National TA Network

Our national allies are crucial to our mission. Over the coming year, they will provide vital technical assistance and rapid response to our state allies as they advocate for the changes that help kids zero through eight learn, grow, and succeed.


Bipartisan Policy Center 

The Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) combines the best ideas from both parties to promote health, security, and opportunity for all Americans. BPC drives principled and politically viable policy solutions through the power of rigorous analysis, painstaking negotiation, and aggressive advocacy. BPC's Early Childhood Initiative, originally led by Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) and Representative George Miller (D-CA) under the leadership of Linda Smith, continues to create a more comprehensive and sustained approach to improving the quality of care for young children. BPC will hold two roundtables that will bring together faith leaders from a variety of backgrounds and religions who are interested in supporting and engaging in early childhood issues. Based in part on the research BPC conducted with Luntz Global, this committee will work to inform outreach efforts to conservative parents. Additionally, the group will identify where interest in early childhood exists in the faith community, as well as what barriers prevent faith leaders and communities across the country from supporting early childhood policies. 

Primary Contact: Linda Smith


BUILD Initiative

The BUILD Initiative (BUILD) supports state leaders to develop a comprehensive system of programs, policies, and services that serve the needs of young children and their families. This systems-building approach is intended to prepare young children for a successful future, while carefully using private and public resources. BUILD staff continues to be an expert resource on Quality Rating and Improvement Systems and suspension/expulsion policies. They will provide customized technical assistance to 8 states on these issues as well as produce resources for all 50 states. BUILD will engage in three key activities:

1. Continue to support state leaders to improve Quality Rating and Improvement Systems and other systemic approaches to improving early learning. 
2. Support state leaders' efforts to reduce and ultimately eliminate suspension and expulsion from early learning programs through cross-sector policy approaches. They will also complete a 50-state survey of early childhood expulsion policies and practices. 
3. Assist Alliance grantees to advance racial equity by learning to listen and be responsive to the intended beneficiaries of the programs and services for which they advocate. They will host a meeting/focus group with beneficiaries (possibly in Clarkston, GA), and then provide TA to state partners who will replicate this experience in their own states. 

Primary Contact: Susan Hibbard


Center for Law and Social Policy 

The Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) develops and advocates for policies that improve the lives of low-income people. They focus on strengthening families and creating pathways to education and work. Through careful research, analysis, and effective advocacy, CLASP develops and promotes new ideas, mobilizes advocates, and directly assists governments to put in place strategies that deliver results that matter. CLASP will support state advocates, policymakers, and grassroots organizations increase access to high quality child care and early education for children in low-income families through the production and dissemination of high-quality resources and publications and the provision of expert technical assistance. 

CLASP will also provide TA to states on implementation of CCDBG to benefit low-income children and families, reducing racial disparities in access to child care and early education, and safeguarding children of immigrants’ well-being and access to early education. 

Primary Contact: Christine Johnson Staub

Center on Enhancing Early Learning Outcomes / National Institute for Early Education Research 

The Center on Enhancing Early Learning Outcomes (CEELO) is now a part of the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER). With this added capacity, NIEER helps State Education Agencies (SEAs) to lead sustained improvements in early learning opportunities and outcomes. They work in partnership with SEAs, state and local early childhood leaders, and other federal and national technical assistance (TA) providers to promote innovation and accountability. 

CEELO will produce an online guide for state leaders who are working to expand high quality preschool in mixed delivery settings. It will also build on the Cost of Preschool Quality and Revenue Communications Toolkit that provides advocates and state leaders with readily adaptable tools to effectively communicate the costs of the state infrastructure needed to implement, monitor and improve quality of early education programs. CEELO will provide TA to Alliance's state partners and the national association of early childhood specialists in state agencies. 

Primary Contact: Lori Connors-Tadros

Center on the Developing Child, Harvard University 

The Center on the Developing Child (The Center) drives science-based innovation that achieves breakthrough outcomes for children facing adversity. Through their research and development platform, Frontiers of Innovation, they design, test, and implement new ideas. The goal is transformational impacts on lifelong learning, behavior, and both physical and mental health. 

The Center’s research, materials, and tools communicate the ever-growing knowledge base around the science of child development. We support the development and dissemination of their resources so state advocates have the latest scientific evidence as a  base for their advocacy. The Center began with a focus on early learning. While that continues, this year the Scientific Council is focusing more work on disparities beginning in the early childhood years that have lifelong implications for public health policy. This is a good fit for the expanded work we are doing in the health policy area of our State Policy Framework.

