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ECLC Communications Mini Grant

The Early Childhood Leadership Commission (ECLC), in collaboration with members of the ECLC Communications Subcommittee, developed Communications Guidelines for Engaging Parents & Caregivers to support early childhood professionals who are creating communications efforts such as mass messaging campaigns, marketing campaigns, or targeted service awareness that is directed toward parents and caregivers. ECLC and Illuminate Colorado (Illuminate) are excited to offer a unique mini grant opportunity up to $1,500 to improve local engagement efforts using these guidelines.

Grantees will also have access to optional pro bono strategic communications support from Illuminate &/or a mentor through the Strengthening Communication Network (SCN). The SCN is a volunteer-led network of mentors with expertise in public relations and communications specific to the issues faced by organizations working to ensure that all children and families in Colorado are valued, healthy and thriving. Illuminate and other mentors within the Strengthening Communications Network will help you tackle challenges on a variety of topics including framing messaging, developing a communications plan, planning and sharing content, social media, email marketing, media coverage, and other communications needs. 

Examples of organizations considered for funding:

  • Community-based nonprofits
  • Community-based coalitions
  • Early childhood councils
  • Family resource centers
  • Local institutions who are viewed by community as trusted partners
  • Public libraries
  • Family, friend and neighbor (FFN) care providers
  • Licenced Child Care Providers 

Our hope is that this mini grant will offer you or your organization added capacity to increase the quality of communication, including the use of effective content, enhanced communication training for trusted messengers that connect with parents and caregivers, and a heightened focus on effective tactics. This mini grant may even provide a little bit of extra support to create a greater emphasis on the two-way, responsive engagement of parents and caregivers that will generate more positive outcomes for children’s cognitive and social development.

Grant Applications must be submitted by 5:00 p.m. on September 17, 2021. 

APPLY FOR YOUR MINI GRANT TODAY! 

The announcement of this mini grant opportunity was a focus of this month’s Strengthening Communications Network meeting. Watch the recorded portion of the meeting.

DOWNLOAD ECLC Communications Mini Grant Overview for more information including:

  • budget format,
  • questions on the electronic application, 
  • review and score the applications submitted by the grant criteria and  learn much more about this exciting opportunity! 

NEW REPORT: FrameWorks Institute Reframing Childhood Adversity: Promoting Upstream Approaches

While Americans agree that child abuse and neglect is unacceptable and are more likely than ever to consider child development an important policy issue, it can be difficult to build the public understanding and political will we need to effectively prevent, identify, and address childhood adversity. As communicators, we still encounter persistent dilemmas in deciding what to say, how to say it, and what to leave unsaid.

Understanding the need for fresh, powerful framing strategies, Prevent Child Abuse America and the newly merged Alliance for Strong Families and Communities and Council on Accreditation asked the FrameWorks Institute to update framing recommendations that have served our field well since 2004.

The result is a new strategic brief, FrameWorks Institute: Reframing Childhood Adversity: Promoting Upstream Approaches.  This new report is a critical new tool in Colorado’s toolbox for communicating to strengthen families that have guided the development of messages hosted on this Colorado Shared Message Bank

Join Dr. Julie Sweetland, senior advisor at the FrameWorks Institute, for a guided tour of this timely, powerful new guidance, Monday, March 22, at 12:00-1:30 PM MT, to be among the first to hear new recommendations on reframing childhood adversity from the FrameWorks Institute.

REGISTER

Strengthening Communications Network members and prospective are encouraged to join this training, as well as the previously scheduled Strengthening Communications Network meeting on Thursday, March 253:00 pm – 4:00 pm to reflect on this important work and the evolution of shared messaging here in Colorado. 

Más Que Mercadeo: Promocione Su Negocio de Guardería Durante una Crisis de Salud Pública

Acompañe a Start Small Think Big! y Small Business Majority para un taller virtual gratuito donde un equipo de marketing discutirá cómo los empresarios estadounidenses pueden promocionar su negocio de guardería durante esta crisis de salud pública. La prioridad de este taller es que los proveedores de cuidado conozcan las consideraciones claves que deben tener en cuenta al contratar su fuerza laboral. También identificaremos recursos útiles para apoyar a propietarios de empresas de cuidado infantil.

