Self-Assessment Tool

Early Childhood Integrated Financing Toolkit

Integrated Financing Self-Assessment Tool

This Integrated Financing Self-Assessment Tool is designed to help evaluate how your community is utilizing all relevant, available early childhood care and education (ECCE) resources to meet the needs of children and families in your community by reviewing information and data collected from a variety of recent initiatives, including:
Fiscal Map. A community level assessment of the financial resources available to serve children birth-5 with early childhood care and education services, by program type and source; and a summary of demographic characteristics of young children in those geographic boundaries. Some communities have completed fiscal maps; others may access resources and a tutorial to explore fiscal mapping on the VECF website.
VECF Integrated Financing Toolkit. A comprehensive review of funding streams, programs, eligibility criteria and guidelines, and key community stakeholders responsible for ensuring early childhood care and education services for children birth-5 in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
VA Child Care Mapping Project. Child Care Aware of Virginia’s child care mapping project is designed to enable viewers to see the various types of child care programs throughout Virginia and overlaid with child poverty data.
*Specific thus far to PDG B-5 pilot communities:
Coordinated Enrollment Self-Assessment Tool. An activity that PDG B-5 pilot communities have undertaken to convene ECCE stakeholders with the goal of coordinating outreach and enrollment practices to maximize services for children 0-5. Non-PDG B-5 communities may access this resource here.
LinkB5 Data Portal. A data portal designed for the PDG B-5 pilot communities, sites, and teachers to capture information on access and quality from (at a minimum) all early education programs receiving public funds to serve young children with early childhood care and education services. At this time, only PDG B-5 communities have access to this resource.
Why Engage in this Process?
Research on child development shows emphatically that the first five years of life are a critical period of child development. To this end, a range of publicly-funded programs have been established over many years by the federal government and the Commonwealth of Virginia. Each public sector funding stream has its own requirements, standards, and accountability, and those requirements are frequently in tension with each other. While the PDG B-5 Needs Assessment documents that Virginia has physical capacity across its various ECCE programs to serve 75% of children birth to age five, there is significant disconnect (in available financing, age/socioeconomic status eligibility, location/geography) between seats and children in need.
In the absence of streamlined federal and state administration of early childhood funds, community and site leaders are tasked with understanding and “knitting” available revenue streams/programs into a coherent system that maximizes reach. Local community leaders have the opportunity to collectively and thoughtfully determine needs and goals for their service area, and then skillfully maximize access to funding (rather than let the available funding drive the services provided). 


Overview of the Process
Virginia has significant opportunity at present to build an effective and durable system to advance school readiness for young children. In some communities, the PDG B-5 grant helps accelerate these efforts with resources to collect timely information about services to young children at the community level. For all communities, this self-assessment process will facilitate a conversation about available data, information, and resources to assist your community to:
Identify assets and gaps (successes and challenges) in the delivery of services to young children
Develop action steps to address challenges
Envision a process and commitment to expand and sustain coordination of ECCE funding in your community.
The table below provides a set of questions that draws on the available documents/resources to guide your conversation of critical issues. Data sources available to PDG B-5 communities are marked with an asterisk. While the Coordinated Enrollment Self-Assessment Tool is available to interested communities by clicking here, the LinkB5 Data Portal is limited to only those PDG B-5 pilot communities at this time but may be more broadly available in the future.

Integrated Financing Self-Assessment Worksheet

and Context