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RFP: Kindergarten Readiness Family Focus Groups

Invitation

Organizations and consultants are invited to submit one response to the Children’s Institute’s Kindergarten Readiness Family Focus Groups Request for Proposal (RFP). To submit a proposal, applicants must comply with the instructions contained in this RFP. By submitting a proposal, the applicant agrees to the RFP terms and conditions. Competitive proposals will be considered for the Kindergarten Readiness Family Focus Groups project.

The RFP proposal due date is Friday, December 1, 2017 at 5:00 p.m. PST.

Instructions to Submit

Please submit your proposal electronically to Elena Rivera, Health Policy and Program Advisor, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by Friday, December 1st, 2017. Please include the title "Kindergarten Readiness Family Focus Groups" in the subject line.

Contact

Elena Rivera
Health Policy and Program Advisor
(503) 219-9034
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Children’s Institute Overview

Children's Institute envisions an Oregon where every child is prepared for success in school and life. Children experience their most profound brain development in the first eight years of life, and the quality of life experiences during that time sets the foundation for all future learning and development. We advocate for strategic policies and investments in early education and healthy development, because investing early in kids and their families is the most effective strategy for improving long-term outcomes for Oregon’s children.

Kindergarten Readiness Family Focus Group Background

A primary goal of Oregon’s early learning system is ensuring that all children arrive at kindergarten ready for school. There is broad understanding that multiple family, community, early care and education, and health factors contribute to children’s kindergarten readiness. However, there is no consensus about the roles that various sectors play, or how they should work together toward the shared goal of kindergarten readiness.

Oregon’s early learning system is developing an early learning plan for the state, which will include priority actions and policies to improve young children’s kindergarten readiness. Oregon’s health system is seeking to identify metrics that can be implemented to hold the health system accountable for its role in kindergarten readiness. Decision-makers and stakeholders agree that these efforts should be informed by the perspectives of families. Children’s Institute can provide critical support to Oregon by taking the lead on gathering family input on key questions about kindergarten readiness.

Focus Group Purpose and Rationale

Children’s Institute is seeking support from an independent contractor to help conduct 6-8 focus groups with families in communities across Oregon to inform the development of a health system accountability measure related to kindergarten readiness, as well as the development of Oregon’s early learning plan. The purpose of the family focus groups is to solicit input from parents and caregivers on the definition and domains of kindergarten readiness that are most important to them, as well as their perspective on the roles of the health system and early learning systemi in promoting kindergarten readiness. While Oregon has undertaken some past work to gather family input about various early childhood topics, these efforts have tended to be regional and often narrowly focused on gathering input to inform a specific program. This will be the first statewide effort to gather family input on the roles of the health and early learning sectors in promoting kindergarten readiness.

Focus group findings will inform the state’s early learning plan, the process and outcomes of a technical work group dedicated to developing health metrics related to kindergarten readiness, and will be shared broadly with other stakeholders. Importantly, focus groups also present an opportunity for Children’s Institute to deepen relationships with communities across Oregon and build awareness about the  importance of a comprehensive early learning system. The goal of the focus groups is to collect input from families to answer three overarching research questions:

    1. How do families define kindergarten readiness and what do they believe are the critical components of kindergarten readiness?
    2. How do families describe the role that the health system plays in promoting kindergarten readiness?
      1. What can pediatricians and other health providers do to support their children’s healthy development?
      2. What can clinics/medical homes do to support their children’s healthy development?
      3. What positive experiences have families had, and what would they like to see improve?
    3. How do families describe the role that the early learning system plays in promoting kindergarten readiness?
      1. What can preschool teachers and child care providers do to support their children’s healthy development?
      2. What other early learning supports do families need/benefit from?
      3. What positive experiences have families had, and what would they like to see improve?

Scope of Work

Children’s Institute is seeking external support from a contractor to plan and conduct family focus groups. The selected contractor will work closely with Children’s Institute’s Health Policy and Program Advisor and Kindergarten Readiness Consultant on key activities: 

  1. Develop and refine the focus group protocol, leveraging similar research undertaken in other areas of the country to ask families aboutkindergarten readiness.ii,iii
  2. Develop and refine a sampling plan and outreach materials tailored to our target audience.
  3. Schedule and conduct 6-8 focus groups across Oregon, prioritizing communities where Children’s Institute has strong and growing relationships with partners (ranging from Multnomah County to Wallowa County).
  4. Write individual focus group summary reports of high-level themes on a rolling basis.
  5. Write an overall focus group summary report that identifies key findings across all focus groups.