Los temas de discusión incluyen:

  • Actualizaciones de políticas para proveedores de cuidado infantil
  • Estrategias de mercadeo y negocio para guarderías 
  • Programas de beneficios portátiles sin costo, Permiso Familiar Pagado y créditos fiscales FFCRA
  • Consejos y recursos gratuitos para cualquier propietario de una pequeña empresa de cuidado infantil

Seguirá una ronda de preguntas de 15 minutos con el abogado/ los abogados.

Thursday, November 19th 2020 – 12:00 PM 

Marketing Your Child Care Business During a Public Health Crisis

Join Start Small Think Big! and Small Business Majority for a free virtual workshop where a marketing team will discuss how entrepreneurs can market their child care business during a public health crisis. We will ensure providers are aware of key considerations when hiring their workforce and identify resources to support the small business owners of a child care enterprise.

Topics of discussion include:

  • Policy updates for childcare providers
  • Marketing strategies used by childcare providers
  • No-cost portable benefits programs, Paid Family Leave and FFCRA tax credits
  • Free tips and resources for any small business owner in childcare

A 15 minute question and answer period with marketing experts will follow.

Wednesday, November 18th 2020 – 12:00 PM

Ensuring the Colorado Shared Message Bank and a Community for Communicators Grows and Thrives

As many in the early childhood community know, the Early Childhood Colorado Partnership (ECCP) worked intentionally to advance the shared goals within the Early Childhood Colorado Framework for many years. Developing and sustaining a comprehensive early childhood system with children and families at the center was no easy task, and no one individual, organization or agency can do it alone. Together, their collective efforts facilitated numerous engagements and tools that continue to support families and organizations today. However, with numerous organizations focused on early childhood health and education, the ECCP Steering Committee decided earlier this year to discontinue the work and create space for others to grow and thrive.

As the ECCP dissolved, Illuminate Colorado, a statewide 501(c)3 organization dedicated to strengthening families, organizations and communities to prevent child maltreatment, has stepped in to ensure that the Colorado Shared Message Bank and the community that ECCP supported for communicators focused on promoting research-based frames and messages proven to garner broad public support for issues connected to healthy early childhood development, the prevention of adversity, mitigation of toxic stress and promotion of resilience and strengthening families continues to exist and grow into the future.

The Colorado Shared Message Bank is a critical tool in the toolbox to aid people in shifting community norms, perceptions and policy toward embracing the importance of investing in children and strengthening families and communities. It is also product of a collaborative effort of many people trained to support partners around the state as they work to integrate the Shared Message Bank and communications best practices into their communications efforts with and on behalf of children and families. These mentors review partner materials and offer advice on framing to promote social change or engage Coloradans in services that strengthen families.  

As additional frameworks to support maternal health and child maltreatment prevention have been created in Colorado and the community focused on improving communications practices begins to reconvene to share what is working and learn from one another, Colorado offers a message of gratitude to the Early Childhood Colorado Partnership for providing the space and conditions for diverse partners across the comprehensive early childhood system – encompassing health, mental health, family support and early learning – to come together to identify common results, share best and innovative practices, and implement strategies to improve system effectiveness for and with child and family well-being.

Join the community of communicators to find support in promoting messages that strengthen families. 

Messaging Infant Safe Sleep Made Easy

Promoting safe sleep is the easiest it has ever been thanks to the NEW 2020 SIDS Awareness Month #SafeSleepSnap Digital Toolkit. 

Visit the national SafeSleepSnap digital toolkit

 

In this toolkit, you’ll find:

  • How to Participate
  • Sample Social Media Posts
  • Flyer (NEW!), Graphics, and Expanded Photo Gallery
  • Sample Email and Other Language to promote the fun and friendly photo activity called #SafeSleepSnap.
  • How to Handle Unsafe Sleep Images and
  • Before-You-Post Checklist (NEW!) and our favorite element new this year – Weekly themes!

