The Early Learning Lab Releases Report on Technology for Parents of Children Ages 0-3

In November 2017, the Early Learning Lab released NextGen Technology: Insights and Recommendations to Support the Parents of Children Ages 0-3. This report and the associated information gathering and interview process was funded by the Pritzker Children’s Initiative, with the intent of exploring the current state of technology to support the parents of children ages 0-3 and to develop recommendations on parent technology.

The Early Learning Lab inventoried technology products and platforms used by parents, interviewed parents on their technology use, conducted two national surveys, and reviewed existing research to answer the following questions:

  • How is technology currently being used to support parents of children 0-3?
  • What improvements can be made to increase the effectiveness of technology in supporting this population?

This research resulted in six insights on parents’ needs, motivators, barriers, and use of technology, which are paraphrased below:

  1. Most parents first ask a friend or family member first if they have a question on their child’s development, and then use Google to find the answer to their question if they need additional information
  2. Parents have a preference for learning from other parents rather than parenting experts
  3. More parents accessed a smartphone in the previous week than a computer, implying internet access is more often done through a mobile device
  4. Parents are looking for “their own path” for parenting their child and actively seek information and guidance from many different sources
  5. Parents want their children to be happy and successful, suggesting messaging about social-emotional development could be most effective
  6. Parents find existing parent support services helpful, though the majority are not aware of local organizations that offer services

Based on these insights and research, the Lab recommends the following four action steps:

  1. For information provision, focus on online content and major distribution channels, rather than creation of new tools and apps
  2. Think expansively about the range of parents’ needs and how technology can meet them
  3. Help service providers incorporate technology into their programming
  4. Conduct further research with parents

GPG is proud to have provided support in developing the online interactive map of technology products based on the Lab’s technology inventory. The map shows parent technology products organized by Protective Factors to Promote Well-Being, with additional information on the tools, such as whether they are research-based and/or have published evidence of impact resulting from use; and their distribution channel, funding source, and estimated user count / number of downloads.

In Case You Missed It: GPG in 2017

In 2017, we supported many amazing clients and initiatives working to impact their respective fields:

We are proud to have supported a number of successful grant proposals. Here is a roundup of select grant awards we posted about in 2017:

We also wrote about some approaches and concepts that we’ve used or encountered. This included Lean Coffee, a collaborative way to design meeting agendas using participant feedback; the constellation model, a way to use networks to solve complex social problems; and implementation science, the examination of factors that leads to success in implementation.

We also added an interactive map of our recent work to the GPG website, showcasing our work across three main categories: Systems Change and Collaboration; Strategic, Business, and Sustainability Planning; and Funding Research and Grant Proposal Development.

We look forward to working on new and continuing projects in the next year!

To keep up-to-date on our latest news and resources, follow us on Twitter or LinkedIn. You can also find the latest blog posts on the GPG website.

California’s Gold: An Advocacy Framework for Young Dual Language Learners

In November, 2017, Dr. Marlene Zepeda, with support from the Heising-Simons Foundation, released California’s Gold: An Advocacy Framework for Young Dual Language Learners. This Advocacy Framework, and associated interactive website, opens a dialogue on how best to integrate preschool with the early primary grades and improve Dual Language Learner (DLL) and English Learner (EL) education throughout these grades.

Now is the time to align systems and make investments on behalf of California’s Children. About 60% of children in California, ages birth to five years, live in a household where a language other than English is spoken. These children have great potential for multilingualism, and research clearly shows that language development takes time, and language supports must be implemented coherently across educational systems to ensure DLL and EL children are supported as they develop their first language and learn English.

Recent changes in state and federal policy–such as the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), Proposition 58, and the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), provide opportunities and resources for sustained focus on DLLs and their language development. California’s Gold aims to inspire coordinated action to integrate preschool with the early primary grades and improve DLL and EL education throughout these grades.

The framework identifies four areas of action critical to a high-quality PreK-3rd grade system:

  1. Workforce Development
  2. Curriculum and Instruction
  3. Assessment
  4. An Aligned PreK-3 System

Woven throughout all of these action areas, the framework emphasizes family engagement and the importance of family members as key actors in their children’s’ education and language development.

California’s Gold identifies specific near-term and longer-term opportunities within each of these areas. The website,, includes a page on each of the action areas with corresponding near- and long-term opportunities, and a link to download a brief fact sheet on each action area. The website also includes ways to access the full report, contact the author, and share these materials on social media. A webinar on the report with Framework author, Marlene Zepeda, was held on November 16, 2017 and is accessible here.

GPG provided support for the finalization of California’s Gold and the development of its accompanying print and web materials, including designing and facilitating stakeholder input and feedback sessions on content development and report design, and reviewing and providing feedback on report materials. GPG also supported the framework launch and communications efforts, including design, coordination, and facilitation of the November 16th webinar.

