Family Engagement Prize

Frequently Asked Questions

Our Family Engagement Prize Competition is a new process — for early educators and for us. Below, you can find answers to some common questions about this process. If other questions arise, please be in touch. You can email Kailah Lee with questions.

Why give prizes for family engagement?

Family engagement is critical to children’s educational success. When families have strong connections to their children’s early learning, children succeed more in school. Engagement takes many forms, from a child’s regular attendance to volunteering in the classroom. This prize competition serves to highlight those pushing toward excellence in this critical area. Our goal is to seek out and celebrate programs that truly engage families, as we also to promote the quality work being done across the state.

What types of programs are eligible?

Programs providing regulated care and educational services to children age zero to five years old in Indiana will be considered for these awards.

What are the prizes?

All participating programs who complete the online application in its entirety by September 30 will receive a Family Engagement Participation Prize gift card valued at $25. Two prize awards of $10,000 will be given out. Twelve individual prizes of $5,000 will be awarded. Below is a list of those able to apply.

  • Family Child Care Homes
  • Child Care Centers
  • Registered Ministries
  • Head Starts
  • Public School Programs
What is the deadline for programs to submit an application and portfolio for the Family Engagement Prize Competition? And how do I submit my proposal?

The submission deadline for the prize competition is September 30, 2018. You can apply online. You will be able to answer the narrative questions and attach your portfolio all in one space after creating a user name and password.

How will the application process work?

Programs will first complete the Family Engagement Toolkit either online or with the help of their Paths to QUALITY coach. Next programs will compile evidence to highlight their work around family engagement. Then the online application will be finished including uploading the portfolio. Select programs will be contacted and asked to complete additional information for the selection of the grand prize. Finally prizes will be awarded!

Where do I find the Family Engagement Toolkit module?

You can find the module at Training Central. If you are not already registered at Training Central, please register first and then find the Family Engagement Toolkit module.

The application requires a portfolio. What should a portfolio include?

This portfolio of evidence gives you an opportunity to highlight your work with families. Examples can be diverse. Consider including photographs, written statements from families, sample policies, and more. Each item of evidence provided should be directly tied to a component of the Early Learning Advisory Committee’s Family Engagement framework. The label should read as Core Area: Specific Practice. A label might read Strengthen: Establishing Relationships with Families.

What if I have indicators or sections in the Family Engagement Toolkit that I mark “entering”?

Your program will not be scored based upon your toolkit findings. It is anticipated that all programs will have areas of their toolkit marked “entering.”  Points will be allocated based upon your response to narrative questions and the evidence you include in your portfolio. For any indicators in which you are “entering,” we recommend including a reflective paragraph in your portfolio that shares your plans for growth.

Do I need to work with a Paths to QUALITY coach to apply? Or be on Paths to QUALITY?

No, but if you are on Paths to QUALITY your coach may be able to answer questions related to the use of the toolkit. All Paths to QUALITY coaches have received specialized training in supporting programs in using the toolkit to enhance family engagement practices.

What will the selection criteria be for determining prize recipients?

Prize criteria focuses on the level of self-reflection of the narrative, clarity of narrative, the portfolio of evidence provided in relationship to toolkit criteria, the clarity with which the portfolio of evidence relates to items on the toolkit, and next steps identified. Prizes will not be allocated based on overall identification of “excelling” in all identified areas on the Early Learning Advisory Council Family Engagement Toolkit.

If I receive a prize, are their requirements or restrictions on how the money can be spent?

Programs who enter the finals will be asked to submit information on how the prize money would positively impact their program. This additional information will be part of the selection process. Programs may be asked to share their ongoing success with family engagement six months and one year following their receipt of a prize.

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