Weekly Themes

Each week in October 2020, the national Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) Awareness Month campaign, encourages a focused message on one action to help reduce the risk of SIDS and promote safe sleep. Coloradans are encouraged to participate in each weekly theme to help spread the word about key safe infant sleep practices.

Visit the See the Sample Posts and Language sections for suggested messages to post each week.

Week 1 (October 4–10)

Always place baby on his or her back to sleep to reduce the risk of SIDS.

Week 2 (October 11–17)

Use a firm and flat mattress in a safety-approved crib,* free of soft and loose bedding, such as bumpers, stuffed animals and blankets.

*A crib, bassinet, portable crib, or play yard that follows the safety standards of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is recommended. For information on crib safety, visit https://www.cpsc.gov or contact CPSC at 1-800-638-2772.

Week 3 (October 18–24)

Share your room with baby. Keep baby close to your bed but on a separate surface, for example, in their own crib or bassinet.

Week 4 (October 25–31)

Breastfeed to reduce the risk of SIDS.

Project: Kindergarten NOW! Coalition

Location of Messaging: Statewide

The Kindergarten NOW! Coalition is a group of partners working to advocate for fully funded full-day Kindergarten for all children who choose it in Colorado. 

The coalition utilized the All Together for Prosperity messaging as their headline for why Colorado needs to invest in full-day Kindergarten. 

Website: http://www.fulldayk.co/ 

The Power of Family Voice: The Young Child Wellness Council

This video was crafted through a partnership between Colorado Project LAUNCH and the Early Childhood Colorado Partnership.
Family leaders Ray Washington and Princess Mack shared their reflections about participating on the Young Child Wellness Council.

Organizations serving children and families are increasingly focusing on family engagement as a strategy to improve services, enhance consumer and provider satisfaction, and reduce costs. This video highlights the voices of two family members of the Project LAUNCH Young Child Wellness Council. The Council exists to bring families and public and private partners together to improve policies, programs, and approaches so that all children enter school with the social, emotional, cognitive, and physical skills they need to succeed. As this five-year grant comes to a close, family members are eager to share their experiences with those interested in systems level initiatives.

Director of the Young Child Wellness Council, shared her recommendations for professionals and family leaders seeking to increase authentic engagement: 

1)  Personal experiences are what drove both Ray and Princess to their initial involvement. Bringing these experiences to the table is integral for success.

2)  Joining councils and boards can be uncomfortable initially for a family partner. Connecting w/other professionals and feeling supported and heard allowed them to feel valued and kept both of them committed to the work.

3)  Professional partners need to hear the voice of fathers.

4)  It’s okay to start small.  Begin w/volunteering in your child’s classroom, take advantage of other opportunities as they open up.

5) Be willing to take risks because your voice matters! Join a committee, attend conferences, and apply for boards.

6) This is a chance to revolutionize the way services are delivered!

Project: Assuring Better Child Health and Development (ABCD) Website

Location of Messaging: Statewide

ABCD updated its website and messaging and used the Shared Messages and Photo Bank to inform the changes. The About Us section of the website includes prosperity framing and explanatory language around the importance of child development. ABCD has also developed messaging which explains what developmental screenings are to support building understanding and clarity for those outside of the field.

In addition to the messages, ABCD incorporated the Guidelines for Visuals and the Photo Bank to inform stock photos on the website. 

Find the website here: www.coloradoabcd.org 

Project: Boulder County Assuring Better Child Health and Development

Organization: Boulder County Public Health

Location of Messaging: Boulder County

We often tie our efforts to the larger efforts happening in the community. Our community did a survey and found that one of the top priorities in our system is mental health. The partnership created a social emotional toolkit. The toolkit outlines what to say when speaking about social emotional development for providers, fliers about social emotional development, and handouts for parents to better support their child’s development. You can find the social emotional toolkit on the Boulder ABCD webpage: www.bouldercountyabcd.org 

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