ECHO Fund Workforce Pitch Competition | Agenda for Children

ECHO Fund Grants

The Early Childhood Opportunity (ECHO) Fund is an innovative grant program that seeks to increase access to high-quality early care and education for Louisiana children, birth through age four, by directly funding child care programs and the nonprofits that serve them.

Current ECHO Opportunities

Agenda for Children is excited to announce the launch of a new and exciting opportunity for Orleans Parish providers. The Agenda team, in collaboration with For Providers by Providers (4PXP), will be hosting a LIVE, in-person pitch competition for workforce funding!

ECHO Fund Workforce Pitch Competition

Agenda for Children is proud to announce the seven finalists for our inaugural ECHO Fund Workforce Pitch Competition. These seven Orleans Parish early learning providers will compete for a top prize of $50,000 to implement their BEST IDEA to solve the early childhood workforce crisis. This competition is conducted in partnership with For Providers by Providers (4PxP) and Go.Be.

 

 

The finalists include:

“Students as Teachers,” Newcomb Children’s Center, Julie Smith-Price
“Whole Wellness,” Clara’s Little Lambs Preschool, Jodie Joseph
“CNA to CDA,” SEA Academy, Ariann Sentino
“Filling the Gap,” TCA, Hermine Crump-Jones & Andrew P. Sanchez
“Child Care Rides,” Royal Castle Child Development Center, Pearlie Harris & Angelique Smith-Harris
“Savvy Subs,” Trinity Learning Academy, Alicia Franklin
“ECE Affordable Housing,” Early Partners, Kim Frusciante

The ECHO Fund Workforce Pitch Competition will take place on Thursday, August 3 at 6 p.m. at Southern University of New Orleans during 4PXP’s Inaugural Early Learning Conference 2023. You can watch the livestream here or RSVP below!

RSVP for the Workforce Pitch Competition

ECHO Fund Workforce Pitch Competition Application (Applications Closed!)

 

Do you have an amazing idea to attract and retain quality educators and reduce staff turnover?

Agenda for Children, in partnership with For Providers By Providers and Go.Be, has launched our first ECHO Fund Workforce Pitch Competition!

Through the ECHO Fund Workforce Pitch Competition, up to five providers in Orleans Parish will compete for up to $50,000 to implement their BEST IDEA to solve the early childhood workforce crisis. Award amounts will be determined by a live, in-person pitch competition to be hosted with a panel of community leaders and national experts on August 3, 2023 at Southern University New Orleans. The top three winners will also receive technical assistance from For Providers by Providers to support implementing their idea.

This process is competitive; not all applicants may receive funding.

Programs should submit ideas that will directly and solely benefit and incentivize early learning program educators through innovative and unique methods. Proposals should focus on strategies that will attract and retain quality educators and reduce staff turnover. Proposals should go beyond the scope of traditional benefits; applicants are encouraged to think outside of the box and submit cutting-edge proposals. Examples include: innovative incentive structures; staffing partnerships with external partners (e.g. k-12; health; youth development; hospitality, etc); creative recruitment strategies; new childcare business models.

Eligible providers include Family Child Care (FCC) Providers with Academic Approval, Type III early care and education (ECE) programs, and school-based pre-k programs that receive LA4 and/or NSECD funding. Programs must be located in New Orleans. Additional eligibility requirements can be found below. Applicants should note that awards may not be used for anything that does not directly and solely benefit educators.

This opportunity is made possible by Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE) Transform funding. Further information, such as application materials, timeline, and more are outlined below.

 

Apply for the Workforce Pitch Competition

 

Determination Process:Candidates must submit a two-minute video proposal, or a “pitch,” briefly describing their program and how award funds would be used for their application.

Semi-finalists will be notified by June 30. All semi-finalists must participate in a follow-up interview with our grant review committee, to be conducted on July 6-7.

Finalists will be notified on July 7, 2023 and are expected to participate in the August 3 pitch competition. Award amounts will be determined by a pitch competition to be hosted with a panel of community leaders and national experts on August 3, 2023 at Southern University New Orleans.
Eligibility - Location:Orleans Parish
Eligibility - Provider Type:FCCS with Academic Approval,
Type III ECEs with a valid license (including HS/EHS) ,
School-based Pre-K Providers with LA4 and/or NSECD.

