In the 1970s Massachusetts was one of the first states to develop information and referral services to support working families needing to find child care for their children. They tracked supply and demand data and worked with both the child care providers and the state to improve quality and access for all families. Throughout those early years and into the mid-1990s, the core child care resource and referral services were: Consumer education including information and referral, Training and technical assistance for providers, Resource development, Data collection and analyses, and Policy and advocacy.
Source: The CAYL Institute Child Care Resource and Referral Study Circle Project May 2011
In the 1980s, two major changes took place that impacted the child care resource and referral field in Massachusetts: First: The state merged CCR&Rs with Voucher Management Agencies (VMAs). Second: Employer-supported resource and referral services expanded across the country via Work Family Directions. Both were a mixed blessing for the CCR&Rs. Many benefited from the contract dollars with corporations and served a wide array of working families. Simultaneously, voucher management began to shift the role of the CCR&Rs by expanding
their focus to serving primarily the lowest
income families and managing vouchers.
Source: The CAYL Institute Child Care Resource and Referral Study Circle Project May 2011
With the passing of welfare reform at both at the state and then federal levels, the CCR&Rs
becoming almost their sole focus. Simultaneously, Work Family Directions pulled
provided private funding to the agencies, making the agencies’ resources very tight for supporting moderate income working families.
Source:The CAYL Institute Child Care Resource and Referral Study Circle Project May 2011
In 2009, the CCR&R contract was put out to bid resulting in the three-year contracts that began on 7/1/10. As a result of the bid, the number of CCR&Rs decreased from 14 to 11. A new contracting structure was put in place with contract for 3 levels: Level 1: Voucher Management Level 2: Information and Referral Level 3: State-wide consumer information
The breakdown in levels of service offered is the following: 3 CCR&Rs offer Level One only (Voucher Management) 2 CCR&Rs offer only Level Two (Information and Referral) 6 CCR&Rs offer Level One and Two combined 2 CCR&Rs also offer Level 3 (Enhanced Consumer Education.)
Of the 11 CCR&Rs: 2 Are the Lead CFCE Grantee • 2 Subcontract with a local CFCE 3 are the lead EPS grantee • 6 are members of the EPS Network Team in their region (2 have subcontracts.) 0 are affiliated with a parent agency that also receives the EC Mental Health grant.
In FY 11 CCR&Rs received $561K in ARRA funding to support: the transition to their new contracts, Implementation of efficiencies, and enrolling children in ARRA funded initiatives. CCR&Rs used these funds: To fund 22 FTEs to fill gaps in staffing, Pay for overtime to handle ARRA intake, For the addition of new telephone lines, updated websites and scheduling software. With the termination of these funds many CCR&Rs have returned to lower staff levels.
Voucher Management: Determine family eligibility for entry and renewal of services per EEC Subsidy Policy.
Family Support: Meet with families to begin/renew child care subsidy.
Collaboration: with other agencies to support enrollment/continuation of eligible services.
Documentation/recording required: Billing and Provider Reimbursement Provider Monitoring
CCR&Rs and Voucher Management: CCR&R Statewide New Voucher Placement and Reassessments*
14 000 1 567 12 000 10 000 8 000 6 000 12 702
7 886 9 924
965 890 4 000 8 731 6 906 6 638 6 921 6 549 2 000
7 921 7 793
769 652 7 152 7 141
711 8 386 10 516
665 8 593
1 103 8 992 10 225
756 5 534
964 8 213 0 CCR&R Statewide Reassessment - Start Placement CCR&R Statewide New Voucher Placement CCR&R Statewide Grand Total *These numbers represent the volume of new (blue) and reassessed (red) vouchers written state-wide each month. These numbers do not capture no-show appointments or appointments held for vouchers not written due to insufficient documentation. Source: CCIMS
CCR&Rs and Voucher Management: CCR&R New Voucher Placement by Child Care Account: September 2010 – October 2011
1 800 1 600
95 1 400 1 200 444
231 1 000 800 600 1 023 400 200 288 746
113 721 755
1 483 529
0 266 480 663 623
0 155 948
713 34 244 701
0 5 9/1/2010 0 10/1/2010 5 11/1/2010 1 12/1/2010 1 1/1/2011 1 2/1/2011 2 3/1/2011 0 4/1/2011 1 5/1/2011 1 6/1/2011 1 7/1/2011 0 8/1/2011 0 9/1/2011 0 10/1/2011 1 Avg 9/10 10/11 DSS DTA Income Eligible ARRA Grand Total Standard Deviation: DSS: 2 ; DTA: 136; Income Eligible: 221; ARRA: 66 Grand Total: 318 Avg. = Average (9/10 – 10/11) *September 2009 New Voucher Placement number was
*October 2009 New Voucher Placement number was
Respond to inquiries regarding options for early education and care services.
Needs assessment: Act as a resource for identifying family needs, determining appropriate community resources and referring families to the appropriate services. Information and referral service provision, allowed options for implementation: Web-based, State-wide telephone coverage, Face-to-face Services, Partnerships with other agencies (TANF, DTA, DCF, DPH/EI.) Other: Brochures, flyers, booklets, faxes, yellow pages, radio, tv, web videos, etc.
communication models for state-wide dissemination of relevant info to families regarding early education and care, its importance for their children and their role as their children’s first educators.