Primary Contact: Al Race

Child Care Aware of America 

Child Care Aware® of America (CCA) works to advance a child care system that effectively serves all children and families. They are strengthened by a national network of members, representing child care resource and referral agencies who work collectively to promote national and state policies to improve the quality and affordability of child care. 

CCA will leverage its partnerships, research capacity, and in-house expertise to support 2 states in lifting up family, provider, child care resource and referral agencies, and partner voices to impact policy and enact change. CCA will provide coalition-building guidance and technical assistance to build advocacy capacity in New Hampshire in order to increase collaboration and investment in early care and education. In Mississippi, CCA will create child care supply and demand maps that will be used to influence policy change and build new partnerships for research and advocacy. 

Primary Contact: Dionne Dobbins

Child Trends 

Child Trends (CT) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that provides research on a range of early childhood topics. They work to ensure that all kids thrive by conducting independent research and partnering with practitioners and policymakers to apply that knowledge. 

CT will continue to manage the Early Childhood Data Collaborative (ECDC). This year the ECDC will focus on supporting policymakers’ understanding of the equitable distribution of P-3 early learning services in their state. The ultimate goal is to increase the number of states using data to document racial (in)equity using integrated early childhood data. CT will continue to promote the YoungChildFacts Twitter account and share early childhood research through social media platforms. Their staff will be available to provide technical assistance to Alliance partners on early childhood research, analysis, and data collection. 5 states have requested their expertise and support this year. 

Primary Contact: Elizabeth Jordan


Committee for Economic Development 

The Committee for Economic Development (CED) of The Conference Board is a national, non-profit, non- partisan, public policy organization led by a network of business leaders. They conduct research on major economic and social issues to actively inform and engage the business community and achieves policy reform in the nation’s interest. Early childhood education has been a priority issue at CED for more than 40 years. 

CED will create and organize resources to help states develop and implement tax credit strategies to improve access to and quality of early care and education (ECE), including a toolkit on ECE workforce tax credits. In addition, CED will provide technical assistance to Alliance partners to elevate business-oriented messaging and strategies through convenings and speakers, policy briefs, fact sheets, infographics, talking points, podcasts, and social media. 

Primary Contact: Cindy Cisneros

Council for a Strong America 

The Council for a Strong America (CSA) is a network of more than 9000 unexpected messengers. Their 5 membership organizations - Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, Mission: Readiness, ReadyNation, Shepherding the Next Generation, and Champions for America's Future- champion research-based public investments that help at-risk children succeed. 

CSA will collaborate with Alliance partners in 6 states to advance early childhood policies and investments by identifying, engaging and mobilizing new and existing unexpected messengers; producing strategic research; conducting media campaigns; and carrying out individual meetings with policymakers and other key stakeholders. Based on the states' political context and the advocates' interests, CSA will strategically deploy its members from the 5 sibling organizations. 

Primary Contact: Eoin Dillion

Council of Chief State School Officers 

The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) builds the capacity of chief state school officers and state education agencies (SEAs) to develop, fund and improve the quality of early childhood programs and Kindergarten- 3rd-grade education. Their goals are to prevent achievement gaps for low income, at-risk children and improve early learning outcomes for all children. CCSSO convenes state program managers and researchers to work on child and program quality standards, assessments, data systems, accountability, and workforce initiatives. 

One-third of chief state school officers who responded to CCSSO’s annual survey named early learning as their top priority. CCSSO will work with cross-division teams from 4 SEAs to develop a vision, policy framework, goals, and an implementation plan to align policies and practices from preK through 3rd grade at the state and local levels. Priorities for SEAs include instructional quality, workforce development, and family engagement. This work is part of CCSSO's general focus on educational equity and will lay the foundation and complement a major early learning project, to be launched in early 2020, pending funding. 

Primary Contact: Rolf Grafwallner

Education Commission of the States 

Education Commission of the States (ECS) serves as a partner to state policy makers by providing personalized support, unbiased information and opportunities for collaboration. They work with Governors, legislators, chief state school officers, state board members, higher education officials, business leaders, program administrators and teachers. ECS covers all education issues from preK through college.

ECS will identify and provide technical assistance (TA) in 2 states to advance preK-3 policies and investments that increase children's access to high-quality early education. The states will be identified based on need, opportunity, and ECS's relationships with its Commissioners and other policymakers. ECS will continue to support preK-3 strategies in states through their policy research, legislative tracking, convenings, and responses to states' requests. 

