Interested in learning how and why creating equitable and sustainable systems can create meaningful change? Sign up for our monthly newsletter here!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Early Care and Education

For decades, early care and education (ECE) has existed on a fractured approach to funding and governance, which has led to a fractured system of inequitable access, inconsistent services, and inadequate resourcing. ECE services subsist on a complex maze of funding streams from a multitude of public and private sources, yet the totality of resources is woefully inadequate. Even if ECE were better funded, most states are not prepared to equitably allocate or use that funding effectively.

Afton brings its expertise in ECE funding, governance, and strategic systems planning to support state and local agencies looking to make lasting investments in young children and families, especially those most historically disenfranchised. We seek to design equitable and sustainable ECE systems. We provide advisory group facilitation for major policy and systems change initiatives, cost modeling to understand the true cost of quality services for children and families, data analytics to ensure a solid foundation for decision-making, and funding policy support with a focus on equity.

Areas of Expertise

Early Care and Education

Needs Assessment and Strategic System Design

  • Facilitate local and state taskforces and cross-agency collaborations
  • Collect and analyze data to identify root challenges and inform meaningful policy change
  • Highlight policy and funding alignment opportunities
  • Develop tools to promote cross-sector collaboration and accountability
  • Co-design implementation plans with community voice for new or revised programs and policies

Financial Planning and Cost Modeling

  • Conduct narrow cost analyses and true costs of care studies
  • Support child care subsidy rate planning and alternative methodologies
  • Design funding policies to meet system goals including workforce compensation increases
  • Develop local and state program budgeting and long-term financial projections
  • Map total system funding and analyze geographic equity and adequacy

Workforce Compensation and Development

  • Design and implement wage scales linked to competencies, credentials, and degrees
  • Gather and synthesize data on workforce wages, benefits, qualifications, and training
  • Support new local and cross-sector collaborations to increase workforce qualifications
  • Provide technical assistance for to support ECE program business acumen