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2. Multiple Agencies Partner: Small Wonders Learning Center - E/HS

Early Care & Education Program Collaboration Model Description

Agency/Home Name: Small Wonders Learning Center
Contact Person: Kathie Raiborn
Address: 320 E. Armstrong, Peoria, IL 61604
Phone: 309-672-6331
Email Address: kraiborn@rogys.com

1. Model (Please check only one. Complete separate forms for different collaboration models.)

One Agency, Multiple Funders
A single program or agency blends/braids funds and program requirements from multiple sources at a single site.
Multiple Agencies Partner – PCCEO Early/Head Start - Partner
Two or more agencies, which are separate legal entities, partner to serve children at a single site.
Partnering with Family Child Care
A program or agency partners with family child care home providers.

2. Collaboration Type (Check all that apply to this collaboration model.)

Child Care/Early Head Start
Child Care/Head Start
Child Care/PreK
Child Care/Head Start/PreK
Head Start/PreK

3. Partnership Initiated By

Child Care
Head Start/Early Head Start
PreK
Other (specify): Community Effort
  ______________________________________________________

4. Demographics

Urban
Rural
Suburban

5. Schedule

Hours per day: 11.5 hours child care
From: 6:30 a.m. 
To: 6:00 p.m
Days/Weeks per year: 5 days/week; 52 weeks/year child care
Holidays or other time “off” or closed: 12/24-25, 12/31-1/1, Thanksgiving & day after, Memorial & Labor Days, July 4, Good Friday
If this is an Early/Head Start collaboration, please indicate the program option & number of Early/Head start hours: Center based, part day

6. Number of Children Served Full-Day/Year by Location, Setting & Age
Setting includes: Head Start/Early Head Start site; Child care center; Family child care homes; Public/private school system; Other (explain/describe)

Location
Setting
# Infants
# Toddlers
# Preschool

Small Wonders, 320 E. Armstrong, Peoria 61604 (capacity 169)

Child Care Center
6
8
36
         

7. Total number of children served by organization

0-150
151-500
501-2000
2001-6000
6001+

8. Total number of children served by partner’s organization (if applicable). Note: this means an early care & education partner with whom you are collaborating. Agencies that checked “One Agency, Multiple Funders” in question 1, page 1 of this survey will NOT complete this question.

0-50
51-150
151-300
301+

9. Funding used to support full-day/year services (Check all that apply.)

Federal Early/Head Start
State Early Childhood Block Grant from IL State Board of Education
State Early Childhood Block Grant from School District (including Chicago Public Schools)
State Child Care Assistance Program through contract with IL Dept. of Human Services
State Child Care Assistance Program through local Child Care Resource & Referral Agency certificate program
Parent Fees
Other (Specify): CACFP, Local Funders (Community Foundation), IDHS Enhancement Grants, ISBE, PARC

10. Administration/Management (Check either yes, no or not applicable – NA – for each item.)

a. Does the collaboration have a legal written agreement/contract? No Yes NA
b. Other than a contract, does the collaboration have a written partnership plan? No Yes NA
c. Are there written monitoring/oversight procedures? No Yes NA
d. Are there written procedures for communication among partners? No Yes NA
e. Is there a written cost allocation plan/budget for the collaboration? No Yes NA
f. Is there a written training/professional development plan? No Yes NA
g. Do job descriptions reflect staff' collaboration responsibilities? No Yes NA
h. Is there a shared computerized MIS system? No Yes NA
i. Do the partners share business operations & equipment costs? No Yes NA
j. Do the partners purchase transportation jointly? No Yes NA
k. Is there a competitive written RFP process for partner selection? No Yes NA
l. Is there an ongoing advisory group for the collaboration? No Yes NA
m. Did the partnership develop out of a broad based community planning process? No Yes NA
n. Are parents involved in the collaboration planning & evaluation processes? No Yes NA
o. Does the collaboration have a written evaluation process? No Yes NA
p. Has the agency had any audit findings in the past 3 years? No Yes NA
q. When was the agency's last federal monitoring review? 5/04
Were there any problems identified? No Yes NA
r. When was the agency's last licensing visit? 8/05
Were any problems identified? No Yes NA
s. When was the agency's last DHS monitoring visit?_____________
Were any problems identified? No Yes NA

11. Has the collaboration had an impact on the partner’s internal practices with regard to (check yes or no for each item):

a. Parent Decision Making No Yes
b. Parent Education No Yes
c. Parent Involvement No Yes
d. Family Support Services No Yes
e. Staff Salaries No Yes
f. Employee Benefits No Yes
g. Management Practices/Structure No Yes
h. Staff Training/Professional Development No Yes

12. Program Services (Make 2 checks for each item – 1 to indicate which partner is primarily responsible for direct service delivery and the other to indicate which children receive that service – all or just the collaboration children.)

