Just nine months ago, we began our work on a grant for Early Head Start and Child Care Partnerships. The idea is to combine the resources of Head Start together with the existing passion and commitment of childcare and by doing so, create something truly transformative for infant/toddler care in Rhode Island. It has been a bold and innovative work, which relies on an incredible group of partners to make it happen.
I am sure that you all have those moments when you sit and watch an incredible group of people talk about something exciting! Today, was one of those days for me as we hosted Rachel Schumacher, the Director of the Office of Child Care from Washington DC. We heard from her about the intra-departmental work taking place between the Office for Child Care and the Office for Head Start at a federal level. Not only was she interested in hearing what the her department could do differently to help us better support children and families in RI, she talked about ways in which she and her team are working to make systems more about the children and families being served.
The program is different than many other efforts and you could feel it in the room. There was a tangible excitement for what we are creating and how we are building the quality of infant and toddler care throughout our sites and our partners. It is truly remarkable when people from different sectors and different places come together to share a common goal and to create change.
We also heard from our Regional team from Boston, both from the Office of Child Care and the Office of Head Start, about how Rhode Island is doing things a bit differently than other states and how excited they are about the work that we are accomplishing together. I believe our work is a reflection of the work taking place at the regional level and the federal level. It is about working together differently to accomplish something truly amazing.