Our target audience is parents, caregivers, and family members of children ages 0-8. We seek input from families who are living in poverty, belong to racial/ethnic minorities, live in rural communities, and have children with developmental disabilities or special health needs.

All data must be collected, analyzed, and summarized by March 1, 2018. 

This short timeline is driven by the processes and timelines for launching a kindergarten readiness metric technical workgroup and developing the state’s early learning plan.

Total project budget is not to exceed $72,000.

Proposal Submission Instructions

Please submit your proposal electronically to Elena Rivera, Health Policy and Program Advisor, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by Friday, December 1s 2017. Please include the title "Kindergarten Readiness Family Focus Groups" in the subject line.

Proposals should be no longer than 5 pages long (not including example work
products), and must include:

  1. Statement of organizational capacity, background and qualifications of individuals working on the project that includes:
    1. Experience conducting focus groups with parents/caregivers of young children, including: families living in poverty, culturally and linguistically diverse families, and families living in rural communities
    2. Example work products for similar projects
    3. References for similar projects
  2. Detailed budget and timeline to complete the project within the project timeline (by March 1, 2018) and within the project budget (not to exceed $72,000). The budget should include a clearly delineated fee structure tied to each task associated with the project (e.g. focus group facilitation, travel costs, participation incentives, data analysis).

All submissions are to be for a contractor position. As such, the contractor will be independent and not considered an employee of Children’s Institute. The successful contractor shall be responsible for payment of all social security and income taxes associated with payment for said services.

Notes

i  ‘Early learning system’ refers to the programs and services that promote children’s development and learning before they enter kindergarten, and includes voluntary home visiting programs, Early Intervention and Early Childhood Special Education services, child care, and preschool.

ii  http://geears.org/wp-content/uploads/GA-School-Readiness-Framework.pdf

iii  http://trustforlearning.org/assets/F_TFL_ParentasConsumers_FullResearchReport_SinglePage_100317.pdf

 

Download a copy of this RFP

 

 

Action Alert: Help Restore MIECHV Funding

LobbyDay2017 homevisitingfinal1

MIECHV funds high-quality, evidence-based home visiting services in Oregon's voluntary home visiting system.You can help renew federal funding for the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Program by taking three actions.

CALL your members of Congress

You can look up your senators here and your representative here. It’s also important to make calls to leadership in both the House and Senate.

Key points:

  • Families are at risk of losing critical home visiting services because of congressional inaction
  • Congress let MIECHV expire despite strong bipartisan support and clear evidence that MIECHV home visiting programs work
  • States do not have the money to make-up for Congress' inaction
  • S.1829 would reauthorize MIECHV for five years
  • For every tax dollar spent on home visits, as much as $5.70 is returned to the community

Learn more about MIECHV expiration and reauthorization

TWEET your members of Congress

Join the conversation on Twitter: #RenewMIECHV

You can look up Twitter handles of senators here and representatives here. We also encourage you to tweet at Congressional leadership. You can find House leadership here and Senate leadership here.

Use #RenewMIECHV on Twitter and tweet to your members of Congress.

Download and share graphics from the Home Visiting Coalition

Sample Tweet: 

MIECHV is good for families, good for states & good for taxpayers. What are we waiting for? #renewMIECHV

EMAIL your members of Congress

Send an email to your senators and your representatives, as well as House and Senate leadership.

Sample Email:

Subject line: Support S. 1829 to Renew MIECHV – your constituents are counting on you

Dear Senator/Representative ______,

My name is ______ and I live in _______. 

I’m writing to urge you to renew federal funding for home visiting by supporting Senate bill 1829, bipartisan legislation that reauthorizes the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting program for five years without a harmful state match.

It’s been two weeks since inaction allowed the program to expire, and jobs and services are on the line.

Please do everything in your power to pass this legislation as soon as possible. The clock is ticking. Every second that Congress waits is a second closer to lost services and lost jobs.

