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Virtual Parent Coaching and Data Platform to Support Healthy Child Development

This innovation elevates parents as peer coaches to educate and empower other parents through training, mentorship, and access to data.

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Updates: How has your idea changed or evolved throughout the Prize? What updates have you made to this submission? (1500 characters)

Our original idea was simply “more” of our current work; while that effort would reach an incredible number of parents and children, it would not push boundaries. In talking with stakeholders, we realized our two greatest assets are robust data and the strategy of training parents to screen children. Bringing these elements together would expand the initiative’s capacity to screen more children and empower families to leverage data and technology. We considered information parents typically find useful, as well as how they prefer to access it. Discussions about realities of early childhood programs prompted greater focus on how this proposal could move the needle on parent access and inclusivity with the ultimate goal of positively influencing developmental outcomes for low-income children. To meet the needs of more families, we realized we needed to dream bigger. We have transformed our original idea to focus on increased accessibility afforded by a virtual Parent Coaching model. Leveraging our technology and building an “on call” or virtual parent coaching component will exponentially increase the impact of parent-to-parent support. We can connect with families who are harder to reach and provide easier access to information and support that might otherwise be challenging to obtain. Although our original idea provided these same resources, this iteration generates the ability to reach an even wider network of parents in a deeper way, with lasting impacts on vulnerable young children.

Name or Organization

United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley (UW), in partnership with over 100 community-based organizations throughout MA that provide family support programs and enriching informal environments that promote and support brain development for children ages 0-5, including museums, libraries, and 93 Coordinated Family & Community Engagement programs covering all 351 cities and towns in MA.

Geography

We have successfully piloted in Boston and want to expand through MA/NH and to other cities/states

What is your stage of development?

  • Advanced Innovator with 3 to 10+ years of experience in ECD

Type

  • Non-profit

What is the stage of your proposal?

  • Piloting: I have started to implement my solution as a whole with a first set of real users.

Describe how your solution could be a game-changer for your selected Opportunity Area (600 characters)

UW’s Parent Screener model is an innovative approach to universal child development screening, connecting parents to resources via peer support. UW will transform the model into a Parent Coaching model that leverages a unique data platform to provide parents with instant access to developmental screening data and related information, parenting tools to support early learning (e.g. Vroom), and support through online communities and mentorship. This peer-to-peer model prepares parents to be involved in, advocate for, and scaffold their children’s learning and growth using technology and data.

Select an Innovation Target

  • Platform: Creating a community or market that facilitates interaction between users and resources.

Tell us more about your innovation (1500 characters)

United Way's Parent Screener model improves access to developmental screening and early intervention/support by engaging parents with children ages 0-5 who may not have access to high-quality early learning due to income inequality and other stressors. UW proposes to transform this work through a parent-centered, peer-to-peer approach of Parent Coaching. This approach will facilitate systemic change by empowering parents to find their unique parenting approach that is rooted in the science of child development. This innovation also represents a significant shift in how families are engaged in school readiness efforts--rather than serving families, families will be partners in preparing children for school. United Way will design a pathway for experienced Parent Screeners to become Parent Coaches, creating advanced opportunities for leadership and building a robust network of parent leaders. UW created a ground-breaking data platform that we will enhance to provide Parent Coaches with access to simplified data, accompanied by appropriate resources. For this effort, UW proposes infusing understanding and utilization of the data platform into training for Parent Coaches. Together, these efforts will create a cadre of parent leaders, equipped with the tools needed to generate a movement of parent knowledge about the importance and utility of understanding their child’s development using data and technology to ensure they enter school ready to learn and succeed.

What problem are you aiming to solve? (3 sentences)

Families in low-income neighborhoods are at greater risk of social isolation, often leading to poor education outcomes. Largely due to lack of access to high quality early childhood supports and services, a significant number of children do not enter Kindergarten on track (about 37% in Boston). Parents need access to information and resources related to their child’s development early on to become active participants in and advocates for their child’s healthy development and educational success.

