The Imagine Institute's Annual Report 2021

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TABLE OF CONTENTS


AT A GLANCE

04

TRAINING

06

OVERVIEW AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS

08

COLLEGE CONNECT

11

ELECTRONIC ATTENDANCE SYSTEM (EAS)

12

TRAINER PATHWAYS

13

DELIVERABLES

15

COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS AND COLLABORATIONS

16

OUTREACH

16

CHALLENGES

16

IMAGINE U

18

OVERVIEW AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS

20

MENTOR TRAINING

23

OUTREACH

25

CHALLENGES

25

SUBSTITUTE POOL

26

OVERVIEW AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS

28

COVID-19

31

DELIVERABLES

32

COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS AND COLLABORATIONS

33

OUTREACH

33

CHALLENGES

34


AT A GLANCE

04

The Imagine Institute | imaginewa.org


Annual Report FY21

05


TRAINING

Dora Herrera is a bilingual state-approved trainer. She was part of The Imagine Institute’s first group of providers to become state-approved trainers to deliver professional development classes to child care providers. Dora is the owner of Our Little House Daycare located in Olympia, WA.

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The Imagine Institute | imaginewa.org


I became a child care provider 23 years ago because it was a necessity for my family. Starting my own business back then was very difficult with no support or resources, especially for Spanish speakers. I had to do everything on my own. It took me two years to open my daycare and I made a lot of mistakes. I felt isolated and alone. The Imagine Institute has been a blessing in my life and my career. It has provided a safe space for all cultures and individual backgrounds to learn professionally from other members of the early learning community. They bring us together, inspire, motivate, and remind us that we are all capable of achieving our goals. Imagine’s team and leadership listens to our voices and makes us feel valued and heard. As a business owner and as a lead trainer approved to train in 18 areas of core competencies, I am much stronger and more confident in my abilities because of Imagine. This past year, Imagine gave me the opportunity to deliver seven bilingual trainings to providers in Rhode Island and Massachusetts for the PREPARE for Care program. What was once a dream of having high quality, multi-language, professional development support for child care providers is now a reality, thanks to The Imagine Institute.

Annual Report FY21

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OVERVIEW AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS The Imagine lnstitute’s Training and Incentives program provided a diverse array of peer-led training to 1,000 child care providers across Washington in fiscal 2021. Despite delivering training entirely online due to Covid-19, as well as experiencing a 20% decrease in the Family, Friend, and Neighbor (FFN) workforce, the Imagine Institute was able to reach a similar number of providers as in previous years. Imagine was also able to expand its antiracist and trauma informed care offerings across the state and even offered classes in other parts of the country. Imagine’s Trainer Pathways program similarly matured and expanded to promote trainers’ skills and core competency levels. The Imagine Institute was officially named an Organizational Trainer Mentor and can now approve its own trainers. Over the course of fiscal year 2021, Imagine increased the number of training hours it delivered by 68% as compared to fiscal year 2020. Many providers chose to attend multiple trainings, showing that once providers have a chance to attend an Imagine training, they want to attend more. In fact, a full 88% of LFCCP and 16% of FFN providers chose to attend more than one training with Imagine in fiscal year 2021. The Imagine Institute also reached a broad community of providers: Imagine’s state-approved trainers offered 150 trainings to 700 unique licensed family child care providers (LFCCP) and 71 total trainings to 300 unique FFN providers. Overall, Imagine Institute trainers delivered a total of 12,341 training hours to LFCCP providers and 6,940 training hours to FFNs in fiscal year 2021.

Training Hour By Month

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The Imagine Institute | imaginewa.org


Attendance

The attendance rate for both FFN and LFCCP increased this year. The attendance rate increased from 62% to 65% for FFN and from 81% to 83% for LFCCP.

Imagine trainings continue to serve three core language groups. Over half of all participants (54%) preferred to attend class in a language other than English. Taking into account all providers, 37% of training participants are Spanish-speaking, 17% are Somali-speaking and 43% are English-speaking. The 3% of attendees whose primary language is not Spanish or Somali chose to take classes taught in English.

Annual Report FY21

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Of the 210 LFCCP providers who attended a PREPARE for Care class, 123 were Spanish-speaking and lived mainly in Eastern Washington, 55 were primary English speakers, 26 spoke Somali, and five participants received instruction in English though they spoke a different primary language. The Imagine Institute services providers across Washington State. King County continues to have the highest rate of attendees among Somali-speaking (169 providers) and English-speaking providers (98 providers) and Yakima County continues to have the highest rate of Spanish-speaking attendees (93 providers).

