The goals of the Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge Program (RTT-ELC) are to: 1) support states in building and maintaining high-quality early care and education systems that fully support the highest needs children aged birth to age five, and 2) make sure that the successes and lessons learned from RTT-ELC grantee states are spread across all states. This second goal drives the 50-state Technical Assistance (TA) strategy.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) 50-state Technical Assistance strategy (which is done in partnership with the U.S. Department of Education) lays out the vision for how a comprehensive and coordinated system of high-quality early childhood programs, practice, and public policies should look moving forward. This vision is aligned to the RTT-ELC framework, which addresses:
- Building Highly Functioning State Early Care and Education (ECE) systems
- Creating High Quality, Accountable Programs – Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS)
Promoting Child Health and Development
- Early Learning and Development Standards (also known as early learning guidelines)
- Comprehensive Assessment Systems
- Health Promotion
- Family Engagement
- Supporting the Early Childhood Workforce
- Workforce Knowledge and Competency Framework (also known as core competencies)
- Progression of Credentials
- Aligning with the Professional Development System
- Kindergarten Entry Assessment
- Data Systems
- Documenting Child Outcomes
Housed in the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Early Childhood Development (ODAS-ECD), the 50-state TA strategy has three key elements:
- outreach and dissemination to states
- internal coordination of TA resources to avoid duplication and leverage resources
- technical assistance to RTT-ELC grantee states.
The overall goal of the 50-state TA strategy is to support RTT-ELC grantees in the implementation of their work, as well as to disseminate learnings and support those states that did not receive a grant. We believe that it is essential to support all states in making progress on those key areas of reform critical to building strong state early care and education systems that lead to improved program quality.
Current 50-state TA strategy work includes a 12-part HHS webinar series that began last fall and covers topics such as:
- Subsidy Innovations
- Professional Development Systems
- State Advisory Councils
- Strengthening Health Outcomes
- Effective Family Engagement Strategies
- Improving Teacher-Child Interactions
- Child Care Monitoring
- 50-state TA strategy
- State Early Childhood Data System Integration
We look forward to continuing to work with our federal partners, RTT-ELC grantees, and early childhood leaders to make the 50-state TA strategy a useful tool in moving states forward in building stronger early care and education systems.