Early Literacy and Learning Model
Blueprints Program Rating: Promising
A literacy-focused curriculum and support system designed for preschool children ages 3, 4, and 5 years old. The program is designed to enhance existing classroom curricula by specifically focusing on improving children's early literacy skills and knowledge.
The Early Learning and Literacy Model Plus is generally integrated into the ongoing operation of early learning and education programs, so the implementation costs are supported by the funding sources that support the ongoing operations of early care programs. These include parent fees and government child-care and preschool funding. The start-up costs can potentially be covered through portions of government child-care and preschool funding that are designated to support quality improvement or administration. Public-private partnerships in which foundation partners help to support initial training and curriculum costs are another promising strategy for supporting ELLM/Plus.
Allocating State or Local General Funds
Many states have created state funded preschool programs that fund school and community-based pre-kindergarten programs. States invest varying levels of resources in supporting the quality of these efforts, but there is potential for states to allocate funds or invest some portion of their existing quality or administrative funds in ELLM/Plus training, curriculum, and coaching.
Maximizing Federal Funds
Formula Funds: The core formula funds supporting early care and education can potentially support ELLM/Plus.
- Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) can potentially support curriculum purchase, training, and general operating costs in schools. There are two primary mechanisms for CCDF to support ELLM/Plus: 1) Early care and education programs can access vouchers or act as contractors to serve families who qualify for child care assistance on the basis of income. These dollars are used for general operating support in programs and could support the ongoing implementation of ELLM/Plus. 2) CCDF has a 4% quality set-aside that states must use to improve the quality and availability of early care and education. States or localities that want to implement ELLM/Plus could use child care quality dollars to pay for curriculum and materials, training teachers, administrators and coaches, and ongoing fidelity monitoring.
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) has historically been used by many states to support early care and education programs - either directly or through transfer of funds to the Child Care and Development Fund. Once transferred, TANF funds can be used in the same manner as CCDF to support ELLM/Plus.
- Title I, Part A is used by many districts to support preschool programs for disadvantaged children. These funds can support the curriculum, training, fidelity monitoring, and ongoing implementation.
Discretionary Grants: Federal discretionary grants supporting early care and education and early literacy programs can potentially support ELLM/Plus. Most relevant federal discretionary grants are administered by The Child Care Bureau or The Head Start Bureau within the Department of Health and Human Services, or the Department of Education.
- Head Start Funds offer an important source of support for implementation of ELLM/Plus within Head Start programs. In addition, Head Start grantees can potentially partner with school-based preschool programs and child care centers to support training and fidelity monitoring of coaches, a capacity that could be shared among multiple settings in a locality.
- Race to the Top: Early Learning Challenge offers competitive grants to state education and social service agencies to improve the quality and availability of early learning programs. States could choose to invest in ELLM as part of a quality improvement strategy.
Foundation Grants and Public-Private Partnerships
Foundation grants and public-private partnerships are an important financing strategy for ELLM/Plus. Early Care and Education Programs that find it difficult to identify dollars to support the initial training and curriculum purchases can potentially partner with a local foundation or corporation to support these costs.
Generating New Revenue
A final category of strategies to consider are mechanisms to generate new revenue and to set-aside funding for specific populations or sets of services. Several states and localities generate funding for early care and education services through the imposition of fees on products that can result in social costs. The most popular of these “sin taxes” generally target tobacco and alcohol use. New tax and fee strategies are generally difficult to put in place, and the mechanism for establishing them depends on the state. In some states new revenue mechanisms can be put in place through ballot initiatives, while in others they require state legislation.
Survey and interview with purveyor, Florida Institute of Education.