All Head Start programs need to collect and analyze data and other information to find ways to improve their operations. This process of continuous quality improvement means using data, evidence, and evaluation at all levels. For some Head Start/Early Head Start programs the best way to do this is through a full-service partnership with Acorn Evaluation. Our team connects closely with your management team to identify, plan, implement, and analyze the projects, while also focusing on data literacy and culture.
Acorn Evaluation offers a limited number of partnership opportunities to EHS/HS programs across the country. To be considered for a partnership, the EHS/HS program must:
1. Complete a DCA Assessment
Our Data Capacity Assessment will provide your Leadership team with insight into how your program is doing specifically when it comes to all things Data. After our assessment, your program will receive customized deliverables to support your program’s continuous quality improvement.
The goals of the Acorn Evaluation partnership are to:
• Increase data literacy of senior leadership and program staff
• Heighten confidence in the program’s ability to use data to inform program planning and decision-making
• Successfully guide implementation of continuous quality improvement (CQI) activities which support positive outcomes for the children and families
The Acorn partnership requires a 12-month commitment from the program’s senior leadership team (Director and Content Leads) to actively engaging in efforts to achieve these goals.
Each EHS/HS program that partners with Acorn Evaluation is paired with a Project Coordinator, who works closely with the senior leadership team to support the development and implementation of CQI projects. CQI projects align with a program's unique goals and objectives and fit seamlessly within a program’s day-to-day operations. Examples of CQI projects include refining the data workflows for child health events; enhancing the effectiveness of the family partnership process; and identifying and addressing child absences.
Partnering with Acorn does not require purchase of specific software, tools, or materials. The Acorn team is familiar with the software and tools commonly used by EHS/HS programs (e.g. ChildPlus, Learning Genie, ASQ-3, ASQ-SE, DRDP, etc.), and CQI projects are developed to optimize the program’s investment in these resources.
Programs that partner with Acorn receive support from Acorn’s diverse team, which includes data analysts, social workers, program evaluators, and professionals with decades of experience working in early childhood education and EHS/HS programs.
Programs in an active partnership report many benefits, including enhanced data literacy among program staff, clearly defined data workflows, and higher quality child and family data.
Read more about what programs have to say about partnering with Acorn below.
What Our Partners Say
"With Acorn as a partner, we are confident that we are already meeting (and exceeding!) the data analysis and evaluation requirements that will be included in the new Performance Standards. It’s worth your time to meet Acorn and talk with them. A partnership with Acorn will benefit your program just as it has benefited NHA and other grantees around the country."
Vice President of Children, Youth, and Family Services, Neighborhood House Association, San Diego, CA
Board Chair of the National Head Start Association
"Hello Acorn Team!
I just had my final meeting with the FA2 review lead. Our review went really well.
I want to say thank you for being our data partner. The workbooks [charts] you have created were especially helpful in our ECD and FCE data tours....All of the work we have done together with workflows and data explorations has improved our overall systems and our team’s skills in working with data. I feel very confident in our ability to ensure continuous quality improvement that is informed by our data."
Program Director, Shasta Head Start, Redding, CA