2019 Partner Summit

Tuesday, October 22, 2019 to Thursday, October 24, 2019
Loews Atlanta Hotel, Atlanta, Georgia


Each year, the Alliance for Early Success brings together more than 200 state, national, and investor allies to share, learn, and connect. Our 2020 Partner Summit was one of the most inspiring yet, and attendees left with new knowledge and connections that will help them ensure that every child in every state — birth through eight — has an equal chance to learn, grow, and succeed.

Take a look at the packed agenda, and feel free to download the resources. 

This 2020 summit in slated for Dallas, November 17-19.  


Tuesday, October 22

6:00 – 7:00 pm                  Registration

Introduction to the Alliance for First-Time Summit Attendees

Fluxx Refresher for All Grant Leads 
Grant applications and communications all take place within an online portal called Fluxx, and — if you are a grant lead or someone who will commit to grant documents — it’s important that you know your way around. In this quick refresher, Alliance Grant Manager Wendy Elliott will show you the ropes.

7:00 – 8:30 pm                   All Allies Kick off Reception
                                             Catch up with old friends and make new connections at the All Allies Reception on the Terrace. 


Wednesday, October 23

7:30 – 8:45 am                  Registration        


Funder Breakfast (By Invitation Only)
Anyone who is a funder—local, state, or national—is invited to join in an informal meet and greet with fellow foundation peers.

Technical Assistance Session #1
If you are scheduled for TA during Session #1, grab your breakfast and take it to Overlook West, where you’ll join your TA match. Unsure about your sessions? The full consultation schedule is here.

Prenatal-to-Three Policy Impact Center
Our friends at the Pritzker Children’s Initiative (PCI) are investing in a new Prenatal-to-Three Policy Impact Center. State advocates are invited to learn about the center, ask questions, and share your reactions with PCI partners from the University of Texas. [learn more]

Dr. Cynthia Osborne, Child and Family Research Partnership, University of Texas

9:00 – 10:15 am                  Opening Plenary          

Having Too Little Means A Whole Lot: A Behavioral Policy Perspective on “Scarcity”

Dr. Eldar Shafir            

Dr. Eldar Shafir is a Professor of Behavioral Science and Public Policy at Princeton University, Inaugural Director of Princeton’s Center for Behavioral Science and Public Policy, and scientific director at ideas42, a social science R&D lab. He is the co-author of Scarcity: The New Science of Having Less and How It Defines Our Lives. Dr. Shafir will share with us behavioral findings around the powerful effects of context, with a focus on the mindset that arises in situations of scarcity, and the implications for decision-making, wellbeing, and the design and implementation of behaviorally informed policy.

10:15 – 10:45 am                 Networking 

10:45 am – 12:00 pm         Breakout Session I

PEP Up: Engaging Philanthropy in Early Childhood Advocacy and Policy
This will be a rousing session on an Alliance-led effort to do two things: engage more foundations to support early childhood advocacy and policy, and increase the resources they provide for. We'll hear lessons learned from the five states participating in the PEP, also known as the Philanthropy Engagement Project. And our investor and advocacy friends in Connecticut will fill us in on their work. Come ready to have a spirited discussion about advocacy and policy activities that are and are not allowable under 501(c)3 IRS rules, funder preference and constraints, and how advocates and funders can work together to make the biggest impacts for young children and their families.

Jennifer Esterline, Texas Education Grantmakers Advocacy Consortium
Jason Sabo, Frontera Strategy
Carol O’Donnell, Connecticut Early Childhood Funders Collaborative
Linda Fransicovich, Grossman Family Foundation
Merrill Gay, Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance
Elizabeth Fraser, Connecticut Association for Human Services             


For Baby’s Sake: The Role of Early Childhood Advocates in Improving Maternal and Infant Health
Although the overall rates of infant and maternal mortality remain high in our country, glaring racial disparities exist, with African American and Native American babies twice as likely to die during their first year of life than white babies, and with African American women three-to-four times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than white women. Researchers attribute these disparities to a broad range of factors including persistent structural racism. In response, states and local communities have designed innovative initiatives to improve the early health and wellbeing of at-risk pregnant women and infants with a range of culturally responsive health care services, prenatal and early childhood services, and initiatives to dismantle systemic inequities. How can early childhood advocates partner with health advocates and practitioners to ensure that those supports include home visiting, parental leave, child care, and other early childhood services? This session will feature a step-by-step guide on how early childhood advocates in Michigan and Texas have forged relationships with the health care community and others to create a comprehensive vision to improve birth outcomes and the health and wellbeing of pregnant women while addressing the present-day consequences and impacts of our nation’s history of racism and discrimination.

