIS National Learning Network, providing TA, peer learning, and resources to advance high-quality, comprehensive, equitable early childhood systems. They will work with NCCP to provide individual TA in 4-6 states to reduce and ultimately prevent expulsions and suspensions in early learning programs.

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Center for Law and Social Policy

Primary Contact(s): Hannah Matthews

The Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) develops and advocates for policies that improve the lives of low-income people. They focus on strengthening families and creating pathways to education and work. Through careful research, analysis, and effective advocacy, CLASP develops and promotes new ideas, mobilizes advocates, and directly assists governments to put in place strategies that deliver results that matter.

CLASP will support state advocates and policymakers in increasing access to high-quality child care and early education for low-income children through the production and dissemination of high-quality resources and publications and the provision of expert technical assistance. They will focus on: implementation of CCDBG to benefit low-income children and families, reducing racial disparities in access to child care and early education, and safeguarding children of immigrants’ well being and access to early education.

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Center for the Study of Child Care Employment

Primary Contact(s): Lea Austin

The Center for the Study of Child Care Employment (CSCCE) is focused on achieving comprehensive public investments, which enable and reward the early childhood workforce to deliver high-quality care and education for all children. CSCCE conducts cutting-edge research on early childhood workforce, systems, and policies and proposes policy solutions aimed at improving how our nation prepares, supports and rewards the early care and education workforce to ensure young children’s optimal development.

Early educators’ skills, knowledge, and well being are inseparable from the quality of children’s early learning experiences, thus solutions that bolster educator preparation, working conditions, and compensation are critical. This year they will produce resources that help advocates and policymakers develop strategies that improve compensation and create better supports in higher education for early childhood educators. 

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Center on Enhancing Early Learning Outcomes

Primary Contact(s): Lori Connors-Tadros

The Center on Enhancing Early Learning Outcomes (CEELO) works to strengthen the capacity of State Education Agencies (SEAs) to lead sustained improvements in early learning opportunities and outcomes. CEELO works in partnership with SEAs, state and local early childhood leaders, and other federal and national technical assistance (TA) providers to promote innovation and accountability.

CEELO will develop resources to understand the costs of state infrastructure needed to implement, monitor and improve access to high quality early care and education programs. CEELO will provide resources and support to staff from selected agencies to articulate a shared vision, policy priorities, and enabling conditions to achieve equitable and sustainable results for young children. CEELO will provide capacity, expertise, and resources to the Partnership for PreK Improvement partners and states in this network.

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Center on the Developing Child, Harvard University

Primary Contact(s): Al Race

The Center on the Developing Child (The Center) drives science-based innovation that achieves breakthrough outcomes for children facing adversity. The Center designs, tests, and implements these ideas in collaboration with a broad network of research, practice, policy, community, and philanthropic leaders. The goal is transformational impacts on lifelong learning, behavior, and both physical and mental health.

The Center will develop new ways of facilitating policymakers’ application of core scientific principles in specific policy domains. Their Scientific Council will continue its investigations into the early childhood roots of lifelong disparities– with profound implications for public health policy—and begin creating a set of communication products and strategies aimed ultimately at transforming pediatric practice and a public health approach to prevention.

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Child Care Aware of America

Primary Contact(s): Michelle McCready

Child Care Aware® of America (CCA) works to advance a child care system that effectively serves all children and families. They are strengthened by a national network of members, representing child care resource and referral agencies who work collectively to promote national and state policies to improve the quality and affordability of child care.

CCA will provide in-depth assistance to Alliance partners in Louisiana and one other state in utilizing child care supply mapping to influence policy change. They will create a 1-page template for advocates that can be easily populated with county-specific information on child care and develop PowerPoint story boards and talking points for explaining data in maps.

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Child Trends

Primary Contact(s): Elizabeth Jordan

Child Trends (CT) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that provides research on a range of early childhood care and education topics, and distributes that knowledge to state and federal policymakers, practitioners, media, researchers, and funders of early care programs.

