As we announce that applications are now open for All Our Kin’s 2023 Network Development Cohort, we’re celebrating the successes of the Inaugural Network Development Cohort that wrapped up this summer.
Over the past year, All Our Kin’s network development technical assistance team brought together statewide advocates and department of early childhood administrators in Colorado, social-justice community organizers and early childhood experts at the Raphah Institute in Nashville, Tennessee, and early childhood advocates and Dallas College staff in Dallas, Texas. All Our Kin Technical Assistance supported these three teams in learning from All Our Kin’s model and developing their own network plans.
All Our Kin provided tools, resources and support to assist teams with important steps in network development such as engaging and understanding the strengths, needs and interests of family child care educators in their community; designing programs, a staffing plan and budget; hiring and supporting staff; and creating the conditions for family child care to thrive. These tools, resources, and supports are deeply rooted in All Our Kin’s own SFCCNs in Connecticut and New York. Cohort teams had the opportunity to learn directly from All Our Kin network staff who have experience with the everyday operations of a SFCCN.
Embarking on this collective journey proved to be meaningful for all three teams. Colorado is gearing up for a pilot phase of a statewide SFCCN, with hopes of supporting a handful of initial communities and scaling the pilot over time. Dallas team members are taking the learnings from the cohort as well as data they collected from parents and child care providers to build local partnerships to support family child care. And the Raphah Institute was successful in acquiring nearly $2 million dollars in local American Rescue Plan dollars to support home-based care through SFCCN services. Watch Travis Claybrooks, CEO of the Raphah Institute explain how these funds will be used to transform the early learning landscape in Nashville.
When asked to reflect on these wins and their learnings in the cohort, participants shared their gratitude for the opportunity to connect with other states and communities who are striving for the same kind of outcomes for family child care. Micha Lynn Johnson, Director of the Early Embrace Initiative at the Raphah Institute shared, “If you do not have the support to figure out how to bring about change, you’re not going to get anywhere. We’ve been very fortunate to walk this path with All Our Kin, and feel confident that they will continue to help us do our work in excellence. We feel confident and capable, and that is in large part because of the time we have spent in this community. We're really grateful.”
All Our Kin celebrates the progress that these leaders have made toward establishing holistic and responsive SFCCNs–that as All Our Kin’s Chief Executive Officer Jessica Sager reminded participants can, “truly transform the well-being of family child care educators, and through transforming their well-being, that of children and families.” For more information about All Our Kin’s 2022-23 Network Development Cohort offering and how to apply, visit: https://allourkin.org/Network-Development-Cohort