Virtual training offered some participants increased access and flexibility in fiscal year 2021. While overall numbers of training participants slightly decreased this year, the fact that this decrease was not more significant, particularly considering the overall decrease of providers in the field, demonstrates that many were able to adapt to virtual learning and others preferred it. 286 LFCCP providers took training in fiscal year 2021 who did not take training the prior year. As it becomes possible to resume in-person training, Imagine plans to pursue a hybrid model and continue to offer virtual options for providers who prefer this mode of delivery. This will allow the Imagine Institute to continue to offer high quality training options to FFN and LFCCP providers regardless of their location.

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The Imagine Institute | imaginewa.org


COLLEGE CONNECT 80 providers across five cohorts successfully completed their ECE Short Certificate with North Seattle College this year. These cohorts began with the first course of the Initial Certificate, ECED 105 in January 2020. In April 2020, COVID-19 necessitated the shift to virtual learning. These resilient providers did not allow that to deter them in their learning and continued virtually for ECED 107 and ECED 120 to complete the ECE Initial Certificate. These cohorts decided to proceed to the Short Certificate with EDUC 115 and EDUC 130. In June of 2021, Imagine successfully registered 20 Somali-speaking providers to start the first Somali language ECE 105 class. Imagine plans to support this group through the ECE Short Certificate.

Participants and instructors continue to share the impact that the College Connect program has had for them both personally and professionally:

I have so much positive feedback from my classroom and Imagine. Since I have been with Imagine I have grown and learned so much. My trainers are awesome, and my teacher (Maria) is the best. It is truly a blessing to have such an amazing teacher. All the information and materials have been super useful. I did not know there was too much to learn but I can honestly say that I am super happy to learn and to take with me into my work. – Teresa C., Monday Spanish Cohort, Wenatchee, Chelan County

I have seen the change in me personally and with my daycare children. I think that everything I learned was greatly beneficial for my program and I can see the changes already. Personally, I would like to use my certificate to later work in a school as a teacher or para-educator. I thank you very much for everything you taught me this year and I want you to know that I am already putting it into practice, and it has served me a lot for me, my children and their families. – Josefina H., Tuesday Spanish Cohort, Pasco, Franklin County

Annual Report FY21

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Our class time together consisted of rich, relevant ideas and dialogue streamlined specifically for and by Family Child Care Providers. Using an active learning approach, we shared and experienced childhood games from each of our cultures, created inclusive classrooms showing the importance of play and examined early childhood theories and theorists still shaping our world today. – Carli Meek, Instructor, Auburn, King County

ELECTRONIC ATTENDANCE SYSTEM (EAS) Imagine canvassers utilized phone and digital meetings to provide outreach and technical assistance to providers to assist them in meeting the State’s electronic attendance requirements. While conversion rates remained lower than fiscal 2020 throughout the year, Imagine attained an overall 47% conversion rate, which was 9.5% higher than reported at the end of the third quarter. Canvassers attempted to contact 597 FFN providers, successfully contacting 331 which resulted in 157 successful technical assistance (TA) sessions. Many providers who did not sign up for a TA session were still assisted by the canvasser in helping them locate the online training, requesting a training packet, or being directed to the provider line for software assistance outside of Imagine’s capacity. With an anticipated return to in-person canvassing next year, Imagine intends to build on its steady increase in conversion rates in the coming year, continuing to assist providers gain stronger technological skills throughout the year ahead.

Technical Assistance Training

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The Imagine Institute | imaginewa.org


TRAINER PATHWAYS The Trainer Pathways program ended the fourth quarter with an immense amount of trainer growth and success. The goals of the program were set in the summer of 2020 with the intention of expanding trainers’ knowledge, skills, and abilities in the realm of adult learning practices and theory. Through new projects introduced this year, trainers had the opportunity to use their peer network, support from Imagine staff, and their own research to build their skills. These opportunities included bi-monthly training, topic-guided mastermind groups, and virtual networking spaces through Google Classrooms. Trainers received instruction on topics like identifying, evaluating, and developing authentic assessments and feedback and completed trainer portfolios.