CT will continue translating rigorous early childhood research for state policymakers and advocates through innovative, engaging, and interactive formats and media. Topics will include s blog series on similarities between ECE and home visiting, ACEs screening, the early childhood workforce., and disseminating findings from the Early Childhood Data Collaborative’s 2018 50-state survey. 

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Committee for Economic Development

Primary Contact(s): Cindy Cisneros

The Committee for Economic Development of The Conference Board (CED) is a national, non-profit, non-partisan, public policy organization led by a network of business leaders. They conduct research on major economic and social issues to actively inform and engage the business community and achieves policy reform in the nation’s interest. Early childhood education has been a priority issue at CED for more than 40 years.

CED will engage business champions around a coordinated vision for high-quality early learning programs, the need for state policies and funding to result in effective practice, and the need for a high-quality and well-compensated early educator workforce across all early learning settings. They support state advocacy efforts through policy briefs, fact sheets, infographics, talking points, op-eds, podcasts, and social media. 

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Council for a Strong America

Primary Contact(s): Barry Ford

The Council for a Strong America (CSA) is a network of more than 9000 unexpected messengers who champion research-based public investments that help at-risk children succeed. They have 5 membership organizations - Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, Mission: Readiness, ReadyNation, Shepherding the Next Generation, and Champions for America's Future. 

CSA provides a compelling and powerful voice on the importance of research-based public investments for young children from birth through age 8. They mobilize law enforcement leaders, retired admirals and generals, business executives, faith leaders, and elite athletes and coaches to call for state policies that prioritize greater investments in young children. These champions garner media attention and can speak directly with state policymakers. This year we will look to engage CSA with new governors, legislators, and their staff.

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Council of Chief State School Officers

Primary Contact(s): Rolf Grafwallner

Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) builds the capacity of chief state school officers and State Education Agencies to develop, fund and improve the quality of early childhood programs and Kindergarten-3rd-grade education. Their goals are to prevent achievement gaps for low income, at-risk children and improve early learning outcomes for all children. CCSSO convenes state program managers and researchers to work on child and program quality standards, assessments, data systems, accountability, and workforce initiatives.

CCSSO will help state education agencies implement intervention strategies on chronic absenteeism by developing reports and tools for the early grades, especially the transition from kindergarten to first grade. In collaboration with CCSSO’s leadership development unit, the early learning team will help incoming chiefs identify their policy priorities for early learning and provide guidance on how to deploy their agencies' resources to advance them. CCSSO will disseminate information on essential policies and practices of teaching and learning in preK to chiefs, policymakers, and advocates. 

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Dichter Consulting

Primary Contact(s): Harriet Dichter

Harriet Dichter has extensive experience in innovation, partnership, and accountability in early childhood at the local, state, and national levels. As Pennsylvania's founding deputy secretary for the Office of Child Development and Early Learning, she gained national attention for the state's unique new solutions and partnerships. She also was the founding executive director of the Delaware Office of Early Learning, where she accelerated the pace, quality, and accountability of the state's comprehensive work in early childhood.

Harriet provides consultation to select states on using communication and research as a base for effective advocacy, early childhood systems building (e.g. governance, infrastructure, accountability), and effective interactions among advocates and inside government policymakers.

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Education Commission of the States

Primary Contact(s): Bruce Atchison

Education Commission of the States (ECS) serves as a partner to state policy makers by providing personalized support, unbiased information and opportunities for collaboration. They work with Governors, legislators, chief state school officers, state board members, higher education officials, business leaders, program administrators and teachers. ECS covers all education issues from preK through college.

ECS will help states develop and advance policies and strategies that improve K-3 instruction. They will continue to support 5 states to participate in a policy academy, while providing more assistance to help Colorado and Kentucky advance specific policy goals. ECS will track all enacted P-3 legislation and state code through their 50 state database.

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Primary Contact(s): Danielle Ewen

EducationCounsel is an education consulting firm that combines experience in policy, strategy, law, and advocacy for significant improvements in the U.S. education system. They develop and advance evidence-based ideas to strengthen educational systems and promote expanded opportunities and improved outcomes for all students from early childhood through postsecondary.

