Timothy J. Bartik
W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research
Early Childhood Investment Corporation, Diversity Specialist
What do I tell someone new I just met about my work at ECIC? I recently had a conversation and shared how my responsibilities revolve around creating a system to improve child care quality by coordinating and connecting existing supports and services for child care providers and families who use child care. Those supports and services include professional development and training for child care providers and Great Start CONNECT’s 24/7 licensed child care referral search.
I usually have success with training and licensed child care search, people get that and understand it, and can see how it connects to quality. Going one step further and stating ECIC also supports the Great Start Collaboratives across the state usually results in confusion, how does that connect to child care quality?
Improving child care quality statewide is not possible without local community support through the Great Start Collaboratives. The Great Start Collaboratives have connections to the local partners who support child care providers and families, and can identify local solutions to barriers. The Great Start Collaboratives bring this local expertise to the ten Great Start Regional Child Care Resource Centers who are responsible to coordinate supports and services regionally for child care providers and families.
Child care providers and families benefit from the success of the Great Start Collaboratives, and the connections between the Great Start Collaboratives, Great Start Parent Coalitions, and the Great Start Regional Child Care Resource Centers. The connections have made a difference in child care quality through partnerships and collaborations that didn’t exist before. If you are not connected, get connected to your regional resource center, parent coalition, and your collaborative. I couldn’t do it without them and neither can you.