Explain your idea (5000 characters)

New parents often wonder how their children are developing. “Is this ‘normal’?” “Shouldn't my son be doing [skill] by now?” Many parents turn to the internet or their own network for answers, and often find unsupported or contradictory information. What if someone trained in developmental screening, knowledgeable about child development, who spoke the parent’s home language and lived in their neighborhood, was part of that parent’s network? Parents would learn from a parent they trust and understand how to help their children (or get help to) reach milestones. That's the power of the Parent Screener network, a movement of over 40 parents in Boston who guide parents without judgement, building stronger families and communities. Now, imagine if that movement also included virtual Parent Coaches, enabling their reach to ripple, to reinforce positive parenting practices, provide in-the-moment support, connect parents to community resources, help parents achieve their own goals for parenting, and empower them to advocate for their children. Since 2014, UW’s Data and Resources Invested in Vital Early Education (DRIVE) initiative has championed the Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ) as a conduit for family engagement, parent empowerment, and kindergarten readiness. Through this initiative, we have funded and trained Parent Screeners who are competent in supporting parents through developmental screening and connection to resources. A Parent Screener learning community connects parent screeners with each other to build their knowledge and reinforce their skills in working with families. This parent-centered approach empowers parents to be active participants in their child’s education. It also provided UW with the idea for Parent Coaches--our screeners learn so much from each other, how could we bring that connection to the broader parent community? UW’s DRIVE database is the only aggregated source of early childhood developmental screening data in MA that provides programs and Parent Screeners with information on developmental progress at the individual, program, neighborhood, and city level. Armed with data, Parent Screeners support parents by offering targeted support, sharing customized information on developmental areas and making referrals to relevant community resources, family events, play groups, etc. This work has prompted the state to recommend the ASQ as the preferred early childhood developmental screening tool. As part of the virtual Parent Coach model, UW will expand the data platform to create a parent portal with a user-friendly interface, visual representations of data, non-technical explanations of data analyses, and connections to local resources and child development information that corresponds with screening results. Parent Coaches will have easy access to interpret and share data with parents to support early childhood development in their communities. For instance, a child’s score indicating a fine motor concern would automatically generate suggestions and resources related to fine motor development. We will build in new training focused on the use of data, ensuring that parents understand the screening data collected and that the resources provided correlate to unique screening results across each developmental domain. Through this effort, we will leverage this data platform to create a movement of parents equipped with increased access to data, social support, and targeted resources. The Parent Coach model will increase touchpoints with families by extending coaching virtually, moving from an initial interaction to ongoing support, including goal-setting related to healthy child development. Additionally, we will leverage the Family Access feature of ASQ Online as an easy way for families to complete a developmental screening for their child online and for providers to automatically receive the results. Once a family completes a screen, the Parent Coach will schedule an in-person visit to follow up on screening results, with primary goals of establishing a relationship in person that can be sustained virtually thereafter, providing information, support, and goal setting. This initial visit fosters a sense of trust between the Parent Coach and the parent, and ongoing Parent Coaching allows this relationship to flourish, inspiring personal and professional growth for the Parent Coach and the parent and stronger supports for the child. On an individual level, Parent Coaches relay a toolkit tailored to each family and child, facilitating the parent’s active participation in their child’s road to school readiness and in their own confidence-building for engagement with the education system. On a community level, Parent Coaches mentor new Parent Coaches, launching an expansive community of Parent Coaches, knowledgeable about child development and dedicated to ensuring all parents have the same information and ability to prepare their children to enter school.

