We’re excited to announce the release of a retrospective evaluation of All Our Kin’s impact on New Haven. The assessment, conducted by John Weiser of Opportunities Exchange and Carl Sussman of Sussman Associates, provides evidence of All Our Kin’s positive effects on the providers and families we serve. The evaluation was made possible by the generous support of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, with additional support from the Community Fund for Women and Girls at the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven.
This thoughtful reflection on our work shows that—in the evaluator’s words—
“Our key finding is that All Our Kin has been able to help increase the number of family child care providers in New Haven, their income, and their quality…. All Our Kin has a promising model for addressing [the shrinking supply of family child care providers across Connecticut]. It helps caregivers become licensed, provides new and existing licensed providers with supports to improve the quality of the care that they provide, and it is one of the key factors in the increase in the number of licensed family child care providers in New Haven.”
Providers interviewed for the evaluation reported that All Our Kin helped them develop and manage their child care businesses and increase their knowledge of health and safety issues, classroom management techniques, and best practices in early care and education.
For example, one provider explained how All Our Kin’s business classes gave her essential information for running her child care business:
“The business administration class is very useful. We are running a business—but it is hard for us to track income and expense. Are we really making a profit? We also don’t know what to do and not to do in reporting our expenses to the IRS. It is not about hiding things—it is about protecting us and helping us to do things in the right way.”
Another described how All Our Kin has shaped her educational practices:
“All Our Kin has taught us that children learn a lot by playing. It’s not just about filling out worksheets to put on the refrigerator. I tell parents that your children are learning by playing. ‘Let me tell you what kinds of skills that your child is learning by playing with blocks. They are learning about organizational skills and about spatial skills.’”
The report concludes with three recommendations:
1) Replicate All Our Kin in additional communities.
2) Document All Our Kin’s model.
3) Develop a longitudinal assessment of All Our Kin’s impact.
We are working on the first two of these recommendations: we continue to replicate our model, and are refining our systems for documenting and evaluating our impact. We hope to move closer towards longitudinal assessment over the next few years.
We’re grateful to those who made this evaluation possible, and we’re very glad that it has provided further evidence of All Our Kin’s positive effects on the providers, families, and communities we serve. To learn more about All Our Kin’s programs and our impact on providers, you can download the full report from our website.