EducationCounsel is providing guidance to interested Alliance state partners on leveraging opportunities to advance early learning through the implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and the Preschool Development Grants (PDG).

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Frontera Strategy

Primary Contact(s): Jason Sabo

Jason Sabo launched Frontera Strategy to provide comprehensive policy, resource development, and outreach services for not-for-profit organizations and foundations. Frontera has a two decade-long history working in the field of early childhood advocacy, research, policy analysis and political strategy.

This year Frontera Strategy has a three-part strategy to support the work of the Alliance and Alliance partners. They will provide technical assistance (TA) as requested to: Alliance state and national partners, the Home Visiting Community of Practice managed by ZERO TO THREE, and all Alliance partners on political strategy that is allowable by nonprofit organizations and philanthropists. Frontera will also partner with TEGAC to co-facilitate the Alliance’s Philanthropy Engagement Project (PEP) to increase foundation participation and support for state level early childhood advocacy and policy.

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Georgetown University Center for Children and Families

Primary Contact(s): Elisabeth Wright Burak

The Georgetown University Center for Children and Families (GCCF) is an independent, nonpartisan policy and research center connected to the McCourt School of Public Policy‘s Health Policy Institute. They provide research, develop strategies, and offer solutions to improve the health of America’s children and families, particularly those with low and moderate incomes. 

GCCF will continue to track and analyze Medicaid/CHIP policy developments, and share updates with Alliance partners on state, federal, and administrative activities that could impact young children and their families (e.g. Medicaid cuts, ACA repeal, Medicaid waiver approvals). They will also partner with EverThrive Illinois to analyze existing and recommend new Medicaid/MCO health quality improvement approaches focused on young children. GCCF will provide regular updates to the State and Federal Advocacy Group. 

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Migration Policy Institute

Primary Contact(s): Maki Park

The Migration Policy Institute (MPI) is an independent, nonpartisan think tank dedicated to analysis of the movement of people worldwide. Their National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy is a resource on early childhood and K-12 education for those who seek to understand and respond to the challenges and opportunities that today’s high rates of immigration create in states and local communities.

MPI will expand outreach and dissemination efforts in 2 key issue areas that are critical for young Dual Language Learners (DLLs) and children of immigrants: leveraging state Home Visiting funds to improve outcomes for immigrant and DLL families with young children, and strengthening intergenerational mental health supports across early childhood systems to address trauma in immigrant and refugee families with young children. This year MPI is diving deeper into identifying barriers and opportunities in home visiting and mental health services for immigrant and refugee families with young children.

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NALEO Educational Fund

Primary Contact(s): Rosita Ramirez

NALEO Educational Fund (NALEO) is the principal convener of Latino policymakers across all levels of public office. They educate and build the skills of their members so that they understand a range of education policy issues, including early learning. They help members increase knowledge and leadership skills necessary to champion an education agenda in their respective jurisdictions.

This year NALEO will equip Latino state legislators with tools to become effective early learning policy champions and advocates by learning from content experts and peers at the NALEO 12th Biennial National Institute for Newly Elected Officials in Washington, DC and at a Texas Statewide Policy Institute on Early Learning.  They will deepen constituents’ understanding on quality preK for all students by sharing New America's brief and accompanying online resources with their members. 

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National Association for the Education of Young Children

Primary Contact(s): Lauren Hogan

The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) is the world's largest organization working on behalf of young children. NAEYC promotes high quality learning for children birth through age 8 by connecting research, policy and practice.

The Power to the Profession initiative will finalize its recommendations and advance into the initial implementation phases of a policy and financing agenda. This year they are building on that work with select state affiliates to create a “first-adopter” policy roadmap for 2020, based on analyses of policy options and assessments of state readiness. They will also develop resources to help state leaders transition to a more coherent and consistent way to designate and prepare educators for various levels of professional competencies. These resources will support the redesign of higher education and professional development systems in alignment with the Power to the Profession recommendations. 

