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Medford Family Resource Coalition Quality Improvement Plan 2005

Medford Family Resource Coalition 489 Winthrop Street Medford , MA 02155 An AssociatedFacilitated Project


Medford Family Resource Coalition Council The Medford Family Resource Coalition Council (MFRC) is a unique collaboration among the Medford Public Schools, area social service agencies, local medical providers, businesses, faith-based organizations, early childhood programs, city agencies, and an institution of higher learning. The MFRC operates several early childhood programs through the Medford

Public

Schools

including

Community

Partnerships for Children (CPC), Medford Family Network (MFN) Parent-Child Home Program (PCHP) and the Quality Full-day Kindergarten Grant Program. The

A commitment to quality Associated Early Care and Education brings the Boston EQUIP model to the MFRCC In 2002, Associated Early Care and Education (Associated) received a grant from The F.B. Heron Foundation to replicate the Boston EQUIP model of improving the quality of early care and education services through measurement and goal-setting in another local community. Associated, founded in 1878, is a direct services provider serving primarily low-income children in the greater metropolitan Boston area in six center-based programs and 100 family child care provider homes. Associated’s long-held commitment to high quality affordable

facilities, teacher education and training, teacher salaries, and parent engagement. Since that time, Boston EQUIP has surveyed Boston’s licensed early care and education and school-age child care programs four times – in 1997, 1999, 2001, and most recently in 2004. The findings from these surveys have been used to leverage legislative change and financial investment in improving the quality of early childhood programs. As the Boston EQUIP model was successful in Boston, Associated was interested in working with other

MFRC’s overarching goal is to increase access to comprehensive and high quality services for children, youth and their families throughout the city of Medford. The MFRC Council promotes the unique development of children, youth and families through school and community programs that are designed to emphasize prevention; encourage education, family involvement and leadership; and enhance the physical and social emotional

health

and self-

confidence of residents in the community.

For more information about the Medford Family Resource Coalition Council, call us 781-393-2102 or visit us on the web at www.medford.k12.ma.us.

Associated’s mission is to lead through experience, as educators and advocates, in urban early education of children from birth, in partnership with their families and communities. child care led to the creation of the Boston Early Education Quality Improvement Project (Boston EQUIP) in 1995. Boston EQUIP was established by Associated and a community-based advisory of early care and education providers, advocates, and policymakers to improve the quality of early care and education services in Boston. Using the key strategies of systematic evaluation and goal-setting, Boston EQUIP began surveying licensed center-based child care, family child care, public pre-school programs, and after-school programs to collect data about access and quality. After the completion of the first survey the Boston EQUIP Advisory Committee established benchmarks in five key areas of quality improvement – accreditation,

communities to implement a similar model for quality improvement. In 2002, Associated was already working with the Medford Community Partnerships for Children to improve the program quality in public schools and center-based early childhood programs. Implementing a model that would set quality goals and benchmarks for the entire community, more than just individual programs, was a logical extension of this work and complemented the Medford Family Resource Coalition Council’s own mission to improve the quality of programs and services for all families residing in Medford. The goals and benchmarks described in this brochure are the product of this collaboration.


increase the quality and capacity of the programs under its umbrella. The development of quality goals and benchmarks is an example of the collaborative spirit of the MFRC. At the time the MFRC became engaged in developing benchmarks, the community was experiencing cuts in its early childhood funding. The Council was at an exploratory phase in figuring out what programs needed to be retained, what programs needed to be expanded, and what programs and services would benefit from modifications in a changing demographic landscape. The Council embraced the benchmark project as a way to assist with future development and growth. It evaluated the work it had already accomplished and moved to a focus on the needs of diverse families in the twenty-first century. Three specific benchmarks were chosen to reflect areas that aligned with concerns of MFRC members and the direction of the Medford Public Schools. The process for developing these benchmarks included:

1.

Development of draft benchmarks by a subcommittee

2.

Refinement of draft benchmarks by MFRC Council

3.

Holding a community meeting to solicit input

4.

Working with Associated Early Care and Education to identify measurable goals and benchmarks

The benchmarks dovetail with the MFRC’s vision of promoting the unique development of children, youth and families residing in Medford. The issue of leadership—of family members and children and youth—was instrumental in the refinement of the benchmarks. Gaps in programs and services helped shape next steps.

