NORC received funding from the Administration for Children & Families (ACF) to conduct a utilization-focused evaluation that will document, assess, and improve the processes, resources, and services constituting the redesigned Early Childhood Training and Technical Assistance (EC T/TA) System established by the Office of Head Start (OHS) and the Office of Child Care (OCC) within the ACF at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
The EC T/TA System serves Head Start grantees and delegates and Child Care Development Fund (CCDF) grantees, including states, territories, and tribes. The OHS and the OCC fund nine National Centers that develop research-based practices and materials, and provide training and technical assistance to grantees. Regional networks of TA Specialists support 1,700 grantees in each of the 12 Head Start regions; the State Capacity Building Center provides TA to 56 CCDF grantees. A goal of the redesigned system is to provide integrated, coordinated, and consistent support across the national network of T/TA providers.
As part of this contract, NORC is conducting a mixed-methods and utilization-focused evaluation of ACF’s EC T/TA System that includes a review of OHS and OCC administrative data, case studies, and a survey of primary beneficiaries. NORC also facilitates an Evaluation Workgroup comprised of T/TA system stakeholders. The EC T/TA Cross-System Evaluation Project is designed to answer OHS and OCC questions about the processes, services, and effectiveness of the T/TA system, while simultaneously promoting the use of data and evaluation tools to improve T/TA services among system stakeholders. The project aims to yield information that can be applied toward continuous and ongoing improvement of the EC T/TA System. Insights from this evaluation project will inform optimal T/TA delivery and use that will, in turn, support policy, practice, and organizational change among grantees and contribute to positive outcomes for children and families served.
For more information, see https://www.acf.hhs.gov/opre/resource/early-childhood-training-and-technical-assistance-cross-system-evaluation-project-2015-2020-overview.