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National Black Child Development Institute

Primary Contact(s): Cemere James

The National Black Child Development Institute (NBCDI) has been at the forefront of engaging leaders, policymakers, professionals, parents, and caregivers around critical and timely issues that directly impact Black children and families for nearly half a century. With the support of their National Affiliate Network in communities across the country, they are committed to improving and advancing the quality of life for Black children and families through education and advocacy.

NBCDI proposes to expand advocacy strategies related to state policy in 3 ways: publishing a new State of the Black Child Report Card in Ohio; facilitating and supporting advocacy related to State of the Black Child Report Cards in Washington, Georgia, and Texas; and releasing two policy briefs (Tennessee and Washington) with policy recommendations to advance the early childhood workforce while maintaining diversity. 

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National Center for Children in Poverty

Primary Contact(s): Sheila Smith

The National Center for Children in Poverty (NCCP) is a national policy research organization that conducts policy analysis, research, and program development focused on reducing child poverty and promoting the healthy development and success of children in low-income families. NCCP disseminates research-based knowledge about effective policies and programs to policymakers and advocates through publications, learning communities, and technical assistance.

NCCP will update three of its 50-state databases: the Early Childhood State Policy Profiles, the Young Child Risk Calculator, and the Early Childhood Mental Health (ECMH) Medicaid Survey. They will work with 4 states (NY, TX, NM, IA) on policies that benefit young children in deep poverty. They will continue to work in VA, ME, and NM to advance ECMH policies, and with BUILD to examine ECMH supports that can reduce expulsion rates. They will also partner with BUILD to identify two states to pilot a family engagement tool for use in QRIS.

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National Conference of State Legislatures

Primary Contact(s): Julie Poppe

The National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL) is a bipartisan organization that serves the legislators and staffs of the nation's 50 states, commonwealths, and territories. NCSL provides research, technical assistance, and opportunities for policymakers to exchange ideas on state issues. Their Early Care and Education Project develops leadership among legislators and staff to foster sharing of innovative ideas that can be used to advance policy change in their states.

This year NCSL will host the year-long Early Learning Fellows leadership program for legislators and staff, convene educational sessions with chairs of health, human services and education committees, conduct a legislative roundtable to identify and confirm high- priority early childhood topics, track early childhood legislation, produce legislative and budget reports and policy briefs on emerging early childhood issues, and maintain a social media presence. 

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National Governors Association Center for Best Practices

Primary Contact(s): Aaliyah Samuel

The National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA) provides policy consultation and other technical assistance services to help governors and their advisors develop and improve state policies and strategies in different areas of state government. The early learning team in the Center's Education Division focuses on issues related to the learning and development of children from birth through third grade.

The NGA Center staff will work with Governors Education Policy Advisors (GEPAs) and state leaders to elevate best practices in early care and education policy. Their Governors Response Team (GRT) will be on call to answer questions about systems coordination, financing and governance approaches, and building a qualified EC workforce through compensation, professional development, and leadership training. NGA staff will organize events, partner with retired Governors and GEPAs as mentors, and utilize the Alliance TA Network for their expertise in these, and other key emerging state policy areas related to early care and education.

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National Women's Law Center

Primary Contact(s): Helen Blank

The National Women's Law Center (NWLC) works to improve the lives of women and girls, with a focus on the needs of low-income women and their families. NWLC uses the law in all is forms: getting new laws passed and enforced, litigating groundbreaking cases all the way to the Supreme Court, and educating the public about ways to make the law and public policies work for women and their families.

NWLC will survey states for its annual report on child care assistance eligibility, co- payments, provider payment, and waiting lists, and will produce a separate brief on infant care payment rates. They will produce a Year 3 CCDBG Implementation Report tracking changes in key provisions related to child care health/safety/quality and families’ access to assistance and will share the findings broadly. They will continue to produce regular memos, fact sheets and analyses, and calls on pressing issues, including the implementation of new CCDBG funds. NWLC will hold its annual retreat for 80 national and state early childhood leaders to promote networking, information sharing, and advocacy collaboration. They are one of the most requested and responsive TA providers.