Who benefits? (1500 characters)

Children, particularly of low-income families, who may not be enrolled in formal early childhood settings: greater likelihood of receiving developmental screening, benefitting from their parents’ increased knowledge of developmental milestones, and being connected to supportive resources before age 5. Parents, particularly in low-income neighborhoods and/or who speak a language other than English: increased access to developmental screening, social supports, and other community resources. By building rapport with a peer leader, parents are able to establish more ties across their community and develop a stronger voice as an advocate in their children’s development. Parent Coaches: an avenue for economic mobility and/or means for economic stability, as Parent Coaches advance their leadership skills and create stronger networks across their neighborhoods. Communities: families who were previously described by some as 'hard to reach' now access services and connect to organizations based in their neighborhoods, and collaborate more effectively with the confidence and knowledge they’ve gained about their child's developmental strengths and needs. Early Childhood Field: throughout DRIVE’s history, increased utilization of community resources coupled with aggregated data demonstrating areas of development in which children need more support has informed policy, funding, and programmatic decision-making.

What kind of impact will your idea have? (1500 characters)

The Parent Coaching Model is a catalyst for positive change with long-lasting outcomes. Creating a dialogue around developmental screening helps bring to light concerns parents may have, as well as helping parents gain more confidence and understanding about how to nurture their child's healthy development. By raising awareness of healthy child development and community resources, families in Boston and beyond are more equipped to help their children practice foundational developmental life skills, and to seek out community supports and advocate for resources that will help their children grow and prepare for Kindergarten. In many cases, the support from a Parent Screener is what leads families to begin to access social networks and community resources such as play groups, the library, and Early Intervention services. Through cultivation of parent-to-parent coaching, and the increased capacity allowed with integrating Parent Coaching, we will be able to engage more Parent Coaches in order to reach more parents. As a result of this work, we expect to see an increase in the number of parents actively engaged in their children’s learning, and a greater number of children entering Kindergarten ready to learn as evidenced by kindergarten achievement data. Additionally, we will readily provide an aggregated source of early childhood data for communities throughout the state.

How does or how could your idea impact low-income children? (1500 characters)

The Parent Screener model was launched to target low-income families. Enhancing the model will expand the reach of our efforts in early childhood developmental screening and parent engagement, improving the likelihood that low-income children gain access to resources and supports that will help them get/stay on track for school readiness. Additionally, by shifting the Parent Screener role to one of more intentional, ongoing Parent Coaching and support, low-income children who often do not have formal access to early education and care, will benefit from their parents’ increased ability to embrace the role of being their children's first teacher. This early access to information and support enables parents of low-income children to build advocacy skills that will aid them in interaction with the school system, fostering engagement that is shown to advance child outcomes. The virtual nature of the coaching model also allows for a light touch approach that enables more low-income families to obtain support, as they can work around unavoidable obstacles that may be more prominent and limit access to more intensive services, such as high stress and busy schedules due to juggling of priorities related to fulfilling basic needs. On a very fundamental level, when parents get help, their children benefit. The Parent Coaching model ensures more parents get the help they and their children want and need to thrive.

Innovation: What makes your concept innovative? (5000 characters)