Trainer portfolios were a highlight for trainers this year. Though building a professional portfolio with an updated resume, short biography, completed observation evaluation, three letters of recommendation pertaining to their training skills, written work samples, a video demonstration (if possible), and participant survey results, trainers were able to reflect on their accomplishments and feel tremendous pride in what they have achieved.

Annual Report FY21

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Trainer observations and evaluations showed that Imagine trainers provide high quality training. Imagine staff conducted anonymous and unannounced observations using an observation rubric based on the Washington State Trainer Standards. All active trainers received an observation and these, along with participant surveys, provided opportunities for coaching and goalsetting. Overall, trainers met or exceeded expectations. Imagine staff determined that trainers followed protocols of engagement, checks for understanding, and ensured that their participants understood the next steps. The participant surveys reflected these trainers’ growing proficiency in facilitating virtual training.

Imagine has identified areas of growth for delivering virtual training. Some trainers struggled to read from a slide deck during small group activities and discussions while others were less fluid in their presentation as they balanced moderating the chat box and presenting the slide show. Issues such as these were brought back to the training and mastermind groups to practice and learn additional strategies, providing valuable insight for participants and trainers alike.

Mastermind groups were a positive addition to Imagine’s Trainer Pathways program. Overall, an average of 10 trainers engaged in these bimonthly professional group sessions. Facilitated by Imagine staff, the trainers themselves chose the topics and directed the conversation. With this year’s trainings being presented online, the dominating theme was virtual training. Trainers learned new strategies for engagement through online tools such as Padlet, Jamboards, Mentimeter, and Kahoot. In the last few months, some trainers moved into evaluating and providing suggestions for curriculum redesign to allow for better online facilitation. This step demonstrates the further development and mastery of virtual teaching by the trainers in the Pathways program.

This year’s curriculum was updated to guide trainers through a deeper understanding of adult learning principles and high-quality trainer practices. This process, in combination with professional portfolios, led trainers to evaluate the levels and competency areas they were approved to train within MERIT. Seven trainers increased their levels from a 1-2 to levels 3 and above. These seven also added school-age competencies to their approved training list. The trainers were part of the first cohort to engage in this process through the Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF).

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The Imagine Institute | imaginewa.org


Other highlights this year included a trainer who successfully led a national cohort, inspiring other trainers to consider training nationally in the future. Furthermore, three trainers worked with Imagine staff to design content for four new training topics. The work also included the development of a trainer guide, slide deck, handouts, and facilitation of “Train the Trainer” course. New topics included STEM and program development. The training will offer new topics to the field, inspiring participants to run their programs successfully and to implement science, technology, engineering, and math into their daily programming with children.

DELIVERABLES DELIVERABLE

YTD

UNIT

ANNUAL TARGET

Training Delivery

1,000

Unique Provider

n/a

Incentives

$189,700 – FFN $317,700 – LFCCP

Dollars

$448,050

EAS Technical Assistance

246.5

Hours

n/a

State Approved Trainer PD

687

Hours

784

Annual Report FY21

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COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS AND COLLABORATIONS Imagine and North Seattle College (NSC) have concluded the first five cohorts of providers pursuing completion of their ECE Short Certificate. Imagine and NSC have begun a Somali-speaking cohort with the first class of the ECE Initial Certificate. Imagine continues to collaborate with DCYF and Yakima Valley College to start both a ECE105 cohort and Short Certificate cohort in Spanish for fall quarter. Imagine has also engaged with Clover Park Technical College with the hopes of starting an English ECE Initial Certificate within Pierce County. This year also provided Trainer Pathways an opportunity to work with DCYF to support provisional trainers. Prospective trainers identified by DCYF will receive provisional status and be provided the option of additional support through a tiered service model of Imagine’s Trainer Pathways program. Tailored to the individual needs of these provisional trainers, Imagine provides coaching, access to training, and peer support with the intention of readying them to achieve full trainer approval within six months. Imagine is currently supporting one trainer who is midway through their provisional process.

OUTREACH Imagine continues to use its existing successful outreach methods to engage providers, including quarterly class sign-up emails sent to providers on Imagine’s mailing list. Imagine continues to leverage its CRM system, Salesforce, to deploy automated emails and SMS notifications of upcoming classes in providers’ language or area. Additionally, Imagine staff continue to provide one on one support for providers who are unfamiliar or uncomfortable with registering for classes online. Imagine staff helps providers through email or over the phone by walking them though class options, signing them up, and helping providers understand what to expect in order to access training.