Primary Contact: Bruce Atchison

Georgetown University Center for Children and Families 

The Georgetown University Center for Children and Families (GCCF) is an independent, nonpartisan policy and research center connected to the McCourt School of Public Policy‘s Health Policy Institute. They provide research, develop strategies, and offer solutions to improve the health of America’s children and families, particularly those with low and moderate incomes. 

GCCF is the Alliance network expert on health policy issues. They identify, share, and analyze Medicaid/CHIP policy changes that may impact health services and supports for young children and their families. This year GCCF will support a cross-state learning community of state-based advocates digging into the specifics of Medicaid for young children; build new knowledge on state efforts to align and leverage Medicaid and Early Intervention (EI) to better serve young children and their families, in partnership with the National Center for Children in Poverty (NCCP); provide TA to 6 state and national Alliance network partners on Medicaid; and keep the Alliance network updated on federal or state Medicaid/CHIP policies and their potential impact by participating in our State and Federal Advocacy work group. 

Primary Contact: Elisabeth Wright Burak

Migration Policy Institute

The Migration Policy Institute (MPI) is an independent, nonpartisan think tank dedicated to analysis of the movement of people worldwide. Their National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy is a resource on early childhood and K-12 education for those who seek to understand and respond to the challenges and opportunities that high rates of immigration create in states and local communities. MPI will develop a model legislation blueprint addressing a range of dual language learning (DLL) issues in state early childhood systems. They will provide explicit guidance and practical support to states that seek to improve system and program responses for this population. This initiative will include:

1. Compilation of a background paper that analyzes key provisions of existing and attempted state legislation to address DLL needs.
2. Ongoing engagement and a convening of a small group of state and national experts and stakeholders across the early childhood and immigrant/DLL advocacy fields to discuss strengths and weaknesses of different approaches taken to date.
3. Development, writing, and dissemination of a model legislation blueprint by MPI.

MPI is leveraging their Alliance connection to the National Conference of State Legislatures and NALEO Educational Fund to help disseminate the DLL model legislation to its members. 

Primary Contact: Maki Park

NALEO Educational Fund

The role of the NALEO Educational Fund (NALEO) is to be the principal convener of Latino policymakers across all levels of office. They educate and build the skills of their members so that they understand the various issues of education policy and have the knowledge, governance, and leadership skills necessary to champion an education agenda in their respective jurisdictions. NALEO’s early childhood programming is strong and has steadily expanded beyond early learning to include health and family economic security. They equip Latino state legislators with the tools needed to become effective champions and advocates for young children and their families. They will do this by connecting with Alliance partners to provide content knowledge and governance skills at their Legislative Summit. They will also take advantage of rapid response and technical assistance to assist Latino state legislators to support policies and practices that improve the academic, socio- emotional, health, and economic outcomes for young children and their families. 

Primary Contact: Rosita Ramirez

National Association for the Education of Young Children 

The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) is the world's largest organization working on behalf of young children. NAEYC promotes high quality learning for all children ages birth through age 8 by connecting research, policy and practice. They advance a diverse early childhood profession and support all who care for and educate young children. This grant supports the beginning of a multi-year effort to implement Power to the Profession's framework for advancing the early education workforce in states. NAEYC will work in 2 states that have the capacity and will to advance comprehensive reform informed by Power to the Profession's Unifying Framework for the early childhood education profession. They will develop resources and collaborate with state advocates to implement a campaign-style approach that leads to progress on the Framework's recommendations, which include competencies, education requirements, higher education strategies, and compensation. 

Primary Contact: Lauren Hogan

National Black Child Development Institute 

The National Black Child Development Institute (NBCDI) has been at the forefront of engaging leaders, policymakers, professionals, parents, and caregivers around critical and timely issues that directly impact Black children and families for nearly half a century. With the support of their National Affiliate Network in communities across the country, they are committed to improving and advancing the quality of life for Black children and families through education and advocacy. 

NBCDI is piloting a fairly radical new way of working. The idea is to engage their local grassroots members in statewide child advocacy. NBCDI is developing this state versus national affiliate model to enhance and bring more diversity to organizations and coalitions advocating for children and families. NBCDI and their affiliate leaders will help state advocates gain a deeper understanding of how programs and policies are impacting Black communities and ensure the voices of Black children and families are reflected in the policy advocacy process. They will pilot this with their strongest affiliates: in Denver and Atlanta. We will connect them with Alliance state advocacy partners in CO and GA. The result should be more potent, effective, and equity-informed advocacy. In keeping with their more traditional activities, NBCDI will provide technical assistance to Alliance partners in 3 states.  Colorado, Washington, and Wisconsin have requested their support.

