Newsletter for June 2015



ICS On the Road: 

DC Congressional Briefings 

First Focus and ICS teamed up in mid-June to host a Congressional staff briefing examining how evidence-based home visiting is being integrated within medical homes to deliver better care to children and families, save money, and produce better health, educational and social outcomes. The centerpiece of the briefing was ICS's case study of Greenwood Health Center's efforts in this areaSally Baggett of Greenwood Health Centers joined Katy Sides of ICS and Colleen Kraft of Cincinnati Children's Hospital System on the panel.  


Katy Sides presenting 

"The Future of Early Childhood Development" Rising Leaders Retreat

Building on an Early Childhood Development (ECD) Design Blitz hosted in October 2014, the Institute for Child Success partnered with learning and leadership design firm, Openfields, to empower leaders in ECD with the creative space, perspective, tools, and relationships to imagine how the entire early childhood sector might look in 30 years. In mid-May, ICS invited twenty-three leaders from policy and provider groups, funders and for-profits, to meet together to imagine what the future of ECD could hold. The result was a remarkable two-day summit at the Inn at Serenbe, located in the Chattahoochee Hills of Georgia, in which a new generation of leaders considered how a small committed group, one that could think and act beyond their single organizations and beyond ECD, might forever change the way the United States serves its youngest children.


Retreat attendees with ICS's Joe Waters, Bryan Boroughs, Emily Carroll and Megan Carolan



Fifth National Summit on Quality in Home Visiting Programs

Recently, members of the ICS team including Joe Waters, Caitlin Mauk, Emily Carroll, and (Board Member) Liz Winer, attended the Fifth National Summit on Quality in Home Visiting Programs in Washington, D.C. The Summit is the final conference in The Pew Charitable Trust's series on home visiting (HV) as they are bringing their Home Visiting Campaign to a close. The conference featured researchers from all over the world. Home visiting is a voluntary support program for new and expectant families. The participants in the programs receive advice, guidance, and other help from health, social service, and child development professionals. Through regular, planned home visits, parents learn how to improve their family's health and provide better opportunities for their children.  

Small Steps Screening

In early June, ICS traveled to Half Moon Bay, CA for a screening of our film, Small Steps and panel discussion. This short documentary film explores the lives of low-income mothers, their young children, and opportunities for design. A joint partnership of ICS and design firm Ferebee Lane + Co., the film documents their attempts to thoughtfully apply design in improving outcomes for some of the South's poorest and most vulnerable citizens. The screening was followed by a round table discussion with Children Now's President Ted Lempert, Big Lift Board Member Jane Gardner, ICS Vice President Joe Waters, and Matt Ferebee, principal and Creative Director the award-winning boutique branding and design firm, Ferebee Lane + Co. Greg Galle, the co-founder of Future, a firm that unlocks the ingenuity of individuals, teams, and organizations to accelerate positive change around the world led the conversation. Greg also led ICS's early childhood systems design blitz last November.  


Ted Lempert
Jane Gardner
Joe Waters
Samantha Aigner-Treworgy
Matt Ferebee
G reg Galle


ICS Welcomes Our Summer Interns 

We are thrilled to welcome four new interns to ICS for the summer. In our Greenville office, Cameron and Hannah joined our Policy and Research team earlier this month.

Cameron Beach, originally form Greenville, is a rising sophomore at Centre College in Danville, KY. She is studying international relations and politics and is considering a career in public policy.  

Hannah Lyden is from Winter Park, Florida. She is a rising senior at Furman University studying psychology. Last summer, she completed psychology research for Furman focusing on personality traits that make one more susceptible to gender biases. After she graduates, Hannah plans on attending graduate school for forensic psychology and continuing to do research. 

In our New York office, Lichi Xu and Richard Chen have signed on to assist in our Social Innovation Fund and Pay for Success work.

Lichi Xu is currently an MPA (Master of Public Administration) candidate at New York University's Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. She was born and raised in China and came to the States for a year to explore the innovative ways of public administration. In growing her passion for social innovations and social entrepreneurship.

Richard Chen is a part-time MPA student at New York University's Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. His undergraduate degree focused on finance and he has since been interested in exploring the many different ways to fund social impact. 