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The Imagine Institute | imaginewa.org

CHALLENGES Imagine is conducting a survey of training participants to better understand technology barriers. The purpose of this survey is to directly ask providers for feedback regarding their successes, barriers, and overall experience with Imagine’s training classes. In addition, Imagine has created a series of instructional videos for its website that provide step-by-step instructions for signing up for classes, outreach emails to look for, accessing classes on the day of training, and accessing additional help and support.


Annual Report FY21

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IMAGINE U

Mumina Hassan is a state-approved trainer and lead mentor with the Imagine Institute. She is the owner of Amin Early Learning and Child Care Preschool in King County, Washington and has operated her in-home licensed child care since 2010.

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The Imagine Institute | imaginewa.org


The Imagine Institute has been a blessing for my personal and professional growth as a business owner. Learning about Imagine U changed my life. Four years ago, I started as a mentor with Imagine U and have grown and evolved to accomplish so much more. I’m now a lead mentor, trainer, and have learned so much from Imagine’s staff, leadership, and the child care community. Imagine U helped me build relationships with other community members but more importantly, provided the training and confidence for me to be a leader. Whenever I doubted myself, someone at Imagine encouraged me ‘to try — just try. You won’t know until you try.’ And sure enough, I succeeded. The Imagine Institute is a one-of-kind organization. It is the only organization I’ve ever been part of that truly cares about me — the people they support. They are mindful and aware of the communities and cultural differences and have shown great respect for each of our beliefs and preferences. No other organization has shown the amount of care and thoughtfulness that the Imagine Institute has provided us in the many trainings and programs that they offer our community.

Annual Report FY21

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OVERVIEW AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS Interns Through Imagine U, interns opened 75 new family child cares across the state, creating an estimated 900 new child care slots for children in their communities. Only one of this year’s class of 99 interns did not complete the program and become licensed, and 75 program graduates began serving a subsidized child. As part of their preparation to open their new businesses, interns worked a combined total of 11,183 hours in their mentors’ facilities and completed a total of 3,717 assignments this fiscal year. A total of 98% of the interns completed all 47 assignments and attended 3,350 hours of STARS training and technical assistance. Assignments ranged from simple program requirements such as obtaining a STARS ID, to more complex tasks such as creating policy books, building a budget, and creating a business and marketing plan.

The Imagine Institute recruited a diverse group of interns in FY 2021. Of the data reported from 98 interns, over 60% speak a language other than English, including Somali, Spanish, Arabic, Amharic, Oromo, and Tigrinya. Overall, 90% of interns identified as a person of color, with the largest groups identifying as Hispanic/Latinx (38%) and East African (36%). Imagine U’s FY21 cohort spans 18 counties of Washington state, with the largest concentrations in King County (52%), Yakima County (13%), and Franklin County (7%).

Imagine U FY21 Interns by County

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The Imagine Institute | imaginewa.org


Interns who participated in Imagine U this year were asked to complete an end of year evaluation. Responses to date indicate that 96% of participants plan to continue a relationship with their mentor and also prefer to continue training in a learning cohort similar to Imagine U. 92% felt that they built strong relationships with other child care professionals participating in Imagine U.

Some responses include:

Because she always gave me the opportunity to learn, she had an absolute availability and I counted on her full support that without Imagine Institute and without my mentor I may not have understood the requirements of the state. Thanks to Imagine Institute and thanks to my mentor Alberta Badillo.

We were all on the same frequency and we needed each other’s help and that’s why we made a good friendship. We support each other.

I only have words of thanks with all my teachers and classmates of the year 2020 and 2021 and I would love to continue learning and preparing myself to be successful in my business.

I am so excited starting my journey, everyday I am working on something to implement on my daycare. I enjoy working with children, I just quit my job at preschool. But I am excited doing my own business. Thanks to Imagine U, Sherri Fry my teacher, and my mentor for making this true.