Primary Contact: Cemere James

National Center for Children in Poverty 

The National Center for Children in Poverty (NCCP) is a national policy research organization that conducts policy analysis, research, and program development focused on reducing child poverty and promoting the healthy development and success of children in low-income families. NCCP disseminates research-based knowledge about effective policies and programs to policymakers and advocates through publications, learning communities, and technical assistance. One year ago, Columbia University notified NCCP that they would no longer support the organization as part of the Mailman School of Public Health. Alliance staff reached out to the Ford Foundation, who also had a long history of supporting NCCP. Their matching grant leveraged Alliance funds so NCCP operations were not interrupted as they moved to a new home at the Bank Street College of Education. This year NCCP will: 

1. Update the Early Childhood State Policy Profiles and Young Child Risk Calculator. 
2. Help a New York stakeholder group launch a two-generation pilot targeting families in deep poverty, and produce a national report based on new analyses of young children in deep poverty. 
3. Work with BUILD to complete a 50 state survey on expulsion policy.
4. Help Illinois and Oregon advance expulsion prevention policies.
5. Help Michigan conduct an early childhood education expulsion survey. 
6. Work with Voices for Virginia's children and Georgia’s GEEARS to promote early childhood mental health policies. 
7. Partner with the Georgetown Center on Children and Families to help 5 states strengthen early intervention (Part C) policies to better meet infant/toddler mental health needs. 

Primary Contact: Sheila Smith

National Conference of State Legislatures

The National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL) is a bipartisan organization that serves the legislators and staffs of the nation's 50 states, commonwealths, and territories. NCSL provides research, technical assistance, and opportunities for policymakers to exchange ideas on state issues. Their Early Care and Education Project develops leadership among legislators and staff to foster sharing of innovative ideas that can be used to advance policy change in their states. NCSL is a long-standing Alliance partner. They will:

1. Host a year-long leadership development program for legislators and staff as a way to cultivate legislative champions and build legislator expertise in early childhood.
2. Convene educational sessions with chairs of health and human services, education, and appropriations committees.
3. Engage with legislative children’s caucuses.
4. Conduct in-state symposiums in 2 or 3 states.
5. Track early care and education legislation.
6. Produce state legislative and budget reports and policy briefs on emerging early care and education issues.

Primary Contact: Donna Wilson

National Governors Association Center for Best Practices

The National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA) provides policy consultation and other technical assistance services to help governors and their advisors develop and improve state policies and strategies in multiple areas of state government. The early learning team in the Center's Education Division focuses on issues related to the learning and development of children from birth through third grade.

NGA will engage in 4 strategies to support governors and their staff in advancing state policies for young children. 

1. Governor's Response Team (GRT) to provide customized, responsive support to Governors Education Policy Advisors (GEPAs) through sites visits, a GEPA handbook, and customized technical assistance. 
2. Gubernatorial Issue Tracking of early childhood policy issues in campaigns, State of the State addresses and budget requests so they can better identify trends and support governors and new education advisors to identify appropriate levers for influencing early care and education policies. 
3. Annual GEPA Institute to provide GEPAs with opportunities to brainstorm policy solutions and learn policy implementation lessons from one another and from national and state experts. 
4. Host events and share information with GEPAS in 3 priority areas: preK-grade 3 alignment, social- emotional learning, and the early childhood workforce. 

Primary Contact: Beth Caron

National Women's Law Center 

The National Women's Law Center (NWLC) works to improve the lives of women and girls, with a focus on the needs of low-income families. NWLC provides state level data analyses, materials, and technical assistance to get new laws passed and enforced. They educate the public about ways to make the law and public policies work for women and their families. NWLC will conduct several key activities this year. 

1. Survey states for the annual 50-state report on child care assistance policies that include eligibility, co- payments, provider payment, and waiting lists. 
2. Produce a separate brief on infant care payment rates. 
3. Collaborate with worker justice groups on a convening to integrate worker organizing and state child care advocacy. 
4. Produce a brief on investing in child care in tandem with minimum wage increases
5. Host a convening for family, friend, and neighbor child care support organizations. 
6. Produce regular memos, fact sheets and analyses, and calls on issues including the implementation of new CCDBG funds. 
7. Hold an annual retreat for national and state early childhood leaders to promote networking, information sharing, and advocacy collaboration. 