Amy Zaagman, Michigan Council for Maternal and Child Health
Adriana Kohler, Texans Care for Children

Mother Infant Health & Equity Improvement Plan
Healthy Moms Raising Healthy Babies 
Ways and Means Hearing on Maternal Mortality 

Let’s Get Hitched: Marrying State and Federal Advocacy and Policy
The Alliance for Early Success has always recognized the essential relationship between state and federal advocacy, and like a good marriage, two-way communication lays a strong foundation. State advocates have expertise that helps national advocates inform federal policy and budget decisions. And state advocates must receive timely information about federal policy developments. The Alliance is launching a new effort to expand the capacity of state advocates to effectively leverage their state work to federal policy and communications. In the spirit of a good partnership, we want to hear what kind of information, communication, supports, and technical assistance have been most useful to you in the past, where you have gaps in knowledge, understanding, or skill, and what you would like to know about the federal advocacy process. We’ll share what 33 states have been doing to inform federal partners and invite all 50 to help us plan and join in this effort in the coming year.

Danielle Ewen, EdCounsel
Elizabeth Burke Bryant, Rhode Island Kids Count
Sarah Rittling, First Five Years Fund
Ceil Zalkind, Advocates for Children of New Jersey

Grassroots Advocacy: Partnering for Power
This session will explore the added value of a grassroots strategy in early childhood advocacy — from incorporating authentic voices in policy agenda development to partnering with organizing leaders with aligned goals. Representing both "red" and "blue" states, Alliance partners will share their experiences and lessons learned from engaging and empowering those most impacted by early childhood policy, growing their internal outreach capacity, and sharing power.

Mindy Binderman, Georgia Early Education Alliance for Ready Students
Amanda Hollowell, 9to5 Georgia
Bharti Wahi, Children’s Defense Fund Minnesota
Moderator: Melissa Boteach, National Women’s Law Center

12:00 – 1:30 pm                  Lunch

Investor Lunch (By Invitation Only)
This is our annual opportunity to bring together Alliance investors to talk with one another and share your ideas as we kick off our new grant year.                 

Technical Assistance Session #2
If you are scheduled for TA during Session #2, grab your lunch and take it to Overlook West, where you’ll join your TA match. Unsure about your sessions? The full consultation schedule is here.

1:30 – 2:45 pm                    Breakout Session II

Let’s Talk about Compensation (Baby)
Compensation is no longer a taboo subject in early care and education. In recent years, state leaders and advocates have developed and implemented strategies that lead to mostly incremental — but sometimes transformative — improvements. What have we learned so far about the conditions for success in different political environments? What are we not doing enough of? What should we stop doing? What cautions should we keep in mind to minimize harm to the educators — or at least be strategic about disruptions that are created? This session will answer these questions by comparing and contrasting the recent developments in New York City and North Carolina.

Sue Russell, TEACH Early Childhood National Center
Anna Carter, ICF International
Jennifer March, Citizen’s Committee for Children of NYC

CBO Centers are Essential to Educating NYC’s Young Children
City Announces Deal on Early Education Salary Parity
In Their Own Words: Salary Disparities in NYC's Early Childhood Workforce Must Be Addressed! (video)
T.E.A.C.H. Moving the Needle Compensation Initiative
NC Infant Toddler Educator AWARD$ Program
NC Senate Bill 212

Show Me the Money: Will the Opioid Litigation Result in More Funding for Early Childhood Prevention Programs?
States and local communities have been ravaged by the opioid crisis, with babies and children among the youngest victims. Oklahoma recently won a $572 million verdict against an opioid manufacturer, and several states have entered into a tentative settlement with one of the opioid manufacturers. With pending lawsuits filed by state, local and tribal governments, some have suggested that judgments and settlements could rival the tobacco settlement of the late 1990’s. As legal cases mount, so do questions over how the money from verdicts and settlements will be spent. This session will feature a discussion with former attorney general of Georgia, Samuel Scott Olens, regarding the status and magnitude of pending opioid lawsuits and strategies that advocates can use to steer funding to early childhood programs for children impacted by the crisis. This session will also feature insight from Mark Greenwold, Senior Consultant to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and former Chief Counsel for Tobacco for the National Association of Attorneys General regarding important lessons learned from the tobacco settlement.

Samuel Scott Olens, Atty, Dentons, and Former Attorney General for Georgia
Mark Greenwold, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids; Adjunct Professor, Georgetown University Law Center

State Strategies to Meet the Needs of Young Children and Families Affected by the Opioid Crisis
The Thousands of Lawsuits Against Opioid Companies, Explained

Lessons from the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement of 1998

Have You Heard? The 2020 Elections are (Almost) Here
In 2019 there are three states with gubernatorial elections. In 2020 there are 11 more, along with lots of legislative races. And there are presidential and congressional elections, too. We are using the power of non-profit advocacy to get early childhood on the agenda. Come hear about a poll and and how it is being used to advance early childhood with candidates and influencers in Louisiana and Kentucky. We’ll all have a lively discussion about what is happening in states and what we can do to ensure young children and families are a top priority — before and as new policymakers are seated.               