Priority will be given to Type III ECEs that are open with children enrolled as of May 1, 2023.
Additional Eligibility Requirements:Applicants must be in good standing with the New Orleans Early Education Network (NOEEN), ECHO Grant reporting requirements, and LDOE licensing requirements to be considered for funding.

Programs must have a 2021-2022 Performance Profile of 3.75 or higher and be currently open with students enrolled as of May 1, 2023.

Providers who are currently in the process of opening and have received City Seats allocations for the 2023-2024 school year may be eligible to receive funding.
Eligible Expenses:Programs should submit ideas that will directly and solely benefit and incentivize early learning program educators through innovative and unique methods.

Proposals should focus on strategies that will attract and retain quality educators and reduce staff turnover.

Proposals should go beyond the scope of traditional benefits; applicants are encouraged to think outside of the box and submit cutting-edge proposals.

Examples include: innovative incentive structures; staffing partnerships with external partners (e.g. k-12; health; youth development; hospitality, etc); creative recruitment strategies; new childcare business models.
Ineligible Expenses: Applicants should note that funds may not be used for anything that does not directly and solely benefit educators.
Award Amount:Up to $50,000
Application Launch Date:Monday, June 5th, 2023
Application Close Date:Applications are due no later than 11:59 PM, Friday, June 23rd, 2023.
Reporting Requirements:Awards funds must be expensed by January 31, 2024. All reporting must be submitted no later than January 31, 2024. Applicants may request an extension of the award cycle if more time is needed to successfully execute funding priorities.

Failure to comply with award terms, including reporting or using awarded funds toward approved expenses, may result in a request for reimbursement and/or ineligibility for future funding through Agenda for Children.
Application Link:Workforce Pitch Competition Application.

Please note that applicants will need access to a Gmail account to complete the application. Please contact our team if you need any support in this process. Additionally, you can find instructions on how to create an account here.
Application PDF:Click here for a PDF version of the application to prepare your application response. Applications will not be accepted via email.
Rubric:Please review the application rubric to understand how grant determinations will be made.
Application Webinar:Agenda for Children will be hosting application Office Hours on June 14th at 11:30 AM. Register here.
Examples of

 

Questions?

Contact the ECHO Team at echofund@agendaforchildren.org. Support is available during our regularly scheduled hours of operation (M-F, 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM).

FAQs

Semi-finalists will participate in interviews with our review committee on July 6-7, 2023.

The review committee will ask the applicant questions to help better evaluate the proposal and make a determination on who will continue on as a finalist. Candidates will receive more information to appropriately prepare for the interview upon notification of being selected as a semi-finalist.

The pitch competition will be held on August 3rd, 2023 at Southern University of New Orleans. Awards will be determined by a panel of community members and national experts. Finalists will receive additional information upon notification of selection.

Finalists will have about a month to prepare in the time between their notification and the pitch competition. Technical assistance from Go.Be and 4PXP will be provided to finalists during this time to help them prepare for the competition.

If your center is set to receive City Seats for the 2023-2024 programmatic year, you may apply for this grant.

Head Start and Early Head Start funding recipients are eligible to apply for this opportunity.

If your school-based Pre-K receives either LA4 or NSECD funding, you are eligible to apply for this opportunity.

No. Providers may not submit one application to apply for funds for multiple centers.

Yes. Because the application is administered through Google Forms, you will need access to a Gmail account to complete it. Please contact our team if you need any support in this process. Additionally, you can find instructions on how to create an account here.

The Workforce Grant Application can be found here.

Our application portal will close at 12:00 AM, Saturday, June 24th.

Applications may not be saved and resumed later; applications should be completed in one session.

No. Applications are only accepted via the application portal.

Applicants may edit their submission at any time before the respective application due date. Once the application closes, edits will no longer be accepted.

You can see our evaluation rubric here.

Contact our team at echofund@agendaforchildren.org. Support is available during our regularly scheduled hours of operation (M-F, 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM).

Agenda for Children is hosting an application office hours on Wednesday, June 14th at 11:30 AM. Register here.

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