Now Accepting Applications–Workforce Development: Training Provider and Systems Coordinator RFQ

NEW EXTENDED DEADLINE: Please note that we have extended the deadline for this RFQ — applications are now due September 27, 2018 by 11:59pm. We have also added an online Information Session on Wednesday August 29, 2018. See the links and call-in information below to join. Thanks for your patience as we work to make this opportunity more accessible.

The Workforce Development: Training Provider and Systems Coordinator Request for Qualifications is now open and available here! This link will take you a ZoomGrants page. Create a log-in to view the RFQ and apply. Applications are now due by September 27, 2018 by 11:59pm.


Why Workforce Development?

Best Starts recognizes that there are many reasons for present-day challenges in the early childhood workforce with recruitment, morale, and retention—most significantly, the lack of living wages. These challenges require broad, systemic, policy solutions that involve multiple partners across sectors and at different levels of government. While that work will be ongoing, we are currently seeking to support prenatal to five workers to achieve three overarching goals:

  1. Increase knowledge of early childhood development and other relevant topics to improve the quality of their services and foster trusting relationships with the children and families they serve.
  2. Create opportunities for peer connections, mutual support, and self-care through cohort groups and one-on-one reflective consultation.
  3. Increase worker capacities to strengthen equitable outcomes for children and families by promoting understanding of and engagement with racial equity concepts and practices.

Recognizing that different types of workers bring varying degrees of knowledge as well as ability to step away from their day-to-day work, this strategy offers a wide range of learning opportunities, all led by topic experts who will partner with Best Starts and one another to coordinate and implement this effort.

Commitment to Equity

Equity and Social Justice is an integral part of the County’s work and foundational to the work of Best Starts for Kids. Our goal is to ensure that all people, regardless of who they are and where they live, have the opportunity to thrive, with full and equal access to opportunities, power, and resources.

For Best Starts funded programs, we seek to support individuals and organizations that are reflective of and embedded in the communities they serve, and recognize and address the disparities and disproportionality that exist in our communities.

Funding Opportunities

Best Starts’ Prenatal to Five Workforce Development strategy will be implemented with two connected funding opportunities:

  1. This Request for Qualifications (RFQ)—Workforce Development: Systems Coordination and Consultation seeks to identify and engage topic experts, reflective consultants, and support for systems coordination to provide large and small group trainings, technical assistance, reflective consultation and group supports to prenatal to five providers.
  2. A tandem upcoming Request for Proposals (RFP)—Workforce Development: Growing Small-Group Collaboratives will invite proposals from self-identified groups of prenatal to five providers, “Small-Group Collaboratives”,  who are seeking ongoing professional development and reflective consultation as a cohort. (Stay tuned to the blog for more information on this RFP!)

This Training Provider and Systems Coordinator RFQ will allow Best Starts to identify and engage an array of consultants and logistical support to develop a schedule of training opportunities open to the broad array of prenatal to five providers in King County. The consultants will also be available to support and help grow the Small-Group Collaboratives identified through the subsequent RFP with training, technical assistance and reflective consultation.

Funding Priorities

This RFQ seeks applicants who have expertise leading in prioritized topic areas, are qualified to play particular roles, and are willing to provide a variety of consultation services, from 2018 through 2021 for prenatal to five providers in King County. The key elements are described in more detail below.

The following were identified as priorities in the Best Starts Implementation plan and/or significant needs have arisen during the implementation of related prenatal to five Best Starts strategies:

  1. Healthy Child Development (including brain development, healthy sleep, autism, etc.)
  2. Racial Equity Training
  3. Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health
  4. Reflective Consultation and Reflective Supervision
  5. Child Care Health Consultation


Applicants may choose one or more roles, including “Systems Coordinators” and several different types of training providers, or “Consultants”, who will partner to tailor curricula and provide a range of consultation services to the prenatal to five workforce in King County,


Specific responsibilities will be aligned for each role, topic area, and consultation service.