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New America

Primary Contact(s): Laura Bornfreund

New America (NA) is dedicated to the renewal of American politics, prosperity, and purpose in the digital age through big ideas, technological innovation, next generation politics, and creative engagement with broad audiences. The Early Education Initiative is part of the Education Policy Program, which works to advance policies and elevate dialogue to support high-quality learning environments for all children birth through third grade.

This year NA will host a private convening to explore the current barriers to improving higher education access and quality for early childhood educators, and discuss ideas for reform. They will leverage higher education expertise in their organization and coordinate their efforts with other Alliance partners focusing on similar issues including TEACH, NAEYC, and CSCCE. In addition, NA will host two events on diversity and compensation to elevate these important and challenging issues related to transforming the B-3rd grade workforce. They will continue hosting and ultimately create an edited volume of the bi- weekly blog series, Moving Beyond False Choices for Early Childhood Educators

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Rhode Island KIDS COUNT

Primary Contact(s): Elizabeth Burke Bryant

The mission of Rhode Island KIDS COUNT (RIKC) is to improve the health, safety, education, economic well being, and development of Rhode Island's children. They do this by providing independent, credible, comprehensive information on Rhode Island's children and bring together individuals and organizations to change or influence public policies and programs to improve children's lives.

RIKC will continue to co-lead the Alliance State and Federal Advocacy Group to ensure state advocates and examples of implementation in states informs federal advocacy and policy. RIKC will also continue to lead the Alliance’s PreK Advocacy Learning Community, a peer group of 14 states working to improve access to high-quality state preK. At the state level, they will coordinate the Rhode Island Early Learning Council and lead advocacy efforts on: access to preK and Head Start, high-quality child care, developmental screening and early childhood IDEA services, evidence-based home visiting, paid family leave, and access to high-quality health and mental health care for young children and their families.

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T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® National Center

Primary Contact(s): Sue Russell

The T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® National Center (TEACH) supports early childhood organizations in 23 states and in Washington, DC through TA, training, data collection and management tools, resources, and standards. They work with states to advance policy, funding, advocacy and effective strategies to support access to degrees in early childhood education, gains in compensation, and improvements in retention.

Two of the top barriers facing early childhood educators are workforce compensation and progression within the higher education system. TEACH will bring together 6 state teams to build their capacity on one of these issues. They will report on progress toward achieving their goals which includes: improvements in policy and strategy development and implementation; increases in funding; or changes in regulations, legislation or policy. 

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Texas Education Grantmakers Advocacy Consortium

Primary Contact(s): Jennifer Esterline

Texas Education Grantmakers Advocacy Consortium (TEGAC) is made up of 49 Texas grantmakers. Led by Jennifer Esterline, they come together to protect and improve public education in Texas by engaging in state level policy and advocacy.

TEGAC is leading the Philanthropy Engagement Project (PEP). They partner with Frontera Strategy to bring state and local grantmakers together to increase support for, and participation in, early childhood policy advocacy. TEGAC will continue to facilitate meetings, offer technical assistance, and manage the Peer Learning Network of grantmakers from Arizona, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Texas, and Virginia. This year they will write and share stories from five unique models that highlight what they did and the progress they are making. 

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Primary Contact(s): Barbara Gebhard

ZERO TO THREE (ZTT) provides parents, professionals, and policymakers the knowledge and know-how to nurture early development. They work to ensure that all babies and toddlers have a strong start in life. Their Policy Center is a nonpartisan, research-based resource for federal and state policymakers and advocates on the unique developmental needs of infants and toddlers.

ZTT is playing a new role and will support states to advance policies, services, and systems to meet the needs of infants, toddlers, and their families. They will lead two communities of practice with the Alliance: home visiting with advocates in 15 states and infant-toddler care with advocates in 10 states. They will lead a Think Babies campaign in 6 states. They are often requested to provide TA and will work in 10 states focusing on best practices in financing IECMH services. 

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