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Pull Up a Chair…Early Childhood Updates

Posted by sarahcohendoherty
Preschool For All: SVP’s Partnership with Multnomah County

As capacity builders, SVP is known for being a leader behind the public leader. This is why we have been invited to seats at early childhood decision-making tables, where we play a role in driving a cohesive strategy and alignment in. We know that change doesn’t happen overnight, which is why we focus on both short-term wins as well as long-term systems change, including policy/advocacy. Together, across sectors, we are building the capacity of our community to ensure that all children have access to high quality, culturally relevant early learning experiences. Please read on for a snapshot of important conversations in which SVP is participating at the State and local levels.


Preschool for All Task Force: Multnomah County, under the leadership of Commissioner Jessica Vega Pederson, secured $100k to form a Preschool for All Task Force in 2018–2019. The end result of this will be a plan for how we can implement universal preschool in Multnomah County. The Task Force will be comprised of high-level community leaders from the business sector, early childhood, communities of color, and workforce.

What this means for SVP: There are four working groups which will report to the Task Force: Program Policy, Workforce, Infrastructure, and Finance Strategy & Administration. Due to the amazing skill set of SVP Partners, we have been invited to join these tables. If you are interested in hearing more or engaging in any of these work groups, please reach out to sarah@svpportland.org.


Early Childhood Coalition: This group of early childhood advocates is convened by Children’s Institute. Currently, the Coalition is preparing for 2019 legislative session, where they want to make early childhood a center of conversation and budget. This is a state-wide policy/advocacy collaborative and includes Children’s First, early learning hubs, Oregon Head Start Assn., Oregon Assn. of Relief Nurseries, the Early Learning Council, and philanthropic leaders. Last Friday, the Coalition met with Miriam Calderon, Oregon’s Early Learning Division Director, to hear about her priorities and focus for the upcoming year.

What this means for SVP: As we move closer to the legislative session, there will be opportunities for SVP Partners to engage in town halls and other advocacy tables, and raise their voices for political investment in early childhood. These will be shared as soon as we have the information.


Culturally Specific Early Learning Collaborative: Not to be confused with the Coalition listed above, we have helped to support the formation of a collaborative of our Community Partners to advocate for funding and policies that fuel their efforts and programs. These five SVP Community Partners, KairosPDX, IRCO, Black Parent Initiative, NAYA, and Latino Network (and other culturally specific programs/organizations around the state) are working on three goals: increasing public funding for their programs (specifically through the Preschool for All Task Force listed above and an Equity Fund they are working through the state legislative process), increased training and organizing of parent advocates in their communities, and strengthening the narrative around the value of culturally specific services.

What this means for SVP: Latino Network has stated that part of the reason they are able to convene this table is due to SVP’s investment in their policy/advocacy capacity. IRCO and KairosPDX are also able to engage because of our advocacy grants. We are now supporting the next-stage development of the Collaboration by gathering funding from area foundations ($500,000 in requests ). We further expect a team of Partners will do investment due diligence in the fall for a possible SVP investment of grant funding and capacity building to support their three goals. We also anticipate advocacy roles for Partners in support of possible legislation. f you are interested in engaging in this effort, please reach out to sarah@svpportland.org.


CCO 2.0: This is a brand new table, convened by Children’s Institute. Beginning in 2020, Community Care Organizations will begin new contracts and focus, with the goal of building on their learned experiences and becoming more efficient in serving the community. As the health sector maps out what this entails, they wanted to bring in early childhood advocates and streamline how the sectors can better work together.

What this means for SVP: We were asked to engage in this conversation from both the early learning and the funder perspective. If you are interested in being a part of the conversation, please do not hesitate to reach out to sarah@svpportland.org.

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