Annual Report FY21

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120 mentors participated in Imagine U in FY 2021. When identifying their preferred language cohort, 33 selected English, 49 selected Spanish, and 38 selected a Somali cohort. Mentors worked closely with their interns to support learning and skill development, completing 720 observation reports as well as a reflection and review assignments each month. Mentors attended 3,707 hours of STARS training and professional development. With meetings and trainings held virtually this year, Imagine U cohorts continued to regularly meet, building relationships and networks among providers. Mentors met monthly for reflection and review to discuss successes and areas for growth in their mentorship, trainings, and Imagine U overall. In the year end survey, 88% of mentors surveyed reported that these monthly sessions were “helpful” or “extremely helpful” with staying connected. Mentors reported the value of the relationships with their peers and their interns to be so strong that 97% of respondents expected to stay connected after the completion of the program.

Mentors shared comments about the value that Imagine U provided. Some of their remarks on the end of year evaluation included:

I am learning how to effectively communicate with my mentees in reaching their goals.

Now I feel more confident about the mentoring I am giving since I received the preparation

Loved my experience in getting to grow personally and professionally and meet some other providers.

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The Imagine Institute | imaginewa.org


MENTOR TRAINING STARS training for mentors ranged in competency levels one through three and included new training on areas of specialization this year. First year mentors attended the foundational Relationship Based Peer Mentoring (RBPD) courses designed to support their knowledge of peer mentorship, conducting observations, leading learning focused conversations, and goal setting. More experienced mentors focused on the level three trainings “Curriculum and Assessment” and “Funding and Resources” as areas of specialization. The Curriculum and Assessment training was attended by 47 mentors for a total of 396 hours, and Funding and Resources training was attended by 28 mentors for a total of 302 hours. A total of 51 unique mentors attended these two training courses with 22 choosing to participate in both. Mentors demonstrated their deeper level of understanding through a research project and presentation to the intern cohorts. The collective work of this group will be formatted into a resource guide for interns and mentors in the two most requested topic areas: “Funding and Resources” and “Curriculum and Assessment.” Overall, the specialization series were well received and Imagine will continue to support the mentors in deeper understanding of specific topics in the coming years. Imagine U trainings provided

meaningful learning and professional development to new and seasoned mentors alike. Overall, 45% of mentors reported that they learned the most from RBPD training, followed by Observations training at 14%, and Curriculum and Assessment at 12%.

Which training did you learn from the most this year?

Annual Report FY21

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COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS AND COLLABORATIONS Imagine U staff partnered with DCYF, the City of Seattle DEEL. Imagine staff collaborated with Walla Walla Early Learning Coalition, Clallam County Prevention Works, Goodwill of Seattle, and Economic Security for All (EcSA) to spread the word about opportunities to open licensed child care in communities experiencing the highest need. The Imagine Institute continues to collaborate with these partners and the Child Care Aware regional offices across the state to recruit program participants from the communities with the highest need.

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DELIVERABLE

AMOUNT

UNIT

ANNUAL TARGET

CDF Recruitment

152

Each

152

CDF Mentor Orientation and Program Overview

152

Orientations

152

CDF RBPD Training

485

Hours

485

CDF Milestone Incentive

619

Milestones

560

CDF Wages Stipend

550

Wage Stipends

560

CDF Technical Assistance for Interns and Mentors

6433.5

Hours

6434

CDF Webinars for Interns and Mentors

51

Webinars

51

CDF Successful Mentor Award

75

Awards

75

CDF New Provider Award

75

Awards

78

The Imagine Institute | imaginewa.org


OUTREACH The Imagine Institute outreached to all Washington State counties this year but prioritized rural communities and child care deserts. The Imagine Institute invited experienced mentors as well as new mentors to join Imagine U. Invitations to apply were sent to all licensed family child care providers in the bargaining unit who were rated level 3 or higher in Early Achievers. Nearly 40% of the mentors participating this year were new to the program. Imagine emailed Family, Friend, and Neighbor providers to invite them to apply for the program and explained the opportunity to become licensed through Imagine U.

CHALLENGES The Imagine Institute continued to recognize the many challenges associated with the Covid-19 pandemic and adjusted its approach as mentors’ and interns’ needs evolved. Noticeable impacts included technological challenges in submitting a license, the ability to match with a subsidized child, and factors that made it more challenging to complete assignments on time. The entire year was completed on virtual platforms in response to the pandemic. To support the move to entirely virtual training this year, Imagine developed short video tutorials, held one-on-one Zoom meetings, and created an engaging virtual learning environment by leveraging tools like breakout rooms, Jamboards, chats, and live conversations. Virtual training has proven to be effective and inclusive and will continue to be offered to participants beyond the Covid-19 pandemic. Imagine continues to see an abundance of intern and mentor applications and used 99% of funding to meet program deliverables. Imagine U fell just short of distributing new licensed provider awards due to challenges enrolling subsidized children before the June 30th deadline. However, Imagine anticipates that changes to family subsidy eligibility associated with the Fair Start Act for Kids will increase access to families and expand the need for more child care slots.

