A Collective Impact Organization for Early Childhood: Increasing Access to Quality Care by Uniting Community Sectors

Abstract

Early childhood collective impact organizations are increasingly being used in communities to support the availability and use of birth to five services for children and families. Collaboration across sectors and services allows for greater ease of access to quality health and education services for families seeking or eligible for such services. Knowledge about the logistics of establishing a CI and the activities that lead to sustainment is critical for lasting impact; however, research documenting these aspects of early childhood collective impact models is scarce. This single-case design details how an early childhood collective impact model united stakeholders across a community to create a collaborative system of early care services. Findings offer insight into guiding principles that can serve to initiate and ultimately support collective impact endeavors for the purpose of improving early care and school readiness for children.

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Correspondence to Rebecca Tilhou.

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This project was funded by the Virginia Early Childhood Policy Center at Old Dominion University.

Appendices

Appendix 1: Early Childhood CI Directors Interview Protocol

  1. 1.

    Can you tell us what circumstances led to the creation of the early childhood CI?

  2. 2.

    How was the early childhood CI first funded?

  3. 3.

    Could you describe the strategic goals of the early childhood CI? (Do you have any pamphlets, articles, or paperwork that you could share with us?)

  4. 4.

    When thinking about developing partnerships, it seems like it could be a challenging task to find the right people to partner with when you are building an organization. How were your partnerships with the community developed?

    1. a.

      How did you choose whom to partner with? And how many partnerships are presently in your working group?

    2. b.

      How did you develop those working groups?

  5. 5.

    What do you think are your partners’ motivations for volunteering their support and time to the early childhood CI? And what do you think will keep that motivation sustainable?

  6. 6.

    What do you foresee for the future? How will the early childhood not only be sustained, but grow?

  7. 7.

    What metrics will you use to gauge the impact of the early childhood CI?

  8. 8.

    We would like to have the opportunity to talk with others who you partner with so we are able to present a comprehensive case study. Could you share with us some contacts that can speak further about the early childhood CI?

Appendix 2: Early Childhood CI Key Stakeholders Interview Protocol

  1. 1.

    Could you first tell me a little bit about your role (in your community position/occupation) to give us a good context to begin our interview.

  2. 2.

    How did you first becoming involved with the early childhood CI?

  3. 3.

    How do you see your position and expertise impacting the mission of the early childhood CI?

  4. 4.

    When thinking about reciprocity, you are giving a lot to the early childhood CI. So, how do you see the work of the early childhood CI impacting your organization in turn?

  5. 5.

    When looking towards the future, how do you see the early childhood CI, not only being sustainable, but growing?

Appendix 3: Early Childhood CI Community Partners Interview Protocol

  1. 1.

    Can you tell me about your position with the (specific department/organization)?

  2. 2.

    What issues does your organization aim to address in the community?

  3. 3.

    What challenges does your organization face?

  4. 4.

    How did you come to be involved with the early childhood CI?

  5. 5.

    How do you see the work of the early childhood CI impacting your program or organization? And, how has it impacted you so far?

  6. 6.

    Can you describe any projects or campaigns you are currently working on or have worked on with the early childhood CI?

  7. 7.

    Is there any way that you could be better supported in the community (not necessarily by the early childhood CI but also as a non-profit or community agency)?

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Tilhou, R., Eckhoff, A. & Rose, B. A Collective Impact Organization for Early Childhood: Increasing Access to Quality Care by Uniting Community Sectors. Early Childhood Educ J 49, 111–123 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10643-020-01047-3

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Keywords

  • Collective impact organization
  • Cross-sector collaboration
  • Early childhood community organization