Services Provided
Partner Responsible for Direct Service Delivery
Children Receiving Services
a. Child education services

E/HS

CC

PreK

Other

All

Collab
b. Family support services

E/HS

CC

PreK

Other

All

Collab
c. Health services

E/HS

CC

PreK

Other

All

Collab
d. Mental health services

E/HS

CC

PreK

Other

All

Collab
e. Parent education/involvement

E/HS

CC

PreK

Other

All

Collab
f. Transportation services

E/HS

CC

PreK

Other

All

Collab
g. Nutrition services

E/HS

CC

PreK

Other

All

Collab
h. Transition services

E/HS

CC

PreK

Other

All

Collab
i. Disabilities services

E/HS

CC

PreK

Other

All

Collab
j. Parent home visits

E/HS

CC

PreK

Other

All

Collab
k. Sick child care N.A.

E/HS

CC

PreK

Other

All

Collab
l. Parent conferences

E/HS

CC

PreK

Other

All

Collab
m. Non-traditional hours service N.A.

E/HS

CC

PreK

Other

All

Collab

13. Primary objectives for beginning this collaboration (check all that apply)

Enhance family health services

Enhance the quality of children’s education services
Expand services into new communities
Extend service hours
Improve & maximize staff training/professional development
Link early care & education systems in the community
Maximize funding and cost effectiveness
Maximize use of facilities
Offer increased service options
Offer parents home visits
Respond to parents’ changing needs
Serve a wider age range of children
Extend days of service
Serve siblings in one program
Provide more economically & culturally diverse programming
Increase the number of children served
Provide continuity of care
Improve staff compensation packages

14. Collaboration Development & Management

a. When did the collaboration begin? 1999
b. Are regular written management reports required to support the collaboration? If yes, explain below. No Yes
c. Are there regular required meetings between collaboration partners? If yes, explain below. Monthly – Board & Collab Committee No Yes
d. Is there written documentation to support the content of meetings? No Yes
e. Does the program/collaboration have a written planning process that includes all partners? No Yes
f. Does the collaboration have a written decision making process? No Yes
g. Why did the collaboration begin? Because of a need for families with children with disabilities to be able to access full day care (for working parents) with Early Intervention services on site.  This concept created a system of care & education with fewer transitions for children with disabilities.
h. How were partners selected? Partners were self-selected.  All community providers & agencies were invited to be a part of the planning process.  When the planning process was completed, those participants still interested in becoming a formal partner were identified.  Four of the original planning organizations made the financial & operational support commitment necessary to be an active partner in the collaboration.
i. When there is a disagreement or conflict, how is it resolved with partners? The Board is made up of two members from each of the 4 original collaborators.  Monthly Board meetings provide ample opportunities to resolve issues affecting the center’s fiscal or operational position.  Head Start & early Head Start meet with the Director of the center & Small Wonders Program Committee members on a monthly basis.  One of the items on the monthly agenda is “staff, family & operational issues.”  The Center Director monitors all issues pertaining to DCFS licensing compliance.
j. When a decision has to be made about the collaboration, how is this done with partners? It depends on the gravity of the decision.  Contract decisions are made between the Small Wonders Board & Executive Directors of the collaborating agencies.  Daily decision making, such as hiring staff, conflict resolution, working with families, are shared by the Directors from the collaborating partners.
k. Explain how often reports & meetings are done/held: Board & collaborator meetings are scheduled monthly, or as needed.

15. Program Components: Please answer the following questions about your collaboration program. Show in column 2 which partner is responsible for each program component. Check which children receive the program component in the last 2 columns - either all children in the classroom(s) or just the collaboration children.

 
Responsible Partner
Children Receiving Services

a. Does the program use a standardized curriculum?

If yes, which curriculum? Cornerstone (Early HS); Foundations (HS

No
Yes
Early/HS
All
Collab

b. Does the program do child screening?

If yes, what instrument is used? Brigance

How often are screenings done? 2X/year

No
Yes
CC/E/HS
All
Collab

c. Does the program do ongoing child assessment? If yes, what instrument is used? Work Sampling; Portage Guide

How often is assessment done? 4-6X/year

No
Yes
CC/E/HS
All
Collab
d. Does the program take field trips? If yes, how often? 4X/year
No
Yes
CC
All
Collab

e. Does the program have family support staff/case managers?

If yes, what is their caseload? EHS 1:12; HS 1:60

How often do they make home visits? EHS 2X/month; HS 2X/year & as needed

How frequent are family contacts? EHS weekly; HS based on need

No
Yes
Early/HS
All
Collab
f. BRIEFLY describe your collaboration program’s social service delivery, if you have one, for example explain your crisis intervention and/or referral process(es): Early/Head Start children are provided social service support through their agency & on site staff.  Children enrolled in EI are provided information, support & referrals by PARC staff.  The PreK Special Education teacher works with Small Wonders staff to create a streamlined process of progress update & support for families with children receiving services through Peoria Public School Dept. of Special Ed.  The Center Director is responsible for information gathering & support for all of the children & families enrolled at the center.  She & her staff fill in the gaps & bring it all together.  One of the purposes of the monthly meeting with collaborators is to discuss families in need.  The collaborators problem solve together.  There is no one collaborator that handles all referrals or crisis intervention.  We work together.