Melanie Bronfin, Louisiana Policy Institute for Children
Libbie Sonnier-Netto, Louisiana Policy Institute for Children
Brigitte Blom Ramsey, Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence
Moderator: Jason Sabo, Frontera Strategy

States Lead the Way on Paid Family and Medical Leave
Only 15 percent of workers have access to paid family leave through an employer. For decades, five states – CA, HI, NJ, NY, and RI – offered partial wage replacement for family and medical leave using these states’ unique Temporary Disability Insurance (TDI) programs. In recent years, five states without TDI programs – WA, DC, MA, CT, and OR – passed paid family and medical leave policies, and momentum is growing. Early childhood advocates rarely lead paid leave campaigns, but you can be an important voice for change. Learn how different states are designing their campaigns, including where to hold the line and where there is room for compromise. 

Sherry Leiwant, A Better Balance 
Clinton Macsherry, Maryland Family Network

2:45 - 3:15 pm                     Networking 

3:15 – 5:45 pm                   Intensive Sessions

Funding Our Future: Generating State and Local Tax Revenue for Quality Early Care and Education
Thanks to the work of early childhood leaders across the country, support or early care and education is on the rise. But funding gaps pose a significant challenge to making quality early care and education a reality for more children. In this session, we will explore innovative ways to raise funds through dedicated state and local tax revenue, addressing essential guiding questions to focus on identification of an appropriate tax policy, tax policy areas that are available at the state and local level, and hearing from advocates about their experiences working to identify new state and/or local revenue streams beyond the general fund.  

Melanie Bronfin, Louisiana Policy Institute for Children
Harriet Dichter, BUILD Initiative
Dana Hepper, Children’s Institute
Bill Jaeger, Colorado Children’s Campaign
Amelia Vaughn, Children’s Funding Project

Innovative Financing to Expand Services So Children Can Thrive 
Funding our Future: Generating State and Local Tax Revenue for Quality Early Care and Education
Louisiana Policy Institute for Children - How Cities and States Dedicate Funds for Early Care and Education

Local Funding for Early Learning: A Community Toolkit

Session Slides:
Funding Our Future

Medicaid and Early Childhood Health Learning Community
Aligning early childhood systems and Medicaid can be a powerful strategy to improve outcomes for children and their families. In this session, we’ll use small group discussions to take a deep dive into Medicaid's role for young children. Small groups will explore strategies not only to leverage Medicaid for early childhood programs and priorities, but also to build the important connections between health and early childhood advocates. Please sign up in advance, if possible, by clicking here.

Elisabeth Burak, Georgetown University Center for Children and Families
Maggie Clark, Georgetown University Center for Children and Families

Home Visiting Advocates Community of Practice Meeting (By Invitation Only)            

Infant and Toddler Child Care Advocates Community of Practice Meeting (By Invitation Only)

PreK Advocacy Learning Community Meeting (By Invitation Only)

Alliance Partners on the ECE Profession Meeting (By Invitation Only)

Rural Child Care Learning Collaborative Meeting (By Invitation Only)

6:00 – 7:30 pm                  Alliance Networking Social
                                             Join us to unwind after a big day of connecting and learning.


Thursday, October 24

7:30 – 8:30 am                    Breakfast (Overlook East)             

Technical Assistance Session #3
If you are scheduled for TA during Session #3, grab your breakfast and take it to Overlook West, where you’ll join your TA match. Unsure about your sessions? The full consultation schedule is here.

Prenatal-to-Three Policy Impact Center Discussion
Our friends at the Pritzker Children’s Initiative (PCI) are investing in a new Prenatal-to-Three Policy Impact Center. State advocates are invited to learn about the center, ask questions, and share your reactions with PCI partners from the University of Texas. [learn more]

Amanda Lee, Child and Family Research Partnership, University of Texas

8:45 – 10:00 am    Plenary

Advocacy, Accountability, and Action: Being a Voice That Creates Impact             

Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, MD, MPH, FAAP            

A pediatrician and a scientist, Mona Hanna-Attisha, MD, MPH, FAAP, is perhaps best known as a Flint Water Crisis activist. She is founder and director of the Michigan State University and Hurley Children’s Hospital Pediatric Public Health Initiative, an innovative and model public health program in Flint, Michigan. She is author of the bestselling book, What the Eyes Don’t See: A Story of Crisis, Resistance, and Hope in an American City, and was named one of TIME magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World for her role in uncovering the Flint Water Crisis and leading recovery efforts.

