Newsletter for November 2015

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Dr. Small Discussion

Harvard sociologist, Dr. Mario Small was recently featured in our 2015 Speaker Series at the Foundation for the Carolinas, in Charlotte. ICS welcomed him in partnership with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Economic Opportunity Task Force. His presentation, "Understanding Social Capital," highlighted the positive, two generation impact of childcare centers in building and strengthening social relationships. Dr. Small cited two studies, the first linking a child's enrollment in a center to an increased number of friendships between mothers, who, due to this increase in a social network, showed lower rates of maternal depression. The second study, conducted by Dr. Small, aimed to leverage social capital to increase attendance rates. These students showed much higher attendance rates than their control group counterparts. For more information on Dr. Small's work, please check out his website

ICS Staff Retreat

ICS staff from Greenville, New York, Charleston and Raleigh joined together in Flat Rock, NC for a staff retreat the first week in November. Collectively, the team discussed ICS' values and their impact on our work: Community, Courage, Excellence and Innovation. On day two, the group considered multiple models of systems change and our own theory of systems impact. Grady Powell of Openfields facilitated day two discussions and activities.
ICS staff also played an exhilarating (and slightly painful) game of paintball. Together the crew enjoyed fresh air, some laughs, and comparing paintball welts!

Future of ECD Leadership Summit

The second week of November, ICS partnered again with learning and leadership design firm, Openfields, to host its first Future of ECD Leadership Summit in Washington, DC. Following on our Future of ECD Working Retreat held at Serenbe in May of this year, brought a group of rising leaders together to listen and learn from some of the country's most established policy, research, corporate, and government leaders working on behalf of young children.  
Special thanks to the speakers who gave substantial time and invaluable insights: 
Celia Ayala (CEO, LAUP), 
Helen Blank (Director of Child Care and Early Learning, National Women's Law Center), 
Libby Doggett (Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and Early Learning, U.S. Department of Education), 
Janis Dubno (Director of Early Childhood Policy, Voices for Utah Children), 
Travis Norton (Public Policy, Government Relations at Google[x]), 
Bill Milliken (Founder, LeaderComm; Founder, Communities in Schools), 
David Wilkinson (Director, White House Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation), 
David Willis (Director, Division of Home Visiting & Early Childhood Systems, US HHS)


Sonoma Service Provider Readiness Training

Recently, ICS provided a boot camp-style training  for service providers in Sonoma County, CA   to help them better   measure  outcomes, scal e  effectively, and  manage their finances .  In partnership with Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF), we offered the training to  Sonoma County  as part of our Pay for Success technical assistance initiative funded by the Corporation for National and Community Service 's Social Innovation Fund .  Sonoma County was selected based on interest, need, and their dedication to the feasibility study process thus far.  Twelve service provider organizations participated.  Among those represented were United Way of  the  Wine Country, Petaluma Health Center, and the Child Care Council of Sonoma County (4C's).  All organizations focus ed  on children from birth to age five.


One key takeaway  was  the difference between data collection for the purpose of compliance versus data collection to inform strategy. The  participating providers  were very much interested in using data collection for strategy, and did a lot of work to that end.  Next steps include additional follow-up and coaching via phone.  We are excited to continue working with NFF to offer this training to our TA jurisdictions in the future, giving service providers an edge in an increasingly outcomes-driven world.

ICS Publishes Issue Brief on Economic Impact of Early Care

ICS recently published Dr. Kelly O ' Donnell's issue brief, The Economic Impact of Early Care and Education in North Carolina.  It  compares a variety of state revenue sources that could be used to fund expansion and improvement of Early Childhood Education (ECE).
Further, the report quantifies the economic impact of early care and education. It includes the following elements:
a. North Carolina-specific demographic profile of early educators;
b. Role of early education in the economies of North Carolina;
c. Economic impacts (direct, indirect and induced) of early education on the economies of NC;
d. Role of ECE in workforce development and productivity; and
e. Cost of early care and education relative to family income.

ICS Celebrates Picture Book Month

November is Picture Book Month, and the ICS staff celebrated the importance of books in early childhood by sharing a few of their childhood favorites! From hungry caterpillars to little princes, we've got it all on our Facebook page! Join the conversation and share your favorites!                                                                                                 

Rural Working Groups

In 2014, ICS facilitated a working group addressing the unique challenges rural communities face in ensuring the success of young children and their families.   The working group included experts representing business, health, education, government and nonprofit organizations.  South Carolina experts were joined by experts from the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP), and the Center for Child and Family Policy at Duke University, in this endeavor to accelerate positive impact through the development of new knowledge, new partnerships and networks, and the proposal of new solutions and policies. As a result of this work, in 2015 ICS is publishing " Findings From the Working Group on Early Childhood Opportunities and Challenges in Rural South Carolina", detailing themes and recommendations that emerged for state healthcare leaders, researchers, policymakers, foundations and other stakeholders.

Pay for Success Website

Coming soon! ICS's new Pay for Success website. Learn about jurisdictions already using Pay for Success, stay up to date with the latest Pay for Success work, and keep tabs on ICS's upcoming PFS events.
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