August 3, 2022

FCF Announces Two New States Joining The ECE Business Collabratory

First Children’s Finance is proud to announce the addition of two new states to the ECE Business Collaboratory: Hawaii and Maine.

The Collaboratory’s roster of states includes Alaska, Colorado, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, South Carolina, Texas, Washington, D.C., along with our most recent additions to the programs, the states of Hawaii and Maine.

“We’re thrilled to partner with state teams from all corners of the country. FCF is proud to provide opportunities for states to examine their child care landscape to create meaningful change for child care entrepreneurs, children, families, and communities. We’re honored to be in this work with them.” Heidi Hagel Braid, Chief Program Officer

The Collaboratory will provide opportunities for teams from each state to analyze their states’ child care business system, share best practices and ideas with their counterparts across the country, and implement effective, sustainable strategies to meet unique needs of child care businesses.

Over the next year, First Children’s Finance will lead cross-sector state teams to assess, plan, fund, and implement business improvements to ensure a sustainable and robust child care system. State teams will have the opportunity to think beyond the national crisis to create a blueprint for a strong, sustainable, sufficient child care supply.

The Collaboratory is based on FCF’s State Child Care Business Ecosystem, which identifies the essential elements of a strong, sufficient, and sustainable system of child care. Such a system:

  • Meets the practical, educational, and cultural needs of local children and families.
  • Provides child care business owners and staff with a viable business model, career pathways, livable wages and valuation of their skills.
  • Enhances the local economy, community vitality, and civic life

The teams in both Maine and Hawaii are ready to take on the challenge of improving child care in their respective states with new innovative programs created within the Collaboratory.

“In the great state of Maine, we are ready to start understanding the barriers and gaps in the system.” Crystal Arbour, Program Manager with the Maine Department of Health and Human Services within the Office of Child and Family Services. “Maine is interested in creating a plan to address the business side of ECE by looking at gaps in our current system and the policies that may be barriers to the partnerships created. By identifying the gaps and barriers, Maine hopes to achieve needed changes and in turn, create stronger more sustainable partnerships.”

Carol Wear, the Executive Director for PATCH Hawaii, a community service organization supporting child care needs on the big island, expressed her excitement to participate in the ECE Collaboratory. “The Collaboratory offers an opportunity to create cohesion across interested parties. Hawaii is at a critical juncture to move forward with this technical assistance as the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of child care as an industry and the recognition that there needs to be more supports in place in order for it to grow and flourish. Public and private as well as political investments will help to leverage this opportunity and support implementation of a strategic fiscal plan for child care and all the key players are invested and represented on this team.”

First Children’s Finance is honored to partner with each of its 16 state partners, and will welcome each team to Minneapolis in October 2022 for a three-day convening.