The Connecticut Office of Early Childhood (OEC) is embarking on a journey to change how they use technology in support of young children and their families throughout the state of Connecticut. We were brought in to help them achieve this important goal.
OEC is a $400M state agency that oversees a network of programs and services, such as child development and parenting support, that help over 200,000 young children and their families thrive.
A key part of OEC’s work is supporting the providers, teachers, and other professionals who’ve dedicated their careers to caring for and educating children.
OEC’s ability to successfully execute on their mission depends on the effective use of technology, much of which needs modernizing in order to deliver better user experiences.
In alignment with the Preschool Development Grant program, which is administered by the Administration for Children and Families, OEC sought a partner who could help them digitally transform their organization.
To address this challenge, we designed an approach that focuses on building OEC’s internal digital capacity while at the same time modernizing critical services. Thus far, our efforts have involved:
- Modernizing OEC’s web presence to make it easier for families, childcare providers, and other users to access critical early-childhood resources, such as where to find high-quality childcare providers
- Creating a user-friendly data collection tool to get accurate information from early care and education providers about the children in their care
- Rapidly piloting solutions to better inform strategies around how to make it easier for families to access affordable childcare
- Leveraging data and information to better support families with young children experiencing homelessness
- Writing a Digital Talent Management Handbook that provides guidance on how the organization can build up its internal digital talent capacity effectively
- Developing a number of toolkits to help the organization adopt modern procurement, design, delivery, and data practices — Agile Procurement Playbook, Data Sharing Playbook, and Content Guidelines
- Supporting the structuring, recruiting, and hiring of in-house digital service experts
- Training nearly 20 procurement officials in modern acquisition practices, based on our Digital IT Acquisition Professional Training — Executive Edition training course
- Helping the entire organization adapt to working in a virtual environment in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including setting up digital tools and training on remote-work best practices
- Launched several modernized services, including OEC’s new online presence
- Built up internal digital capacity through talent support, training, pairing, and best-practice toolkits
- Accelerated the adoption of modern acquisition practices
- Helped enable over 200 professionals to work more effectively in a virtual environment