Ecars Info Packet April 2009 Linked In


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This packet introduces early childhood programs to the a myraid of services available in their funding efforts.

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Ecars Info Packet April 2009 Linked In

  1. 1. Early Childhood Applied Research Solutions™ For Your Review and Consideration April 27, 2009 Hello, Susan Gunnewig, M.Ed. And Dale McManis, Ph.D. have joined to offer a strong research solution for your review and consideration. The purpose of this joint effort is to assist our early childhood friends with new demands that they may be facing with the ARRA funding opportunities and requirements. Dale and Susan worked closely as colleagues at the Children’s Learning Institute and the Texas State Center for Early Childhood Development at the University of Texas Health Science Center. Since our departure, we have collaborated on various projects and most recently have carefully studied each piece of the early childhood stimulus package from the U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Health and Human Services. In the attachment provided you will see our solution is tri-fold. Area 1 supports efforts for Grant Writing. Area 2’s purpose is to support Program Improvement and lastly, Area 3 is designed to aid in Professional Development support. You will find suggested services under each area. However, we are very open to other services in which groups may have an interest. We are sending our first notification to you to make you aware of our services during this exciting and challenging time. You and your contacts and colleagues might appreciate knowing there are services available that are knowledge and research-based, reliable, and come with a commitment to bringing high quality assistance. We look forward to hearing from you soon! Sincerely yours.
  2. 2. Early Childhood Applied Research Solutions™ Bringing You Expert Support In:
  3. 3. Welcome to Early Childhood Applied Research Solutions™! Our Services Include: •Grant Writing Support (Area I) In-Depth Analyses of RFAs and Summaries of Key Components Grant Application Proposals Review Grant-Ready Documents Program Improvement Support (Area II) •Needs Assessment Tools and Support •Individualized Improvement Plans •On-going Monitoring and Evaluation Tools and Support Professional Development Support (Area III) •Key Topics for the Early Childhood Community (e.g., Research on Best Practice, Early Learning Content Standards, Quality Rating Systems, Mentoring) •On-line Professional Development Learning Communities (Book Clubs, Webinars) •Information for Newsletters with Current and Best Research •Parent Volunteer Training and On-Line Support We are also available to work with you on customized services. Contact Information: Susan Gunnewig can be reached by phone at 713-876-5492 and by email at Dale McManis can be reached by phone at 713-647-1247 and by email at
  4. 4. Details on Area I: Grant Writing Support An independent proposal review by an experienced team can make the difference between a project that gets funded and an application that a granting agency will not consider. We specialize in early childhood grants. This means that you work with a team that truly understands the world of early childhood programs and early childhood grants. We know that many times you are under multiple demands that make it difficult to prepare the best grant proposal possible. That is where we come in. We offer quick turn- around, professional feedback, and on-going communication. In order to increase your chances of being considered and funded, we offer a series of support services. In-Depth Analyses of RFA and Summaries of Key Components Once you have identified a grant (or multiple grants) that you are interested in, we systematically and comprehensively review the RFA and prepare a summary of the key components, including: •Deadlines and details of submission (e.g., LOIs, pre-application, full application deadlines); •Method of submission (e.g., on-line, hard copies mailed, number of copies); •An outline of the parts of the application and their related scoring criteria and points (e.g., abstract, narrative, budget, letters of support, personnel, human subjects, assurances); •Level of outside support needed (e.g., training, evaluation); and •The “Degree of Complexity”. Based on the above information, we calculate for you if the amount of time and expertise needed to prepare the grant is a 1 (fairly simple grant with relatively small amount of time and outside expertise needed); a 2 (moderately complex grant with relatively medium amount of time and outside expertise needed); or a 3 (complex grant with substantial time and outside expertise needed). Usually as well, the larger the amount of funds being provided by the grant, the more complex the grant application will be. Each rating comes with a specific rationale for why a 1, 2, or 3 has been assigned to the grant opportunity.
  5. 5. Grant Proposal Review Once you have prepared a LOI, a pre-application proposal, and/or a full application proposal, we review your documents to strengthen them. Whether you are completely new or experienced in grant writing, it is common to not view your proposal as objectively as a grant reviewer will. We have experience both in writing grants and in reviewing grants, which gives us valuable insight into both sides. Your feedback comes to you in track changes with detailed comments so that you can see exactly where and what needs additional attention. Our service also comes with telephone and email support so that we can work most effectively with you through the process. We provide the following key feedback: •The degree to which the required information from the RFA is present in the proposal; and in relation to the points awarded in the scoring criteria. •The level of overall organization, clarity of ideas, and flow of ideas in a logical manner through the proposal. •Weaknesses in research. You may choose to find the research on the identified gaps yourself; or have us conduct a specific and/or customized literature search for you. •Weaknesses in the design or implementation of the proposed project. These are noted for you with specific suggestions in areas common in educational grants, such as training and professional development, curriculum implementation, progress monitoring and/or standardized assessment, evaluation, parent involvement, agency/community support, and any others specific to a particular grant. •Comments and suggestions on areas such as grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and correct method of citing research. •Suggestions on getting the proposal within the space restrictions. •Overall analyses and recommendations.