Annual Report FY21

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SUBSTITUTE POOL

Aida Rodriguez is the owner and operator of Busy Bees In-Home Child Care in Blaine, WA. She is a bilingual state-approved trainer and lead mentor with the Imagine Institute.

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The Imagine Institute | imaginewa.org


For over 17 years, I have owned my in-home child care business with my mom. Now my daughter works with me, so we have three generations working in my bilingual program which allows us to bring a different approach and style to connect with various kids and families in my community. When the COVID-19 pandemic was at its peak, I deeply counted on Imagine’s substitute pool program for relief to keep my doors open. It allowed me to hire my daughter as a substitute and ensured that I had appropriate coverage for my mom, who is immuno-compromised. The substitute pool has been a saving grace for my program. In fact, I believe in the substitute pool program so much that I, myself, am a substitute so that I can provide relief to providers in time of need. I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for the Imagine Institute. They ‘unstuck’ me from how society views in-home child care as a ‘glorified babysitter’ and have helped me implement high quality standards in my ECE program. They gave me the confidence, credibility, and professional development to run a high quality program. I will continue to participate in Imagine’s culturally diverse and innovative programs because it makes me stronger and more capable as an early childhood educator and that’s what our children, families and communities deserve.

Annual Report FY21

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OVERVIEW AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS Through the Washington State Early Care and Education Substitute Pool (“Substitute Pool”), 616 approved substitutes delivered 96,749 hours of substitute time to 592 providers across all funding streams in fiscal year 2021. This includes 81,727 hours funded by the SEIU 925 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), 12,618 hours funded by the Early Start Act (ESA) and 2,404 hours privately paid by providers. The Imagine Institute maintained a 95% shift fulfillment rate throughout the fiscal year.

Substitute Hours Delivered By Month

The number of providers accessing the substitute pool grew by 139% from fiscal year 2020 to fiscal year 2021. Providers’ usage of the substitute pool increased by 479% when the number of CBA-funded hours available to them increased from 50 hours per year to 50 hours per month. ESA hours were used at a steady rate until March when its funding maximum was reached.

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The Imagine Institute | imaginewa.org


Number of Providers Accessing the Substitute Pool

Annual Report FY21

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Licensed providers from 178 cities and 24 counties participated in the Substitute Pool in FY 2021. This represents an increase of 195% and 26% over fiscal 2020, respectively. Providers in Mason, Pend Oreille, Skagit, Stevens, and Walla Walla counties accessed subsidized substitute pool funding for the first time this year. A total of 45,452 hours (47%) were utilized in King County with Yakima accessing 16,042 hours (17%) and Pierce accessing 4,538 hours (5%).

Subpool Usage Area Growth

The Imagine Institute increased the number of approved substitutes by 57% in FY 2021. Imagine delivered a total of 8,852 training hours to 785 prospective substitutes in English, Somali, and Spanish across 30 counties. 364 of these prospective substitutes were approved this year, bringing the total number of approved substitutes to 675 across Washington State. 616 substitutes worked at least one shift in FY21 with 104 substitutes working with multiple providers. The Imagine Institute plans to continue offering both virtual and inperson classes to meet the needs of participants based on this increase in participation.

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The Imagine Institute | imaginewa.org


Locations of participants who attended substitute training

COVID-19 Covid-19 presented both opportunities and challenges for the substitute pool in FY21. When surveyed, some providers indicated that they were not interested in utilizing the substitute pool due to concerns related to Covid-19, particularly having new staff enter their program and potentially increasing their risk of infection. While Covid-19 may have made some facilities reluctant to use the substitute pool, it also decreased barriers for others. Online training made required substitute training more accessible for substitutes in rural areas. Others relied on the substitute pool to stay adequately staffed during the pandemic. When asked how helpful the substitute pool has been in stabilizing their businesses, 92% of respondents indicated that the substitute pool was very helpful. Of these facilities, 74% indicated that they used the substitute pool to provide rest/relief time, cover illnesses or staff vacancies, and/or to assist them in covering payroll expenses.

