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Public Private Partnerships

 

Clients: Thrive by Five Washington, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and many others

Overview

Over the past ten years advocacy for increased investment in early learning has grown in the State of Washington and across the country. This coupled with historic under-investment has resulted in the need to increase program, advocacy and fund development capacity and to connect the disparate efforts of players at the local, regional and state levels.  

Challenge

The early learning and development programs like Head Start, WIC and other efforts begun in the 1960s have developed at different times, with different goals, funding levels and methods. Similarly, there has been no coordinated national policy agenda or governance structure to guide the work of the myriad players involved toward common goals for children. In Washington, more and more public and private partners have tackled these issues and Dovetailing consultants have regularly been part of crafting solutions to this challenge. We have worked with numerous local and statewide organizations to strengthen and coordinate these important elements of Washington's early learning systems.

Approach

Beginning in 2003 Dovetailing consultants worked with many partners to coordinate the investments and advocacy efforts of funders, programs and advocates through efforts such as the Project Lift-Off Fund, the Early Care and Education Coalition and Born Learning Washington. With the support of research funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and others, a strategy was developed and adopted to build early learning advocacy capacity, create a cabinet-level Department of Early Learning and establish Thrive by Five Washington as public-private partnership that can broadly advance the early learning agenda. This work has included development of clear guiding documents and initiatives in the state and strengthening of state- and local-level organizations and collaborations to advance the work. Dovetailing consultants have been engaged throughout, conducting research and analysis, facilitating key conversations, crafting guiding documents and providing organizational development support for involved organizations and collaborations.

Results

During these years, both the Department of Early Learning and Thrive by Five Washington have been successfully launched. Seminal guiding documents such as the Early Learning and Development Guidelines, State Early Learning Plan, Core Competencies and Ready & Successful Schools Action Plan have been developed and adopted to guide the action of state and local partners. Governance structures have been developed to coordinate action of ten early learning regional coalitions as well as state action at the Early Learning Advisory Council. Home visiting, preschool expansion and parenting education initiatives have been established and are moving rapidly forward. Dovetailing consultants have been engaged as thought partners, conveners, facilitators, and drafters of many of these developments, which are moving Washington forward in ensuring that all children enter school ready for success.

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