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Hi Iliriana,

Thank you so much for your thoughtful read of our idea and your team's work to put together this amazing opportunity for the field of early childhood . Your questions are great ones and very much on our mind right now. First, we'd love your guidance as to how to appropriately respond to the question about the stage of our proposal. Our idea involves bringing two well-developed models together. PASO--the FFN training program-- has been operational for 10+ years. Hapu--the app connecting providers and parents--is fully operational in Australia, but we are looking to bring it to the U.S. and implement it in tandem with PASO. Thus, while both components of our idea have been separately implemented, we have not yet piloted them together (Hapu + PASO). Would love your thoughts on whether this situation would be better described by "Research & Early Testing" or "Prototyping".

That being said, we are actively working to understand what this collaboration will look like in practice. We are in the process of scheduling some focus groups (hopefully next month) with current and past PASO trainees to understand if/how they might use Hapu and what some of the potential challenges might be. For example, PASO trainees are predominantly Spanish-speaking, Latina FFN providers. We want to better understand what obstacles there might be affecting providers' likelihood of using Hapu, such as comfort with technology, issues of undocumented immigrant providers, and access to bank accounts for the financial transactions element of Hapu. We hope to hold other focus groups with families to understand their needs and challenges. We have also begun conversations with the Hapu development team to explore what modifications might be need to made for launch in the U.S. (e.g., Spanish-language adaptation, banking systems, legal/liability issues).

Additionally, we are planning to engage other groups who might be valuable partners in promoting Hapu and PASO such as the Early Childhood Colorado Partnership, Colorado Office of Early Childhood, Denver Area Nanny Association, Parent Possible, county social services agencies, family health care providers, libraries, museums, and family resource centers.

We are hopeful that through a robust stakeholder engagement process we can better meet the needs of the families, providers, and children. The toolkits that OpenIDEO has developed have been incredibly valuable resources and we look forward to utilizing them in our continued efforts to evolve this project.

Thank you again for your engagement with our idea and please let us know if you have additional thoughts, questions, ideas, or guidance!

Best,

Kelly and the PASO, Hapu, and Policy Equity Group Team

Hi Kristina,

Thanks so much for your question! We absolutely agree that providing high-quality care and education for young children takes a special set of knowledge and skills. One of our partners, the Colorado Statewide Parent Coalition, provides an intensive professional development program for FFN providers that offers training in child development; how to establish a safe, healthy learning environment; how to support children's cognitive, social-emotional, physical, and language development; engaging in positive and productive relationships with families; ensuring a well-run, purposeful program; and maintaining a commitment to professionalism. The training is delivered through institutes/seminars and through home visits with a mentor who provides coaching and helps providers apply what they learn in their classes. This training program is aligned with and helps providers apply for a Child Development Associate (CDA) degree. Providers also gain access to a developmentally appropriate early childhood curriculum and materials and guidance to convert an area of their home into a high-quality learning environment.

We hope that this focus on quality, coupled with Hapu's innovative approach will enable more families to access affordable, high-quality care options.

Thanks again for your question and please let us know if you have any other thoughts, questions, or ideas!