UW’s Parent Screener model is already considered to be an innovative and cost-effective approach to providing developmental screening to children who need it most. Typically, this type of child screening and parent support is provided through services like home visiting programs. Although home visiting has tremendous results when done with fidelity, it is time- and staff-intensive, as well as expensive, and often comes with strict eligibility parameters. Moreover, home visiting programs without significant government support can be difficult to sustain and scale. Our model provides a lighter touch, more universal version of the home visit- a series of virtual follow-ups which utilizes the developmental screening process as an entryway to empowering parents with child development knowledge and ultimately preparing children to enter Kindergarten ready to learn. This is a game-changer for communities large and small, rural and urban. As we seek to expand this program throughout Massachusetts and beyond, we realize a Parent Coaching model would leverage UW’s existing data platform, its Parent Screener model, and the Family Access tool created by Brookes Publishing Company, creator of the ASQ. As UW’s DRIVE database provides the only aggregated source of early childhood developmental screening data in Massachusetts, we are able to provide access to previously unavailable data and make it actionable at the parent, program, and community level. By integrating the Parent Coaching interface with DRIVE, we will give parents the ability to complete developmental screening online, receive child level screening information that can be compared to community statistics, and receive the support they need through timely access to data and an on-call parenting coach. Although all of these elements are ground-breaking to the field, the introduction of an on-call coach would create a positive, disruptive force for all parents, but especially low-income families who may lack the financial resources for such a service. So, what is an on-call Parent Coach? We begin with a trusted person in the community. Someone who is a parent herself who has accessed services and resources in the community, lives in the same neighborhood as the family she is connecting with, and speaks the same language. This Parent Coach connects with parents with young children at benefits offices, playgrounds, grocery stores, and plants a seed to get them thinking about their children’s development. She gives them more information, and offers to connect with them to screen their child. She pulls out her tablet and does the ASQ screen or sets up a time to do it in the future. The parent may want immediate feedback on the screen and decide to use the Family Access tool. Parents and the Parent Coach view the screening results. They meet in person or virtually to discuss results, talk about community supports, and set parenting and child development goals. The Parent Coach helps the parent download the on-call coaching tool on her phone or computer. This is the start of a beautiful, virtual relationship! The Parent Screener now becomes a virtual coach, connecting parents to services and events in the community, activities to support their children’s development, and reminders to follow up on referrals. Parents who serve as coaches will be viewed as experts, advocates, and community leaders, which will have real impact, particularly for parents who previously were seen as recipients and clients. All parents will have access to a data platform, technology to support virtual parent coaching, real-time data, recommended activities and resources, and tracking of changes in developmental progress over time. This goes beyond simply screening children for developmental concerns, and empowers parents to build skills and be active participants in their children’s learning and development. The support and skills parents gain, coupled with knowledge of understanding and interpreting their child’s progress through data, empowers them to advocate for their own children as well as children in their community to ensure sustained success in school and in life. The Parent Coaching model will build virtual and actual community. Parents will gain a trusted confidant who knows and cares about their child’s development and provides on-call support and guidance who is also a local peer they can connect with at the library, playgroups, and grocery store.

Scale: Describe how your idea could reach a significant number of end-users. (1500 characters)

In Boston, over 6,000 children ages 0-5 have been screened to-date (15% of total children), of which 10% have been rescreened. Of children rescreened after one year, over 60% showed improved development as a result of referrals, resources and supports provided to children and families. With the proposed innovation, UW could easily screen and support at least 15% of the approximately 400,000 children ages 0-5 statewide. Barriers to reaching this goal include a significant number of families with young children experiencing homelessness who are hard to reach, for which UW will leverage its partnerships to expand developmental screening through programs outside of early childhood. Although a number of programs have yet to adopt use of the ASQ, MA’s Department of Early Education and Care has recently adopted it as the standard screening tool for child care, based on the success of DRIVE. UW’s continued efforts to influence early childhood policy will help scale Parent Coaching throughout the state. Funding for even low-cost early childhood innovations is a challenge. UW will leverage the intellectual power of its Private Equity/Venture Capital network, which has long supported innovations in early childhood to think through sustainable revenue models. UW also has unique access to corporate relationships and a large donor network of 55,000 individuals. As we build out this model, we will position it as a key donor investment option.

Feasibility: Where are you with understanding the feasibility of your idea? Describe what you’ve done so far and your plans. (3000 characters)