  6. 6. Grant-Ready Documents We offer a wide range of documents with summaries, examples, and references that come ready to place within your proposal. You may elect to choose and use the pieces as presented or we can customize them for your grant, and even suggest exactly where to place them in your proposal. Examples of Grant Ready Documents include: •Effective Early Childhood Education Program Models •Scientifically-based Reading Research •Scientifically-based Mathematics Research •Scientifically-based Social-Emotional Research •Scientifically-based ELL Research •Scientifically-based Special Needs Learners Research •Research on Professional Development Approaches •Curricula Evaluation •Individualized Searches Details on Area II: Program Improvement Support In all you do, but especially in the context of grants, we know the main goal is to improve your program. To be able to show this growth and its effectiveness requires a well thought out plan and the tools to capture how the plan is being implemented and its results. Knowing your starting point, how and the extent to which the objectives are being met along the way, and the final outcomes are all essential elements of solid program improvement. Further, without the right tools that fit your program and situation, you may spend the life of the initiative you are implementing worrying about the final outcomes. To support you in this area, we have a series of services and tools from which you may choose.
  7. 7. Needs Assessment Tools and Development Whether you need an informal or a highly prescribed needs assessment, or feel your usual needs assessment information is a bit stale, we look at this task with fresh eyes. We can provide you with standard needs assessment tools to guide you in gathering the information you desire, or we can customize a tool that fits your particular project and situation. If your needs assessment involves gathering information and data from sources outside your organization or time availability, we provide this service as well. Individualized Improvement Plans Setting targeted and realistic goals with measurable outcomes based on your needs assessment findings is at the heart of program improvement. We are able to review and offer feedback on plans that you have written, or we take the information and develop a plan for you and work with you in a collaborative manner until you are satisfied with the Program Improvement Plan. Our expertise is in linking research on best practices with program goals to have a solid blueprint for you to follow as you implement initiatives. On-going Monitoring and Evaluation Tools Often misunderstood and given cursory attention, monitoring and evaluation can mean the difference between success and appearing to have failed. Done well monitoring will help you self-correct along the way and with a strong evaluation component be much better assured of having the data to show your successes at the end of your project. We can help you with monitoring and evaluation plans, help carry out the plans, and help you interpret and report the findings. If you need high-stakes evaluation (e.g., large federal grants), we have a broad and deep network of university contacts and can put you in touch with people and groups who are well situated for this work.
  8. 8. Details on Area III: Professional Development Support Now more than ever, recognition of the power of effective professional development is at the forefront in the early childhood education field. However, the resources and support available have not kept up with the call for attention in this area. Having developed professional development programs for all types of early childhood settings (i.e., Head Start, State Pre-K, and Child Care), trained thousands of teachers, and participated in rigorous research on professional development, we are well positioned to offer services in this area. Professional Development for the Early Childhood Community We are able to assist you in developing a professional development plan that includes helping you in determining and/or developing any or all of the following: The topics, The goals and objectives, The method of delivery, The materials and presentations, The trainers Scientifically-Based Research on Best Practices The following represents a sampling of the key topics that we offer that have been identified as critical in early childhood: •Classroom management •Language •Literacy •Mathematics •Science and Social Studies •Social-emotional •Customized
  9. 9. Early Learning Content Standards Many programs have found they need to better understand and implement early learning content standards. We are able to provide outstanding professional development tools, materials, and support for the following: •Specific state standards •Head Start Outcomes •NAEYC standards •National standards •Linking standards to K-3 Additional Topic Areas Offered for Professional Development •Quality Rating Systems •Child Progress Monitoring and Assessment •Differentiated Learning •ELL •Special Needs •Mentoring •Working with Parents Using Technology in Professional Development We are excited to offer some creative and unique opportunities for your program using technology to bring professional development experiences to you and your staff. Below is a list of the areas we offer. We are also very open to working with you to provide other opportunities that you would like. •On-line Professional Development Learning Communities (Book Clubs, Webinars) •On-line Newsletters with current and best research •Parent Volunteer Training and On-Line Support