Children and families across the country are counting on you and your colleagues to pass federal funding for home visiting.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

NAME/CITY

More Resources

Oregon's Voluntary Home Visiting Services

Home Visiting Coalition

Congress Lets 9 Million Children Lose Health Insurance Coverage

Congress allowed the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) to expire on September 30, 2017. By failing to act, 9 million children are at risk for losing their health insurance. The program, created in 1997, provides health insurance to low-income children and pregnant women. CHIP had been reauthorized every five years since its creation.

CHIP has been an incredible success. The program was instrumental in reducing uninsured rates for children, from 14 percent in 1997 to 4.5 percent by 2015.

Oregon is projected to exhaust its CHIP funding by the end of 2017. Along with 48 other states and the District of Columbia, Oregon assumed continued federal funding for CHIP in its 2018 fiscal year state budget.

Currently, 96.7 percent of children in Oregon have health insurance coverage. When CHIP funds expire, Oregon will have to act to maintain health care coverage for low-income children in 2018 and beyond. We do not currently know how Oregon will continue health coverage for those affected.

“Regular health care is crucial to children’s development,” said Swati Adarkar, Children’s Institute’s president and CEO. “Preventive care like well-child visits, immunizations, and vision and dental screenings are fundamental for keeping kids healthy so they can thrive and reach their full potential.”

Contact U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley to let them know letting CHIP expire is unacceptable.

U.S. Senator Ron Wyden

Contact by email

Washington, DC: 202.224.5244

Portland: 503.326.7525

Bend: 541.330.9142

Eugene: 541.431.0229

Medford: 541.858.5122

Salem: 503.589.4555

U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley

Contact by email

Washington, DC: 202.224.3753

Portland: 503.326.3386

Bend: 541.318.1298

Eugene: 541.465.6750

Medford: 541.608.9102

Salem: 503.362.8102


Sample Tweets (copy & paste)

Without CHIP, 9 million kids could lose their health care coverage. #CHIP @RonWyden @JeffMerkley http://www.childinst.org/ci-updates/26-hot-topics/900-congress-lets-9-million-children-lose-health-insurance-coverage

Kids’ health should be above politics. Re-authorize CHIP. #CHIP @RonWyden @JeffMerkley http://www.childinst.org/ci-updates/26-hot-topics/900-congress-lets-9-million-children-lose-health-insurance-coverage

96.7% of kids in Oregon have health insurance. When happens when #CHIP funds expire? @OregonGovBrown http://www.childinst.org/ci-updates/26-hot-topics/900-congress-lets-9-million-children-lose-health-insurance-coverage

Sample Facebook Posts (copy & paste)

Congress let the Children’s Health Insurance Plan (CHIP) expire last Saturday. 9 million kids are at risk of losing their health care coverage. Call Senators Wyden and Merkley and let them know kids needs healthcare now. #CHIP Without CHIP, 9 million kids could lose their health care coverage. #CHIP @RonWyden @JeffMerkley http://www.childinst.org/ci-updates/26-hot-topics/900-congress-lets-9-million-children-lose-health-insurance-coverage

Kids deserve a healthy start in life. Without the Children’s Insurance Health Plan, millions of kids won’t have access to a doctor for basic care like well child-visits, immunizations, or vision care. Tell Senators Wyden and Merkley that all kids need healthcare now. #CHIP Without CHIP, 9 million kids could lose their health care coverage. #CHIP @RonWyden @JeffMerkley http://www.childinst.org/ci-updates/26-hot-topics/900-congress-lets-9-million-children-lose-health-insurance-coverage

Regular health care is crucial to children’s development. Without CHIP, 9 million kids could lose their health care coverage. #CHIP @RonWyden @JeffMerkley http://www.childinst.org/ci-updates/26-hot-topics/900-congress-lets-9-million-children-lose-health-insurance-coverage

Care like well-child visits, immunizations, and vision and dental screenings are fundamental for keeping kids healthy so they can thrive and reach their full potential. Tell Senators Wyden and Merkley kids need healthcare now. Without CHIP, 9 million kids could lose their health care coverage. #CHIP @RonWyden @JeffMerkley http://www.childinst.org/ci-updates/26-hot-topics/900-congress-lets-9-million-children-lose-health-insurance-coverage

Every child in this country deserves a healthy start in life. Tell Senators Wyden and Merkley that all kids need healthcare now. #CHIP Without CHIP, 9 million kids could lose their health care coverage. #CHIP @RonWyden @JeffMerkley http://www.childinst.org/ci-updates/26-hot-topics/900-congress-lets-9-million-children-lose-health-insurance-coverage

 

Urgent Action Needed on Children's Health Insurance and Other Legislative News

From healthcare to immigration and home visiting, September has been a very busy month. Learn more about proposed federal legislation that would affect young children and their families in Oregon and across the country. 