United Way has dedicated staff who champion this work and recognize the vital input of community stakeholders. Throughout DRIVE’s launch and expansion, we have built strong relationships with partners who know their insight and input is valued by our staff. In our experience, Parent Screeners who are reflective of the community have particular success with outreach to and building relationships with families who may not be connected to formal early childhood settings. UW staff regularly check in with community agencies to gauge progress and determine needs for technical assistance or other support. In conjunction with the cultivation of the Parent Coaching model, UW will continue to provide these supports and hold ongoing conversations with community partners regarding their needs and feedback. Community partners are engaged, excited about, and actively using the Parent Screener model to support families. 23 community-based partners across 60 sites have participated in DRIVE, and the number is steadily growing. This model resonates with people in the community who work with young children and families, especially who are disconnected or hard to reach. As a result, these organizations have found ways to support and sustain this work over time and continue to identify parent leaders to become Parent Screeners. Because of this, we know the model is feasible. The existing network of Parent Screeners includes many who are well-positioned to become coaches within the mentorship model, having served as successful Parent Screeners and actively participating in conversations about how to improve upon the current nature of the work. Virtual Parent Coaching will provide an even greater benefit to the community as more parents are supported and taught to understand child development through data and technology. We know the model is feasible in other communities, too--UW is asked to provide technical assistance to communities, including training, coaching, and materials to replicate its Parent Screener model, and other funders are asking grantees to replicate our work. Building upon our current model, Parent Coaching would exponentially increase the depth and breadth of this initiative without significantly increasing the resources required. Based on our experience in the Financial Opportunity arena, we know a coaching model will allow us to reach scale quickly and sustainably. UW leads Project Reinvest, which supports 21 organizations to build capacity and provide high-quality financial coaching for low- and moderate-income residents statewide. Over the course of this year, approximately 2,800 MA residents will participate in financial coaching through the Project Reinvest, which is more than double compared to the previous year. This scale is achieved through ongoing training and support of coaching and a formal model that guides coaches and participants through the process. UW will apply lessons learned in this work to the early childhood space.

Business Viability: How viable is your business model? (5000 characters)

UW’s DRIVE initiative was launched with support from Private Equity and Venture Capital (PE/VC) industry leaders in Boston, with a vision of leveraging “Big Data” to support school readiness in Boston. To date, UW’s PE/VC Leadership Council has raised close to $1 million to expand and scale this initiative, while also providing thought leadership throughout the program’s development. As an example, the Council provided technical guidance on the DRIVE database, which aggregates developmental screening data at the program, neighborhood, and community level. As a result, DRIVE gives us the data to have an immediate impact for individuals while building the foundation to measure effectiveness of and drive resources toward proven programs in the future. While there is still room for expansion within MA, the Parent Screener model is already sought after for replication in other states. This effort has also attracted additional funders, including corporate, individual, and private philanthropy and, as previously mentioned, is a model that funders in communities outside of MA are asking their grantees to replicate. The natural next iteration of this model - virtual Parent Coaching - builds upon DRIVE’s proven success and established network. Leveraging existing partnerships and Parent Screeners would streamline onboarding to a virtual engagement platform and provide a built-in test group to continuously incorporate feedback into the program’s design. There is a strong case for government support as well, as UW has seen in Massachusetts. In most communities, developmental screening is not happening outside of pediatricians’ offices or early childhood programs, and even in those settings, only a fraction of low-income children who have access are screened. Kindergarten readiness is a challenge in every community, and the only way to ensure children enter school ready to learn is to identify developmental concerns early and make sure they are addressed. Parents are their children’s first teacher, and engaging families in understanding and supporting their child’s development is critical to this effort. In response to our DRIVE work and accomplishments to-date, the MA Department of Education convened a Screening Task Force who recently made a recommendation for the ASQ to be the recommended screening tool for early childhood providers across the state, and is looking to UW to provide the training, technical assistance, and data capabilities to support these efforts. In order to ensure continued success, United Way proposes to leverage additional technology by connecting to existing innovations including the Family Access portal for developmental screening as well as family engagement tools that support and promote healthy child development, such as the Vroom app, and build an approach that can be replicated and scaled in other communities. We will also draw from our extensive experience creating and managing the statewide Brain Building in Progress campaign (www.brainbuildinginprogress.org), through which we have disseminated a parent training on child development that is still sought after by other communities. Outside of early childhood, United Way has a strong track record of developing a coaching framework and trainings for Project Reinvest and coordinating e-coaching for our Marian L. Heard Scholarship program. Over the past year, our financial coaching efforts have culminated in the emergence of a ‘Master Coaching’ community of practice, where experienced coaches support each other and continue to take advantage of opportunities for professional development. UW’s e-coaching program connects low-income college students to a community leader who is a college grad to help navigate new experiences and connect to internships and jobs. E-coaches receive training and ongoing support and guidance from UW staff. Lessons learned from these practices will be used to strategically inform the evolution of our Parent Screener model into one of more ongoing mentorship and Parent Coaching. In the longer-term, the synergy of United Way’s early childhood, college and career readiness, and financial opportunity efforts will prove extremely valuable not just because of the broader lessons learned, but also due to the overlapping markets. As an example, the Parent Coaching model has the potential to coalesce with our Financial Coaching into a larger two-generational effort, a massive opportunity to streamline and enhance both major efforts impacting families across every community.

