At Best Starts, we invest early to support pregnant and parenting families, infants, very young children, and caregivers during the critical first five years of life with a robust system of support services and resources that meet families either at home, in the community, or wherever children are cared for.
Our Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health (IECMH) strategy works to improve and support the social and emotional outcomes for babies, young children, and their families in the context of culture, language, and community by supporting the people who work with them.
Our Early Support for Infants and Toddlers (ESIT) strategy works to promote equitable outcomes for families with children, aged birth to three, who have developmental delays or disabilities.
Our Workforce Development (WFD) strategy works to provide training, technical assistance, and peer learning opportunities to build the knowledge and skills of early childhood practitioners in the areas of racial equity, infant and early childhood mental health, and healthy child development.
Learn more about our IECMH strategy here, our ESIT strategy here, and our WFD strategy here.
We’re excited to announce WestEd as the awardee for our IECMH, ESIT, and WFD RFQs!
WestEd has been selected as the RFQ awardee for three Best Starts funding opportunities – IECMH Supportive Coordination RFQ, ESIT – Strengthen the Workforce RFQ, and WFD Systems and Community Support Coordinator RFQ!
WestEd will collaborate with all three of these strategies – from coordinating IECMH trainings and reflective consultation groups for providers to increase their knowledge, skills, and experience; promoting opportunities and pathways to grow, strengthen and diversify King County’s ESIT workforce; and organizing continuous learning and improvement opportunities to build the knowledge and skills of early childhood practitioners and promote shared community healing.
In a statement provided by WestEd, they said “WestEd is honored and so excited to continue to support Best Starts for Kids! As a coordinator for multiple strategies, we hope to coordinate and align the training and support opportunities for providers. Together we have an incredible opportunity to support King County providers who work with babies, young children and their families through equity-centered training and reflective spaces. Early childhood providers do so much and hold so much! WestEd is most grateful for the opportunity to support these providers to strengthen and support families through relationships – whether the sacred relationships between babies and their caregivers, the beautiful relationships between providers and families or the important relationships between King County providers. Thank you for trusting us to support you all!”
A look at the work ahead
WestEd will partner with Best Starts IECMH strategy to deliver the following supports:
- Reflective Consultation (RC) Groups Coordination: Partner with IECMH program managers to coordinate and implement RC groups for reflective facilitated conversations. This includes, but is not limited to: building and sustaining relationships, onboarding reflective consultants, co-planning logistics, Reflective Practice training, invoicing, creating RC groups, communicating with providers, and data collection.
- Training/Workshops Coordination: Partner with IECMH program managers to coordinate and implement training/workshops focused on foundational knowledge and awareness around IECMH. This includes, but is not limited to: recruitment and onboarding of trainers, co-creating training and advertising materials, website management, and coordinating logistics for both virtual and in-person training/workshops when applicable.
WestEd will partner with Best Starts ESIT strategy to deliver the following supports:
- ESIT Workforce Partner: Partner with ESIT program managers to support and strengthen the ESIT workforce in their current roles.
- ESIT Career Pathways Scholarship Manager: Partner with ESIT program managers to promote opportunities and pathways to grow and diversify King County’s ESIT workforce. The purpose of this scholarship program is to support the expansion of quality, inclusive, culturally and linguistically relevant ESIT services.
WestEd will partner with Best Starts WFD strategy to deliver the following supports:
- Large Group Workshops (LGW): 12 to 15 workshops per year in content areas: Healthy Childhood Development, Racial Equity, and Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health.
- Prenatal to 5 Strengthening Community-Based Facilitators (P-5 SCBF): An ongoing process to recruit, mentor, and promote community-based workshop facilitators.
- Communities of Practice (CP): A space for King County’s prenatal to five providers to co-determine needs and engage in deeper-learning on specific, self-identified topics.