Children's Health Insurance/CHIP

Funding for The Children’s Health Insurance Plan (CHIP) is set to expire tomorrow if Congress doesn't act. The Kaiser Family Foundation released a brief that says Oregon is one of 10 states that will run out of CHIP funding in 2017 if the program isn't re-authorized. 

The Keeping Kids’ Insurance Dependable and Secure (KIDS) Act (S.1827) would reauthorize CHIP funding for five years, including maintaining critical funding for outreach and enrollment to ensure eligible children are enrolled in health insurance. CHIP has helped to ensure historic levels of children’s health care coverage in Oregon


Home Visiting/MIECHV

The Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting program (MIECHV) is set to expire on September 30, 2017, unless Congress acts now. The House passed its version of the 5-year MIECHV reauthorization bill, (H.R. 2824) on September 26.

The House version requires state matching funds which could have a significant negative impact for Oregon.

The Senate version of the reauthorization bill (S. 1829) introduced on September 19 requires no matching state funds to maintain home visiting programs.

Dreamers/DACA

On September 9, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program established in 2012 by President Obama would be rescinded. DACA provides protections from deportation and work permits for eligible immigrants who came to the United States as children. The Dream Act of 2017 (S. 1615/HR. 3440), which would provide lawful status and a clear path to citizenship for DACA recipients and other immigrant youth has not been scheduled for a vote in either the House or Senate.


Graham-Cassidy Health Care Reform Bill

As of Tuesday, September 26, the Cassidy-Graham bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act will not move to the Senate floor for a vote, killing the proposal. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has vowed to continue attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

Children’s Institute Statement in Support of The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program

Dear Friends,

Rescinding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program will have immediate and severe consequences for recipients and their families. IF DACA parents are detained, deported and/or unable to work legally, their children could lose housing, go hungry, and fall into poverty. An estimated 25 percent of DACA recipients are parents to U.S. citizen children.

According to a report published in Science on August 31, 2017, about the effects of mothers’ immigration status on children’s mental health in Oregon, “Early childhood exposure to stress and adversity does not only cause poor health and impaired development in the short-term; these issues can also persist into adulthood. Anxiety and psychosocial stress are identified as risk factors for depression, substance abuse, cardiovascular disease, and obesity.” Young children’s emotional well-being is essential to their development into competent, capable adults.

The bipartisan Dream Act of 2017 would provide lawful status and a path to citizenship to the children and adults brought to the United States as children. Among them, are more than 200,000 Dreamers under age 15 who were waiting to age into DACA and no longer have the opportunity to apply.

Contact your Congressional representatives and demand action on the Dream Act of 2017.

Ending DACA will needlessly hurt families and communities across the country. These facts about DACA illustrate the misguided reasoning for rescinding the program and its punitive effects.

  • The average DACA recipient is 26 years-old
  • The average DACA recipient came to US at age 6
  • 91 percent are employed
  • 100 percent have no criminal record
  • They pay $500 to renew every 2-years, which totals $800M
  • They are not eligible for the Affordable Care Act (ACA)
  • They are not eligible for Medicaid (except for emergency services)
  • They are not eligible for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
  • They are not eligible for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  • They are not eligible for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
  • They are not eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • With 10-years of work history and taxes paid, they are eligible for Medicare once they reach retirement age
  • They are eligible for the Child Tax Credit (CTC) and Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)

Source: http://protectdreamers.org/en/resources/

Thank you for your continued support of young children and their families.

Sincerely,

Swati Adarkar
President and CEO

Children's Institute | 1411 SW Morrison St. #205 | Portland OR 97205 USA | info@childinst.org | (t) 503-219-9034 (f) 503-419-6083

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