  Cameron Beach            Hannah Lyden               Liu Xu                        Richard Chen
Lauren Sausser, Dr. Jennifer Hudson, Dr. Amy Picklesimer

Cradle of Shame Discussion

On June 23 ICS hosted a discussion featuring Post and Courier reporter Lauren Sausser regarding South Carolina's high infant mortality rate.  Sausser and fellow reporter Doug Pardue recently authored the newspaper's Cradle of Shame series exploring in detail this major issue impacting the well-being of young children and families. Dr. Jennifer Hudson, MD, Newborn Services, Department of Pediatrics, and Dr. Amy Picklesimer, MD, Medical Director of the Obstetric Center at the Greenville Health System and clinical lead of the South Carolina Birth Outcomes Initiative joined Ms. Sausser in the conversation.  To read more about the Cradle of Shame series visit here.



Two new papers shine light on economic impacts of early childhood in South Carolina: 

In a new ICS paper, Dr. Kelly O'Donnell quantifies the bottom line economic impacts of childcare and education policies in South Carolina. Early Care and Education (ECE) affects the state economy in a wide variety of ways: creating jobs, supporting employment in other sectors, attracting outside investment, and saving the public sector millions in reduced costs for remedial education, welfare dependency and crime. The results are clear: early childhood is a key investment for South Carolina, one that can contribute to greater economic development both today and in the future. In an accompanying paper, she also explores financing strategies ranging from utilizing existing funding streams to closing tax loopholes. The goal of the paper is not to endorse any particular approach but rather to provide a menu of options to consider. Some of these options entail viewing ECE from new or non-traditional perspectives: as critical infrastructure, economic development, preventative health care, and the underpinning of a successful K-12 education system.




SIF Site Visits


ICS hosted its first technical assistance (TA) webinar for its Early Childhood Pay for Success (PFS) sub-grantees. The webinar focused on determining priority outcomes for potential PFS transactions as well as how to conduct an intervention analysis of programs of interest. This was the first in a monthly series that will build jurisdiction capacity and enable them to complete their own feasibility studies exploring the use of PFS to improve early childhood outcomes.



ICS completed its first site visit to North  Carolina. Convening in Raleigh, the North Carolina team is comprised of  representatives from the Governor's Office, the Department of Public Instruction, the Department of Health  and  Human Services, and the Office of Budget  and Management. The team discussed a wide r ange of early childhood interventions, including home-visiting  programs, pre-K, and literacy initiatives and met with groups of local early childhood stakeholders as well as the business and philanthropy community.



ICS's visit to Sonoma in early June marked the last of our initial TA site visits. Sonoma is considering expansions of preschool as well as NFP for early childhood interventions that might be funded using PFS. The ICS team strategized with Sonoma's core team, conducted a preschool and an NFP (Nurse Family Partnership) site visit, and met with various stakeholders.  A highlight of this site visit was our attendance and presentation at a quarterly meeting of Sonoma County's Health Action Council - a multidisciplinary group focused on community health improvement. 


Members of the ICS team had the privilege of attending an AVANCE (derived from the Spanish word meaning progress or advancement) graduation ceremony. Both parents and very young children were honored for completing the program focused on promoting parental involvement and child development.     





ICS and our partners from Third Sector, gathered with early childhood stakeholders from across Washington State to launch our technical assistance to the Washington Department of Early Learning. This meeting included a wide variety of representatives from philanthropy, government, and home visiting service providers focused on developing a Pay for Success Financing project to expand evidence-based home visiting services to eligible populations across the state. Much of our time was spent discussing the different work streams that are critical to the success of this feasibility study process, and participating in brainstorming breakout sessions specific to each working group.




UNC-TV Evaluation Report



In the fall of 2014, UNC-TV based in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, commissioned ICS to conduct an evaluation of the "Play and Learn Family Transmedia Night" program. This marked the third consecutive year of the program held in conjunction with Parkview Village Elementary School in High Point, North Carolina. Stakeholders commissioned ICS to determine if the program was meeting its goals and objectives. These objectives include increasing student self-efficacy and belief in their capability to learn, promoting the idea that learning is enjoyable, improving learning outcomes, and empowering parents to help their children learn. ICS Research and Policy Counsel, Emily Carroll, recently completed a comprehensive evaluation and a complete report of her findings. Overall, the program has been very successful and funding has been secured for an additional year of programming. 



Map of PFS in Early Childhood in the United States



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