Annual Report FY21

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I’ve used the substitute pool because I have needed time with my family and also because this year we have experienced a lot of difficult times and long hours because of the pandemic. But I also understand that families need us and therefore I have requested help so I don’t have to close my child care during my absence.

This has been a stressful year. My staff (2 assistants) were getting burned out as was I. I found that I could afford to give them a day off with pay, give them time to get vaccinations and do other medical procedures (dental work etc.) with pay, give them time to celebrate their own families. It has been a blessing.

DELIVERABLES For FY21 Imagine met or exceeded all deliverables and goals for the substitute pool program.

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DELIVERABLE

AMOUNT

UNIT

ANNUAL TARGET

Substitute Hours

94,345

Hours

94,345

Training

8,852

Hours

5,861

Substitute Support

12

Months

12

The Imagine Institute | imaginewa.org


COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS AND COLLABORATIONS Ready to Work has requested to partner with Imagine to create cohorts for their participants who seek to enter the field of early learning. During the fourth quarter of FY21, Imagine began developing a partnership to assist Ready to Work participants who seek an entry point into the workforce by helping them become approved substitutes. This pilot program will launch in the fall of 2021, with an initial cohort of 8-10 participants. In June, Imagine hosted a train-the-trainer session for Ready to Work case managers, walking them through the necessary steps that participants will need to complete in order to get approved. In addition to providing Ready to Work participants with an introduction to the field, the hope is that these new substitutes will be able to provide care in additional languages outside of English, Spanish, and Somali.

Imagine utilized monthly community meetings to strengthen relationships with participants. After completing focus groups in January, the Imagine Institute began holding ongoing meetings with community members in English, Somali, and Spanish. These meetings provided ongoing feedback and suggestions on ways to improve the substitute pool, remove barriers to utilization, and increase the number of facilities who access it. This feedback led to the creation of additional supports including new how-to videos hosted on Imagine’s website, improved quality of translated materials for Somali speakers, and development of a community ambassador strategy to provide additional peer support.

OUTREACH Imagine partnered with DCYF and SEIU 925 to increase awareness and expand usage across Washington State. Imagine, DCYF, and SEIU 925 developed cohesive communications to engage with facilities who were eligible to access funding through the collective bargaining agreement. DCYF included mentions in their newsletters sent to licensed family home child care providers. SEIU 925 utilized a texting campaign to encourage their members to contact Imagine to schedule hours. After completing a one-on-one canvas earlier in the year, Imagine pivoted to a more targeted outreach effort to contact facilities who indicated they wanted to schedule but had not yet completed a shift request. These facilities were located across the state, including many rural areas.

Annual Report FY21

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Locations of new substitute pool users in FY21

CHALLENGES While overall match rates are exceptionally high, a small percentage of facilities were unable to successfully match with a substitute. 3% of the facilities who requested a shift were unable to successfully match with at least one substitute this year. Imagine continues to monitor shift requests to identify trends that could improve the likelihood of a successful match. Data trends indicate that shifts requested with less than 72 hours’ notice, are less than 6 hours in duration, or that pay below $17 per hour were far less likely to be accepted by a substitute. Imagine worked closely with facilities who experienced difficulty matching with a substitute, and many were able to make adjustments to their shift requests in order see greater success. Imagine will continue to monitor trends and offer advice to facilities to help improve successful match rates.

Technology continues to be a challenge for some participants. While Imagine made significant improvements this year in the usability of the substitute pool’s online portal and provided additional support for facilities and substitutes alike, overall comfort with technology remains an ongoing challenge for participants.

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The Imagine Institute | imaginewa.org


Continued utilization of feedback from community meeting, surveys, and focus groups will help Imagine identify and improve technology and reduce barriers for participants. This includes automating communications after completion of substitute orientations, creating the ability for facilities to review and edit shift requests, and simplifying language SMS messages regarding shifts in FY22.

Frontline Institute Substitute Fill Rates

Elementary School

Middle School

Multi-grade Instructional School

Other

Preschool

School Distrct

Secondary School

WA ECE Substitute Pool

This report analyzes data from over 5,000 K-12 organizations using Frontline’s absence and substitute management tool. The available data is so comprehensive that the Center for Research and Reform in Education at Johns Hopkins University has declared it to be representative of national trends.

Annual Report FY21

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