Answer the following questions IN AS FEW WORDS as possible, still giving a picture of how your collaboration works. Use bullet point lists whenever possible.

16. List/describe any other program components included in the collaboration that are not described in items 12 and 15 (pages 3-4).

On & off site informal collaborators:

Peoria’s Children provides free family counseling for families/children exposed to violence; Strengthening Families Collaboration with Crittenton Center Pilot Project formed to survey need for social services and problem solve provision of these services; Children’s Home provides support for families regarding mental health issues; SEAPCO – County Screening/Special Ed. Services; Peoria Public School #150 – City Screening/Special Ed. Services; Child & Family Connection referral for services, children with disabilities; OSF Pediatric Clinic – prenatal & pediatric care for low income families; DPH Dental Services – dental services for low income families; Easter Seals – services to children with IEPs; IL Central College/Bradley University – field work for students.

 

17. Please describe how budgeting and cost sharing among funding sources is done. How do you decide how costs will be shared? What are the financial arrangements between partners?

No funds are exchanged.  Each collaborator brings agreed upon services or materials to the partnership.  These include staff, training, classroom materials & equipment.  Collaborators work together when writing requests for funding.  The entity designated to write the grant varies according to the funding source.  For daily activities at the center, the collaborators work together to find ways to fund activities, for example, food from 1 collaborator & extra staff from another for a special field trip picnic.

18. Please explain how your collaboration is staffed. Include classroom and support staff and tell how this is changed/different from your regular program. Who funds the staff’s salaries? Who supervises the staff and who employs them? What salaries and benefits are offered collaboration staff and is this different from other staff?

Unlike most programs where all staff is supervised, employed & paid by one entity, at Small Wonders this varies.  The Center Director has the right to question &/or discuss issues of concern with management staff of all on site collaborators.  Final decisions regarding unresolved disputes are referred first to the collaboration committee & then to the Boards of the appropriate entities.  Head Start Classrooms: PCCEO funds 4 staff members, who are supervised by a Head Start Program Director regarding all issues except DCFS compliance.  They receive all benefits & salary offered by PCCEO Head Start.  Three aides are provided & paid  by Small Wonders & supervised by Head Start staff.  The aides are hired with input from both parties.  Early Head Start: PCCEO funds 2 staff members & Small Wonders provides 2 aides.  Benefits are provided through each staff person’s employer.  The aides are supervised by EHS staff & hired with input from both parties. PARC & Peoria School District hire staff for the on site special education/therapy positions.  The teachers are paid by the District/PARC & receive benefits through these employers.

19. Please tell about your written agreement, if you have one. Include: what the agreement covers (section titles); term (what the time period is); if finances are part of the agreement and how these were figured; etc.

Small Wonders & PCCEO E/HS have a written non-financial agreement that covers 5-year time periods.  The section titles are: general terms & conditions, purpose of collaboration, brief description of the collaboration, parties involved & key collaboration contact person(s), program responsibilities, program coordination expectations, evaluation & program improvements, financial responsibility of each party, termination & amendments to the collaboration agreement.  Appendix consists of participation & eligibility guidelines.

20. Please describe the training system for your collaboration. Include what kind of training is done, how costs are shared among funding sources and/or partners, and how it has changed since the collaboration began.

EHS provides specialized training for all collaboration infant/toddler staff.  Head Start has ½ Friday once a month for staff training.  The Center Director works with E/HS to provide substitutes during training.  A calendar of training is provided to the Director at the beginning of the year for planning purposes.  Other training provided through E/HS, District, STARNet, or Child Care Connection is available to all child care staff.  No funds are exchanged but training is available to all collaborators.  This system has been in place since the collaboration began.

21. Please give any other details about your collaboration that you believe are important, but not covered elsewhere.

Small Wonders Learning Center, a private/public collaboration, is unique.  The 4 fiscal partners include both for-profit & not-for-profit agencies.  The planning process began in 1992 when area providers were called together to create a “One Stop Pediatric Center” to serve the families in the community.  After 7 years of planning, renovation funded through the Peoria County Board, and facility preparation, Small Wonders Learning Center opened its doors.  The collaboration has a continued tradition of growth, striving to meet the needs of the families in the community.

22. If you could start your collaboration over again, knowing what you know now, what would you do differently?

The success of the collaboration lies within the combination of people who were involved from planning to implementation.  There is nothing we would have done differently.

23. What advice do you have for agencies/homes starting new collaborations?

In order to collaborate, agencies/homes need to nurture relationships in the community.  The old adage, “It takes a village to raise a child,” is true.  Build a collaboration of dedicated & open people.  Change is inevitable for everyone.  Trust between collaborators is a very important ingredient when asking people and agencies to change their ways & work together.  We learned as we grew.  We made adjustments as they were needed.  Every collaboration develops differently, so look at collaboration models that are similar to your situation but be prepared to be flexible & innovative on your own.

Copyright 2005 Collaboration Model Description. Template.
HS State Collab Office.10.05

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