Building Excellence and Expanding Opportunity
Making a Difference in Coos & Curry County
The Coos & Curry County Shared Services Alliance is a collaboration between South Coast Business and CCR&R – Care Connections, with funding from the Oregon Community Foundation, the Department of Early Learning and Care, and the Ford Family Foundation. Planning began in November 2019 when local child care champions were approached with the idea of doing a Shared Services pilot project to determine the efficacy of providing child care business owners/directors with the knowledge and skills they need to ensure that their programs are stable and sustainable. The focus is on helping develop a strong understanding of what systems need to be in place to track the fiscal health of their business and achieve financial sustainability. The Alliance follows the principles of the ‘Iron Triangle’ which include collecting fees on time every time, full enrollment and setting tuition rates to cover cost per child. These three sides of the triangle lead into other trainings including, but not limited to building a budget, developing fiscal policies, and marketing.
Why is a Shared Services Important?
Historically, child care providers have not seen themselves as business owners. They typically enter the field because of their dedication to providing children with a safe and stimulating environment that will help them build a strong foundation for their future. While they are passionate about early childhood development, few have training in accounting and/or business management. The pandemic highlighted the need for child care as many families were unable to find care for their children. Coos & Curry Counties are child care deserts, where 1 in 5 children are without options for licensed childcare, and it was imperative that something be done to help these small business owners not only survive but thrive.
What are the Benefits of Being a Member of the Shared Services Alliance?
The Coos & Curry Shared Services Alliance is dedicated to helping programs achieve financial sustainability and improve child outcomes. Members of the Alliance have been able to stabilize and, in some cases, expand their capacity to enroll more children. The Alliance also provides a safe place where members can talk about what is going on in their program and get input from others. Alliance members determine what they want to work on from a menu of choices, based on their individual desires and program needs.
“I think it’s a great program for support from mentors and colleagues. I found that before the Alliance I felt alone and did not have access to colleagues to learn common practice in various aspects of running my own business.” Family Child Care Provider
Who is Participating in The Shared Services Alliance?
Over time the Alliance has had in total 18 members from a variety of program options including, one Regulated Subsidy, 13 Registered Family, two Certified Family and two Certified Centers. These 18 programs have provided child care for over 275 children. During the first three years, the project has exceeded the initial goals and continues to recruit new members. If you are interested or want to learn more about the Alliance please contact Stephanie Lilly, SCB Early Learning Program Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org.