Primary Contact: Catherine White

New America 

New America (NA) is a community of innovative problem-solvers with expertise in research, reporting, and analysis. They experiment and innovate nationally and globally, and are dedicated to the renewal of American politics, prosperity, and purpose. The Early Education Initiative is part of the Education Policy Program, which works to advance policies and elevate dialogue to support high-quality learning environments for all children birth through third grade.NA will engage in 3 key actions that build on their work over the last few years that informs state efforts to advance the early care and education (ECE) profession:

1. Assemble a working group of higher education experts to identify innovations and state and federal policies that can support the advancement of early childhood educators, and disseminate findings to the field, including the Alliance network. 
2. Identify, develop, and share video resources that help advocates and others communicate why educators require rigorous preparation and robust supports.
3. Disseminate takeaways from both strands of work through blog posts on EdCentral that can be cross-posted with partner organizations and shared via relevant listservs, their weekly newsletter, and social media outlets.

Primary Contact: Laura Bornfreund

Partnership for America's Children 

The Partnership for America’s Children (PAC) supports a network of multi-issue state and community child advocacy organizations. They connect their members to peer expertise and national resources. They seek to deepen policy expertise, advocacy skills, and build strong organizations. 

PAC has become one of the leading experts on how the 2020 Census and a potential undercount could significant impact young children and families. They will share research, materials, and tools. They will invite Alliance partners to participate in their webinars on topics such as: data sources to help document the extent of the problem and its impact on availability and access to services, using template materials for outreach to help families feel safe participating in the Census, and Complete Count Committees. PAC will provide updates on major developments and will provide technical assistance on public charge issues specific to young children. 

Primary Contact: Deb Stein

T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® National Center

The T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® National Center (TEACH) supports early childhood organizations in 23 states and Washington, DC. They provide training, research, management tools, and technical assistance. TEACH works with states to advance advocacy, strategies, policy, and funding for: access to early childhood degrees, increased compensation, and improved workforce retention. 

This year will build on TEACH’s successful model of using state-based teams to address barriers to improving compensation and attaining higher education degrees or credentials in the early education profession. They will work with 7 state teams,  5 continuing and 2 new ones. TEACH will provide states with technical assistance, tools, training and resources to build capacity to meet outcomes and disseminate lessons learned to the early childhood field. 

Primary Contact: Sue Russell

The Regents of the University of California, Center for the Study of Child Care Employment 

The Center for the Study of Child Care Employment (CSCCE) is focused on achieving comprehensive public investments that enable the early childhood workforce to deliver high-quality care and education for all children. They conduct cutting-edge research and propose policy solutions aimed at improving how the nation prepares, supports and rewards the early care and education workforce to ensure young children’s optimal development. 

CSCCE will collect data and prepare analysis for the 2020 edition of the Early Childhood Workforce Index. They will research and disseminate policy analysis aimed at improving the preparation, support, and compensation of the ECE workforce in equitable ways. They will do this through their blog, social media, presentations and webinars, and technical assistance in states. 

Primary Contact: Lea Austin


ZERO TO THREE (ZTT) works to ensure that all babies and toddlers have a strong start in life. They provide parents, professionals, and policymakers the knowledge and know-how to nurture early development. The ZTT Policy Center is a nonpartisan, research-based resource for federal and state policymakers and advocates on the unique developmental needs of infants and toddlers. 

ZTT will support states in advancing policies, services, and systems to meet the needs of infants, toddlers, and their families. Together with Alliance staff, they will co-lead 2 communities of practice (CoPs): home visiting and infant-toddler child care. The Home Visiting Advocacy CoP has had strong membership participation since its launch in 2016. A 2.0 version will provide new and returning state members the opportunity to revisit key advocacy strategy topics, such as messaging and framing, and leverage lessons learned from our more seasoned advocates. Ongoing planning for both CoPs will continue to be informed by the state members’ interests and requests. Both these CoPs will include new state partners as we implement our 50 state strategy. ZTT will support Think Babies advocacy efforts in 6 states and will work with 4 or 5 additional states to build their capacity for effective infant-toddler policies and services. They will update a self-assessment tool on child welfare services for infants, toddlers, and their families. They have been requested to provide TA in 8 states. 

Primary Contact: Jamie Colvard