10:00 – 10:30 am                 Networking 

10:30 – 11:45 am                 Breakout Session III

Connecting the Dots: Ways in Which Early Childhood Advocates Can Support Prevention under the Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA)
The enactment of the Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) marks an historic opportunity for states to design integrated prevention systems for children and families on the brink of entering foster care, as well as children experiencing other risk factors. As states begin designing their prevention systems under this new law, early childhood advocates will need to be at the table with child welfare, mental health, and juvenile justice advocates, among others, to ensure that state prevention systems provide coordinated services that meet the needs of the whole child and family. Come hear the latest on state implementation of Family First and how early childhood advocates in New Jersey and Pennsylvania have partnered with child welfare advocates, administrators, foster parents and grandparents, judges and others to create comprehensive prevention systems that strengthen families.

Ceil Zalkind, Advocates for Children of New Jersey
Rachael Miller, Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children
Danielle Ewen, EducationCounsel

NCSL Family First State Updates
Family First Prevention Services Act: What Early Childhood Advocates Should Know

Public Call: 
The Title IV-E Prevention Services Clearinghouse requests recommendations for mental health, substance abuse, in-home parent skill-based, and kinship navigator programs and services to be considered for systematic review. Recommendations can be sent to PreventionServices@abtassoc.com. Submission Deadline: October 31, 2019. To download a PDF version of the public call, please click here.

Equity Begins with Listening
As early childhood policy professionals, we research and analyze, develop and recommend policies, and pursue advocacy agendas. We base our work on research, evidence, and “best practice,” and we develop ways to keep up with all of this knowledge. How often do we make a seat at the policy and practice tables for the children, families, and practitioners whose lives we hope to impact, or meaningfully base our work on their lived experiences? In this session, BUILD and NAEYC will reflect on what they’ve learned about how to keep the voices and perspectives of “beneficiaries” of our work at the center of their organizations’ everyday activities. State and national partners will explore strategies to do this in their own organizations in order to strengthen their research, policy proposals, communications and advocacy strategies, and ultimately, advance more equitable outcomes for young children and their families.

Lauren Hogan, National Association for the Education of Young Children
Sherri Killins, BUILD Initiative

Sample “Beneficiary Visit Protocol”
Flipping the Script: Educators Driving Policy
Advancing Equity in Early Childhood Education
Power to the Profession

Equity Begins With Listening 

Where Has All the Family Child Care Gone?
The past decade saw a stunning decline in the supply of family child care homes with some states losing as many as 75% of their providers. This is especially troubling in rural areas where home-based child care is a crucial option. In this session, we’ll explore the factors that may be behind this trend, and we’ll hear about efforts in several states to reverse this troubling decline.

Mary Beth Testa, MBST Solutions
Adam Feser, Nebraska First Five
Reynaldo Green, Quality Care for Children

Child Care Aware of America CCR&R Paper 
Summary of Federal Legislation to Strengthen CACFP
U.S. HHS and USDA Guidance on Joint Monitoring
Office of Child Care virtual Infant/Toddler and School Age Institute 
NCECQA Paper on Addressing the Decreasing Availability of Family Child Care
NCECQA Family Child Care Policy Assessment and Planning Tool 
Additional NCECQA Resources 

11:45 – 1:15 pm                  Lunch            

Technical Assistance Session #4
If you are scheduled for TA during Session #4, grab your lunch and take it to Overlook West, where you’ll join your TA match. Unsure about your sessions? The full consultation schedule is here.

1:15 – 2:30 pm                    Closing Plenary

Telling Stories to Bridge Divides: A Powerful Documentary in Progress

Clarkston, Georgia – a small town on the outskirts of Atlanta – welcomes 2,500 refugees a year, and the community has come to be known as “the most diverse square mile in America.” Award-winning director and former CNN Producer Erin Bernhardt and her team are making a documentary about this extraordinary place where people from a wide variety of backgrounds and perspectives have found a way to bridge divides. A member of the film team will share a shortened working version, and after the viewing, will share a little more about the inspiration for the Clarkston project. We will also be joined by the Mayor of Clarkston and one of the City Councilors for a discussion about the role of personal stories and connections in a successful community.

Mohua Thakurta, CLARKSTON film
Din Blankenship, CLARKSTON film
Mayor Ted Terry, City of Clarkston
Council Member Andrea Cervone, City of Clarkston

Clarkston, the Film
Amid the Darkness of a Border Crisis, There is Light in the City of Portland, Maine

2:30 pm                               Adjourn