HCD: How have you used human centered design to build or refine your concept? (5000 characters)

Human centered design is core to UW’s work in early childhood, parent leadership, and family engagement. Our work is most successful when it is parent-designed and led. Since the inception of the original Parent Screener model, United Way has positioned end-users as the central focus of design and enhancements to the DRIVE initiative. The concept of leveraging data to support a new Parent Coaching model has been greatly inspired and informed by current Parent Screeners, many of whom were formerly parents benefitting from parental engagement through developmental screening. Parent Screeners participate in continuous refining of the current model and contributing their ideas for additional innovation through the Community of Practice, individual data discussions, and storytelling. Over the past 3 years many Parent Screeners have inquired about opportunities for advancement within the Parent Screener model, and have naturally pursued additional leadership opportunities to deepen their engagement in the community--demonstrating that the Parent Coaching model is a logical next step for this work. Further, in ideating the Parent Coaching concept we relied on our collective wealth of experience in the early childhood field culminating in observations about how parents best receive information and how we can make data more tangible for parents. United Way is committed to human-centered design, using design thinking to build out other new programs and refine current programs over the past two years. UW has trained multiple staff on the principles of design thinking and routinely uses the model to test, ideate and prototype. We also use journey mapping to understand what our donors truly want from their UW experience. In the last two years, UW has conducted empathy interviews and focus groups with hundreds of community members as part of product development and we use the process internally to develop stronger donor engagement and stewardship activities. Through our design thinking and journey mapping work, UW repositioned its impact language and call to action. We have created new revenue models with corporate partners and brought scale to our volunteer grant review process. And, we are currently using design thinking to explore a potential new summer program. We will employ important tactics such as these as this idea continues to formulate, to ensure we maintain a human centered perspective design. As we design the Parent Coaching platform, we will use a design thinking process with current Parent Screeners and potential partners. Future conversations with community partners will build off of the empathy mapping we have already concluded with parents, ensuring that our prototype for the virtual Parent Coaching model in fact feel feasible to those doing as well as benefiting from the work. UW has found the process of ideating and prototyping to be a great engagement opportunity for end users and we are excited to bring this to our Parent Screening community.

Tell us more about you (3000 characters)

The early childhood team at United Way brings a robust background to this work. The Community Impact division at UW is led by Karley Ausiello, Senior Vice President, who has a background in national service, youth development, and community organizing. As an active parent of children in Boston Public Schools and a Boston resident herself, Karley embodies parent engagement and is passionate about social justice and equity in education. Karley co-leads Boston's Birth to 8 collective impact network which seeks out intersections between health, child development, education, and economic mobility with the vision of achieving wellbeing for all children. Sunindiya Bhalla, Senior Director of Educational Success, leads our early childhood work and is responsible for the growth of both the DRIVE initiative. Sunindiya has a passion for early childhood programs that take a two generational approach, empowering parents while addressing the developmental needs of young children. Sunindiya brings knowledge of design thinking principles, as well as strength in building relationships with diverse stakeholders. She has built her career around healthy child development and is particularly motivated to empower all adults to be Brain Builders of young children. Alyssa Lowell, MSW, is a Director of Educational Success and oversees the expansion of DRIVE, bringing on new programs, supporting communities who are replicating the initiative, and participating in the Early Childhood Learning and Innovation Network of Communities (EC-LINC) run by the Center for the Study of Social Policy. Carla Therriault, LICSW, is the Program Manager of DRIVE, overseeing day-to-day technical assistance and data management, and leading our Parent Screener community of practice. Our team is also supported by committed volunteers from Boston's Private Equity/Venture Capital sector. Their ability to analyze problems, identify opportunities for growth and innovation, and scale what works is a critical engine for our work. Accessing the business acumen of this industry to support expansion and scale of this growing network of Parent Coaches will be helpful in ensuring we do not expand without having the necessary resources or infrastructure in place. Together with our community partners in the Early Childhood field, we are well poised to create positive, lasting change in the lives of families with young children.