  10. 10. Fees We offer a variety of fee structures to give you maximum flexibility. Our Pricing Options include: •By-the-Page. When you choose this option, our fee is based on the number of pages you indicate you would like reviewed. You may choose for us to review the entire document(s) or selected sections. This option lets you know exactly what the fee will be before we begin. Our By-the-Page Fee is $20. •By-the-Hour. When you choose this option, we provide a free one- hour analysis of your request in order to give you a solid and accurate quote of the estimated number of hours your project will take. As with the By-the-Page option, you may choose for us to review the entire document(s) or selected sections. Our By-the-Hour Fee is $40. •By-the-Project. When you choose this option, we review all relevant documents related to the application and proposal and we charge a flat fee based on the “Degree of Complexity” (1-low, 2-moderate, or 3- high: please see above for a full explanation). Here you also have the option of a full or selected review. This option gives you the comfort of knowing that we will work with you based on this fee until the proposal is successfully submitted. Our By-the-Project Fees are negotiated with you but are based on our By-the-Hour fee of $40. Note: When you choose only the RFA review we do analyze the entire RFA because this is necessary for us to give you the correct feedback. For LOIs, we also review the entire document as these are usually one to two pages. These two services are charged at your choice, either By-the-Page or By-the-Hour. •All of our options come with up to three hours of phone support and up to 10 email exchanges that are complementary. If more time is needed, we charge a small fee per phone call (based on minutes) and per email exchanged (based on number). •Our turn-around time is based on the size of the request. We know that with grant application deadlines, there is usually very little room for “waiting” for feedback and therefore our turn-around time is offered in terms of days not weeks. When you work with us, you will receive feedback every 1-2 days until the project is complete.
  11. 11. Our Team Putting your proposal in the hands of a grant reviewing service is not always easy. You need to know that the people you are working with have the expertise and integrity to give you and your project unparalleled attention. Who We Are Susan B. Gunnewig, M.Ed.: Susan is a renowned expert in the field of early childhood and the Director of Product Development at Hatch. She served for many years on the faculty of the University of Texas-Houston in the Children’s Learning Institute, is a coauthor of the CIRCLE and Head Start STEP 2002 training, as well as co- creator of the Texas Early Education Model (TEEM), which has been demonstrated to prepare at-risk preschool children for kindergarten. Susan also has over 20 years experience in one of the largest school districts in the country-Houston ISD, where many of the children are ELL. She has presented at approximately 100 conferences and conventions across the United States and has coauthored many early childhood research articles. Over the past 35 years, Susan has been involved in writing and reviewing hundreds of grant applications in her career as an educator and researcher. Lilla D. McManis, M.Ed., Ph.D.: Dale has been an educator, evaluator, and researcher for the 25 years. She has worked in numerous school settings, held senior level positions at state level departments of education and public health, and served on the faculty at the University of Texas-Houston in the Children’s Learning Institute. Dale holds degrees in child development, special education, and educational psychology. She has taught special education in a variety of settings, taught prospective teachers at the university level, conducted large evaluations, and overseen the fielding of many large research studies. She consults on numerous projects, most recently on infusing research into the development of products for early childhood education programs. She has written many RFAs and served as a frequent grant
  12. 12. Contacting Us We welcome your calls or emails to hear about the grant opportunities that you are considering or have already begun working on. We can take your call or respond to your email any day and any time that is convenient for you. Susan Gunnewig can be reached by phone at 713-876-5492 and by email at Dale McManis can be reached by phone at 713-647-1247 and by email at Our physical address is: 4606 FM 1960W, Suite 433, Houston, Texas 77069
  13. 13. We are ready to support you with the following current opportunities and any others with which you have needs! American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Early Childhood Fund Allocations The Act will help low-income parents obtain the child care they need to get and keep jobs and help children get the early learning they need to succeed by providing: •$2 billion for the Child Care and Development Block Grant, with the entire amount available upon enactment. Of this total, $255.2 million is reserved for quality improvement activities, of which $93.587 million is targeted to improve infant and toddler care. Allocation Agency: Department of Health and Human Services Allocation Update: •$1 billion for Head Start, allocated according to the current statutory formula, and $1.1 billion for Early Head Start, to be awarded on a competitive basis. Allocation Agency: Department of Health and Human Services Allocation Update: •$2.33 billion for Department of Defense facilities, including quality of life and family-friendly military improvement projects such as family housing, hospitals, and child care centers. Allocation Agency: Department of Health and Human Services Allocation Update: •$13 billion for Title I grants for education programs for disadvantaged children, including early childhood programs and activities. Allocation Agency: Local Education Agency (LEA) (School Districts) •$11.7 billion to local education agencies for Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) programs for children ages 3 to 21, including $400 million for preschool grants (section 619) programs. Allocation Agency: Local Education Agency (LEA) (School Districts) •$500 million for formula grants under IDEA Part C to help states serve children with disabilities and special needs age 2 and younger. Allocation Agency: Local Education Agency (LEA) (School Districts)