Expand collaboration to increase resources for children and families and to reflect growing diversity Collaboration is at the heart of the MFRC’s mission. Through collaboration the MFRC is able to continually build on existing programs, begin new programs and project future needs. Collaboration has enabled the MFRC to offer more programs in a cost-effective manner. Additionally, Census 2000 data indicate that approximately 1,100 households are "linguistically isolated." Council members agree that it is critical to reach out and engage these family members.

By 2007:

The MFRC continually strives to

G OA L # 1

➔ The number of MFRC partners among public, private and community programs including the Medford aPublic Schools/ Tufts University/ Medford Health Matters will have been increased by 60%. ➔ Business partnerships will have become more active through two original or ongoing initiatives. ➔ International Family Festival will have become an annual event. ➔ The number of offered ESOL classes with on-site child care will have increased from one to three. ➔ A partnership with Medford's Human Rights Commission will have been established.

By 2010:

Setting Medford’s Early Education and Care Benchmarks

➔ The number of MFRC partners among public, private and community programs including Medford will have been increased by 60%. ➔ Business partnerships will have become more active through five new or ongoing initiatives. ➔ An in-service training on diversity will have been offered to staff and providers. The MFRC Council will have evaluated the next steps. ➔ The number of ESOL classes will have been increased by two more, raising the total to five. ➔ A Diversity sub-committee will have been developed and established.


G OA L # 2

G OA L # 3

The Medford Public Schools is committed to the development of the whole child. Community programs desire a less fragmented approach to service delivery that would concentrate on the child within the family and community. Ongoing grant initiatives such as the Medford Family Network and the Early Childhood Mental Health Project underscore the role of the family and the community with an emphasis on strength-based programming. Prevention services have been a high priority in connecting the family, school and community. An identified researchbased risk factor, lack of involvement of family and community members, also fueled the need to include this Medford benchmark. The focus of this goal is to link families with services and information that will help develop family literacy, physical health, and social emotional health through print and Internet community directories.

There is an increased need for more out-of-school-time programs. Research shows the benefits of such programs for elementary and middle school-aged students. Funding for these programs has been limited. MFRC Council members have voiced the need to expand family education and support programs for Medford families.

By 2007:

Expand out-of-school-time programs for children and youth in neighborhoods throughout the city

➔ A plan will have been devised to increase the age range of children served by the MFN from birth through six years old, to birth through eight years old. ➔ A needs assessment will have been completed to determine the needs of families with elementary-aged children. ➔ A needs assessment will have been completed to determine the needs of families transitioning to middle schools.

➔ A community directory will have been designed, created, and published. ➔ A community directory will have been posted online. ➔ At least five relevant websites will have been determined and linked, including community programs, Medford Public Schools and businesses, e.g., the Medford Chamber of Commerce. ➔ Information to families will have been announced on the local cable channel, in the local newspapers, at the public library and radio PSAs.

By 2010:

By 2007:

Increase access to comprehensive high quality services to develop the whole child within the family and community

➔ A strategic plan will have been developed and implemented from the results of the needs assessments. ➔ The strategic plan will have been evaluated and revised based on evaluative data.

MFRC Partners include

By 2010:

Bestsellers Cafe • Catholic Charities • Child Care Circuit • Child Development Centers and

➔ A MFRC newsletter will have been developed and distributed through several media outlets, including the public library, public schools, early education and care programs, and afterschool programs. ➔ The community directory will have been revised and republished, in English as well as published in a language other than English. ➔ Web site links will have been reevaluated and changes made based on new technological capacities and new and evolving partnerships.

Systems, Inc. • Criterion-Medford Early Intervention • Community Partnerships for Children • Congregational Church of West Medford • Eastern Massachusetts Literacy Council • EliotPearson Children’s School • Family members from the Medford Community • Gentle Dragon Preschool • Grace Church / Graceworks • Greater Medford Visiting Nurses Association • Independent Family Child Care Providers • Kids’ Corner Child Care Center • Lawrence Memorial Hospital of Medford, a member of Hallmark Health • Medford Family Life Education Center • Medford Family Network • Medford Health Matters • Medford Public Schools • Merry-Go-Round Nursery School • Oakland Park Children’s Center • Parent-Child Home Program • Play Academy • Quality Full-day Kindergarten Grant Program • Tri-City Community Action Program • Tri-City Early Intervention Program • Tufts University


2005 Medford Quality Improvement Plan - Full Report