Do you have the people and partners you need to do what you’ve described? (600 characters)

A well-established network of community partners is actively engaged in the current model and invested in enhancing the work. As we expand and improve, we will work with over 100 community-based organizations throughout MA to identify new and existing parent leaders to participate in the Parent Coaching model, and ultimately be available to all families with children ages 0-5, with a priority of engaging low-income families who may not have access to formal early learning environments and parenting support.

As you consider your next steps, what kinds of help could you use? Is there a type of expertise that would be most helpful? (1800 characters)

Assistance forging new partnerships with similar early childhood innovators and relevant existing resources would be a great asset to our work and to the field. The Vroom app, an innovation mentioned earlier in this application, is a great example of an effort that promotes the role of parents in fostering young children's learning and development. In implementing its Brain Building in Progress public awareness efforts, United Way has actively promoted the Vroom app (see www.brainbuildinginprogress.org) and is interested in partnering with other organizations such as this to collectively think about how to continue leveraging technology to build family engagement and support healthy child development. Through DRIVE, we have significant data on the developmental progress of children ages 0-5, and would like to better utilize this information in partnership with other data systems. Further expertise in leveraging our data to establish comparisons with other data points, such as those collected by school systems, would be monumental in bringing greater utility to the data that is collected, as well as open up opportunities for more alignment and collaboration across sectors for collective impact. We would greatly benefit from help in scaling this work and rapidly on-ramping new communities, as well as better uplifting the visibility of Parent Screeners through public awareness so they gain recognition as an integral support for early childhood. We will leverage all stakeholders and a variety of partnerships from business leaders to community leaders to parents to community-based organizations to philanthropists to create a movement that empowers parents and ensures all children thrive, leading to productive citizens and successful communities.

Would you like mentoring support?

  • Yes

If so, what type of mentoring support do you think you need? (1200 characters)

The early childhood field at large is very segmented and lacks coordination. We need continued mentorship and openness like what is provided through this challenge, as well as knowledge about what similar projects are out there so we can benefit from each other’s experience and collaborate in order to achieve strong early childhood outcomes. As we continuously enhance our data platform and Parent Coaching model, we are incorporating more and more technology into our work. Experts in the field of technology could provide useful insight into ways to optimize use of technology to increase efficiency. As we expand technology, we increase the amount of data we collect. Mentorship around data infrastructure, use, and connection to other types of early childhood, health, and education data would assist us in someday building to a cohesive system of big data in early childhood.

Are you willing to share your email contact information submitted on OpenIDEO with Gary Community Investments?

  • Yes, share my contact information

[Optional] Biography: Upload your biography. Please include links to relevant information (portfolio, LinkedIn profile, organization website, etc).

www.unitedwaymassbay.org/drive

Mentorship: How was your idea supported? (5000 characters)

The mentorship our team received from Carolyn Lyons provided profound support for honing our idea. Carolyn knew about the work our UW was doing related to the Campaign for Grade Level Reading, but she wasn’t as familiar with our Parent Screener model. Because she knew UW and our potential, she was able to jump right in with ideas and feedback. She provided invaluable feedback on focusing on the elements of our model that could have the greatest impact on the field at large from her national perspective - the combination of data and parent engagement. She encouraged us to take risks in these areas and as a result, our refined idea is more bold and has the potential for greater impact and scale. Additionally, given the open platform, we also benefited from the comments provided to us on our idea, and by sharing it more broadly with our current network of partners to solicit their input.

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