Number of outpost locations: 29 Number of families that received a Level Two referral: 16, 244 Ave number of appointments held per week during traditional hours: 1,333 Ave wait time to get an appointment: 1 week Number of languages other than English spoken by CCR&R staff: 17 Number of families that received an Orientation to in-home/relative care: 821 Ave Caseload per voucher counselor: 676 Percent NACCRA Quality Assured 60%
FY 12 Plan FY12 Actual Balance
Outpost Locations Goal for average wait time Number of families to receive a referral Ave Caseload per voucher Counselor 29 4 days 29 5 days 10,809 2,360 795 868 On target Over target by average of 1 day 22% of goal met in first quarter Above target by average of 84 cases Total new voucher agreements to be signed 458 125 Number families to receive in home/relative orientation Total number of families to receive a level 2 referral 746 192 16,510 2,820 27% of target met in first quarter 26% of target met in first quarter 17% of target met in first quarter
Resources Made Available: Number of Items CCR&R website Tweets sent Facebook posts Events listed Resources distributed (newsletters & brochures) Parent resources accessed Webinars Training videos Resource links Provider resources accessed Webinars Training clips Resource links 4 6 32 5 7 24
17 54 83 9 Number of Individuals Reached 113,062 visitors 6,175 5,570 49,875 2,147 2,214
In November 2011, EEC contracted with NACCRA to build upon the CAYL report and EEC’s Strategic Plan to develop a plan for the improvement of CCR&R services in Massachusetts. The PROCESS underway includes: Oct: Reviewed documents provided by EEC (CAYL Study, EEC Race to the Top submission, Head Start Survey Report, etc) Nov: Focus groups held with parents, providers, CCR&R staff, MASS 211, MADCA Reviewed CCR&R best practice nation wide Nov. /Early Dec. – Draft findings and initial recommendations to EEC Presentation to EEC Board 12/13/11 Final report to EEC Jan 2012.
Initial findings to date: CCR&R agencies in Massachusetts do not meet national definition for service delivery and best practice standards for CCR&R, Recruitment, training, professional development and oversight of child care providers is fragmented, No standard definitions and measurable outcomes for services offered, Voucher Management is labor intensive, paper laden and vulnerable to fraud, Massachusetts is lagging behind in the use of technology in all areas of service delivery, Access to family services for ALL families is confusing and disjointed,
Preliminary Recommendations Adopt NACCRRA’s definition of CCR&R: • • An organization whose stated purpose includes delivery of information-based services to families, child care providers and the community.
Organizations that provide services to only one of the target areas, but are part of a formal system of organizations that together provide all of the services to meet the definition of a CCR&R. • The core services include at a minimum: • •
Supporting all families; Active operation of referral and consumer education services;
• • • • •
Supporting professional development; Increasing the availability, affordability and quality of child care; Supporting development of policies on family and children’s issues; Generating additional resources; Maintaining a high quality comprehensive database for the effective delivery of core services.
Currently, CCR&Rs in MA perform some, but not all of these functions.
Preliminary Recommendations Adopt a managing network model through a competitive bid process. The selected agency should be centrally located, have the capacity to manage multiple projects, manage statewide data bases and use technology such as social media. It must also have a solid governance structure that does not include agencies or personnel with a clear conflict of interest.
Consolidate all information and referral activities for all families through a single statewide call center and web-site. Ensure selected agency becomes Quality Assured
Region al/local CCR&R office Region al/local CCR&R office State Child Administrator Managing Region al/local CCR&R office Care CCR&R Network Office Region al/local CCR&R office
Managing Network Office
Functions: -Primary Liaison with State ECE -Manage and distribute CCR&R funding for the State Child Care Administrator -Determine the range of services local CCR&Rs should provide -Develop and carry out contracts -Consolidate all information and referral activities -Track CCR&Rs’ performance through evaluation and quality assurance activities – single statewide call center and web-site -Manage subsidy administration -All agencies must be Quality Assured Region al/local CCR&R office Region al/local CCR&R office
Office Functions: -Training -Provider Support Services -Provider Database -QRIS Implementation: -on-site technical assistance
Preliminary Recommendations Create a single state-wide, web-based database of all early care and education programs including child care, pre-k and Head Start programs.
Adopt a web-based subsidy management system that allows both parent and child care providers to input and update data on-line and allows them to track the status of their applications and other relevant information.
Establish a single web-based training and technical assistance tracking system that shares data with the state professional registry and allows for transfer of training within the state.
Next steps: Draft report and briefing to EEC for first review by Dec 23.
EEC to review draft report and provide comments to NACCRRA by Dec 29.
Final report to EEC for Jan Board meeting by Jan 5.
Within their current contract, CCR&Rs have agreed to: Become NACCRA Quality Assured. All Level 2 CCR&Rs are currently in the Self-Study process. Support role-out of the voucher management pilot and subsequent expansion.
Increase their role in informing families and programs about the value of the QRIS. Increase Level 3 outputs.
Update and streamline the process for monitoring voucher providers.
Enhance use of technology as possible with current funding.
Collaborate with MASS211 in delivery of information and referral services. Develop a state-wide Advisory with broad representation.
If implementation of NACCRRA recommendations represent a substantial change to current CCR&R contracts, rebidding may be required. If rebid, EEC will need to purchase a redefined level of service and consider the CCR&R relationship to other grants. Geography and integration with other funding sources will need consideration.
The impact on families and their needed access to subsidy must be kept in mind as any transition to a new system unfolds.
EEC may consider roll-out of changes in stages.
A process for informing and gathering feedback from the field will be developed .