The “Systems Coordinator(s)” will partner with Best Starts staff and “Consultants” to implement the system of trainings, reflective consultation, and Small-Group Collaboratives, with relevant responsibilities such as,:

  • Coordinate curriculum development among multiple consultant ” teams who share priority topics
  • Develop a schedule of trainings available across topics
  • Arrange for logistics, locations, refreshments, outreach and registration
  • Coordinate STARS and continuing education units, as needed
  • Provide barrier reduction stipends and release time wage reimbursements, as needed
  • Pair consultants with small-group collaboratives and facilitate implementation
  • Solicit, tailor and secure trainings aligned with hospital grand rounds.
  • Support evaluation processes

The “Consultants” will:

  • Serve as a core group of trainers in one or more ”Priority Topic Areas” described above
  • Develop or adapt curriculum to conduct trainings, with guidance from Best Starts staff and other Consultants from shared topic areas. For example, more than one Consultant or Consultant Team may be engaged to provide Racial Equity Training, and they would coordinate to align curriculum and approaches before leading training through this RFQ.
  • Work with other consultants to integrate Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES), historical and intergenerational trauma, resilience, and trauma-informed care within each curriculum.
  • Provide an array of scheduled “Consultation Services” to prenatal to five providers in King County (described below.)
  • Participate in evaluation and continuous improvement efforts.

Consultation Services

Consultation Services may vary by topic area, group size, length, duration, who can participate, and location in King County. Consultants will be asked to provide a variety of services in alignment with their topic area, consultant capacities, participant needs, and funding available. Consultation Services planned include:

  • Open Community Training and Supports designed to grow the capacities of people who work with pregnant individuals, children ages 0 to 5 and their families in King County. Not limited to Best Starts awardees.
    • Half-, full, or multi-day trainings from 2019 to 2021 that provide foundational information in one of the priority topic areas for large groups of 40 or more participants.
    • Technical AssistanceOrganizations which send five or more staff to the same training may also access up to 20 hours annually of specialized on-site technical assistance and follow-up from the Consultant.
  • Small-Group Training and Supports that allow for deeper exploration, including specific applications to daily work with pregnant individuals, young children and families. Participants will mostly be part of organizations that are contracted with Best Starts to serve children prenatal to five and their families. Consultants will tailor their curriculum to fit the needs of:
    • Small-Group Collaboratives–A separate Request for Proposals (RFP) will elicit smaller groups of prenatal-to-five workers with an ongoing commitment to learning and growth across several topic areas. The goal is to create space for them to build deeper content knowledge, reflect on their work experiences, and apply what they are learning to real-life scenarios with children and families. Consultants will facilitate monthly groups with the same cohort(s) over the course of a single calendar year. The focus could be knowledge building and/or small group reflective consultation.
    • Reflective Consultation for Best Starts Awardees–Staff of organizations that have received Best Starts prenatal to five awards will have access to reflective consultation groups which meet at minimum monthly for 60-90 minutes. The purpose is to support staff, increase reflective capacity and attunement to child and family needs. This is part of our broader social-emotional wellbeing strategy to widen opportunities for Best Starts workers serving children and families to receive self-care, engage in peer support, and problem-solve together.
    • Best Starts-Awarded Child Care Health Consultation Supports–Staff who work in these programs will benefit from knowledge- and skill-building through group trainings and individualized support or technical assistance. Consultants might be nurses, mental health providers, and former or current child care health consultants who can provide guidance on the physical and social-emotional health needs of children and caregivers in child care settings, including with family, friend, and neighbor (FFN) caregivers.


This announcement is only open to individuals, private agencies, not-for-profit organizations, community-based organizations, tribes and tribal organizations, schools and school districts, and public or governmental agencies serving communities in King County. Small non-profits and community-based organizations are encouraged to submit proposals.

Available Funding

Best Starts is investing $3,000,000 in the Workforce Development strategy over three years. This investment will be directed toward a team of specific consultants and systems coordinators selected through this RFQ from 2018-2021.

  • 2018-19: curriculum development
  • 2019-2021: monthly and/or quarterly trainings


RFQ Release Date August 16, 2018
RFQ Responses Due September 27, 2018 by 11:59pm
Responses Rated and Reviewed September 28 – October 15, 2018
Interviews with Applicants (if necessary) October 16-19, 2018
Notice of Selected and Non-Selected Applications End of October

If needed, the RFQ may be re-opened to ensure adequate capacity to provide training and professional development activities.

Have more questions? Join us for an online information session

Wednesday, August 29, 2018, 1:00 – 2:30pm
Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android:
Or iPhone one-tap: US: +16699006833,,473203671# or +16468769923,,473203671#
Or Telephone: US: +1 669 900 6833 or +1 646 876 9923
Meeting ID: 473 203 671
International numbers are available

Need help? Get free assistance applying

Help preparing your application is available at no cost to support Best Starts for Kids applicants. Providers offer a wide range of skills, areas of expertise, and language abilities.

See the list of providers and contact information for technical assistance here.

If you are interested in forming a Small-Group Collaborative, stay tuned to the blog for more information on the Workforce Development: Growing Small-Group Collaboratives RFP, opening soon!

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