Isaiah

Grant Period:
2019-2020 with option to renew

Grant Type:
Strategic Expansion

Other Funders:
Community Change

Amount:
$115,000

Location:
Saint Paul, Ramsey County, Minnesota, United States

Focus Area:
Statewide

Mission

To promote racial and economic equity through intentional, intensive leadership development and collective, faith-based actions that work toward systemic change. ISAIAH works to ensure that all people, regardless of class, race, ethnicity or religion, are involved in creating the region’s future and have an opportunity to benefit from the region’s growth.

Partnerships

Children’s Defense Fund of Minnesota, Head Start, Minnesota Budget Project, Main Street Alliance, Education Minnesota, the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers, Saint Paul Federation of Educators, and Services Employees International Union, Minnesota Minority Childcare Association.

More Information

Social Media:

Contact

Amity Foster
Data Manager
afoster@isaiahmn.org
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Project Summary

The purpose of this grant is to expand and strengthen a “Kids Count on Us” campaign that ISAIAH has started to grow public will and policymaker understanding need for investment the state early care and education system to make it more equitable for children, families and providers. ISAIAH focuses on cultivating the leadership of the many women of color who own small independent child care centers. Through a platform of over 200 child care center members, they reach parents and teachers in various communities, with an emphasis on communities of color, low-income communities, rural communities and other communities that are underserved by the current system. They have local teams working on the childcare issue in the seven-county metropolitan region, St. Cloud, Rochester, Brainerd and Faribault.

ISAIAH will hire an additional organizer to recruit and train more members, lift the voices of parents, teachers and providers by involving some of them in the state agency’s child care advisory council and other stakeholder groups, and engage them in organizing their communities. At the local level in St. Paul, Minneapolis, and St. Cloud, ISAIAH will engage in ongoing conversations about expanding access to early childhood education through mixed delivery systems so that their members can advocates for answers that meet families’ needs and are equitable to private child care providers. At the state level, ISAIAH will strengthen partnerships with other stakeholders. The group will also be researching policy ideas to address the state’s child care crisis, particularly in rural areas, and identifying opportunities for change in policy, system, and regulation. Isaiah plans to use earned and social media to change the public conversation, educate people about the childcare crisis, and build support for solutions.

Selected Action Steps Related to RCCF Goals

Lift parent, child care teacher, home-based child care provider, caregiver and ally voices and increase their participation in crafting policy solutions in states and/or communities.

  • Hold meetings and trainings with over 100 child care centers, as well as parents and teachers.
  • Build leadership of the Kids Count on Us campaign to 30 regular members.
  • Engage 75 child care centers in strategy conversations.

Build effective coordination among RCCF grantees and advocacy groups, community groups, parents, child care teachers, home-based child care providers, caregivers, and allies.

  • Build core leadership team to include five in-home providers.
  • Strengthen connection with stakeholders and advocacy groups.
  • Work with Education Minnesota (teachers group), Head Start, and home-based providers.

Expand financial resources to secure increased and equitable access to quality child care, including through intentional strategies to reach and prioritize children and families most affected by injustice and inequity.

  • Engage parents, teachers and child care owners and secure seats for them to participate in state human services agency advisory council.
  • Include child care centers in local discussions about pre-k expansion and ensure they are included in needs assessment.
  • Attract social media hits showing analytics with 250,000 impressions, and develop two media stories on the child care campaign.

Updated November 12, 2020

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