Skyline College Receives Zero Textbook Cost Degree – Implementation Phase II Award

Skyline College of San Mateo County Community College District received close to $150,00 from the Zero Textbook Cost Degree – Implementation Phase II 2017/18 program awarded by the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office. The Zero Textbook Cost (ZTC) Degree program aims to reduce barrier costs for education and the time it takes for students to complete degree and certificate programs by providing planning and implementation funds to community colleges to develop and implement ZTC programs.

The California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office defines a ZTC program as “a community college associate degree or career technical education certificate earned entirely by completing courses with no cost textbooks. The program uses alternative instructional materials and methodologies, including educational resources.” Alternative instructional materials are referred to as “Open Educational Resources” (OER) materials.

Skyline College proposed an implementation plan for its Associate of Science (AS) degree in Respiratory Care to become a ZTC program. This degree was identified as a priority program due to its high unit requirements for major completion, high textbook costs, and high demand from students. Additionally, the Respiratory AS degree is one of only 19 Respiratory Care California Community College programs across the state.

The development of the ZTC pathway will leverage and build on planning activities through an existing President’s Innovation Fund grant for the Open and Affordable Textbooks project ($25,000) and the existing multi-member Steering Committee for the Respiratory Care Bachelors’ of Science of Pilot Program to ensure the better alignment of work and leveraging of existing OER materials. A ZTC Community of Practice that includes faculty from Respiratory Care and prerequisite courses, college, administrators and other content-focused staff will guide ZTC content development and work together to accomplish the following objectives:

  • Identify, develop, and compile OER materials;
  • Review, refine, and adopt OER materials; and
  • Publish and pilot OER materials to be prepared for student enrollment in January 2019.

The Respiratory AS degree program will serve 25 students per cohort beginning in Spring 2019, serving approximately 125 degree students over a three-year period after implementation begins. ZTC sections will also be available for the degree’s prerequisite courses in other fields, serving an estimated 350 additional students per year.

GPG is proud to have provided proposal development support to Skyline College for this successful proposal to reduce textbook costs for its students.

GPG Launches Interactive California ECE Network Maps

GPG is excited to announce the launch of the California Early Care and Education (ECE) Network Maps, two interactive maps that show the organizations and collaboratives working to affect ECE policy at the state level in California.

We developed these maps to serve as a tool for organizations and collaboratives working to impact state ECE policy in California. We hope this tool will help organizations to share their work and to strengthen connections to other organizations and collaboratives. In this way, the maps can support the field’s ability to secure necessary policy changes and investments to develop a more robust early care and education system for California’s young children.

The two maps are a product of an extensive year-long process, which included discovery, research, and mapping phases. During the discovery phase, we conducted interviews with stakeholders in the field to identify needs and challenges these maps could help address. In the research phase, we used discovery results to define map parameters (including which organizations and collaboratives would be included) and develop a taxonomy for ECE organizations and collaboratives. This allowed us to structure data collection and further specify what information the maps would show. The research phase also included research and data collection from publicly available information to gather and compile information for the maps. Finally, we created the maps and a series of tutorials and support materials to help people use and navigate the maps. Each map has multiple views that display the information in different ways and allow the user to explore connections across a range of attributes.

The State Level Organizations Map includes organizations working at the state level in California that are seeking to inform, influence, or affect ECE policy. You can see organizations grouped by type, subtype, nature of work, general focus areas, or specific focus areas.

The ECE Collaboratives map includes collaboratives working at the state level to inform, influence, or affect ECE Policy, as well as some large collaboratives at the local or regional level whose reach can impact state policy. You can see collaboratives grouped by type, members, and focus areas.

We hope that these maps will contribute to the collective ability of the field to secure necessary policy changes and investments to strengthen California’s ECE system. Learn more about what information the maps contain and how to use them.

Click on an element in the map to view more information on that organization or collaborative in the left profile bar.

When viewing the maps, you can switch views by clicking the tabs above the map.

Funding for the development of these maps came from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. If you have questions or additional feedback on the maps, please contact us at

Sonoma County Behavioral Health Division Receives Whole Person Care Pilot Award

On June 8, 2017, Sonoma County, Health Services Department, Behavioral Health Division’s Whole Person Care (WPC) Pilots Round 2 application was approved for a five-year award of $16,704,136. The WPC Pilots program, administered by the California Department of Health Care Services, aims to coordinate health, behavioral health, and social services in a “patient-centered manner with the goals of improved beneficiary health and wellbeing through more efficient and effective use of resources.”

Sonoma County Behavioral Health Division’s WPC Pilot will target homeless and/or at-risk of being homeless Medi-Cal recipients with serious mental illness in addition to at least one of the following characteristics: having co-occurring health conditions, such as substance abuse; using emergency services at a high rate; and receiving services from multiple agencies. The pilot will also have a special focus on elderly individuals, who often face the longest waits for appropriate services, creating a significant cost burden on the healthcare system. Over five years, the pilot will aim to serve 3,040 people.

The pilot will connect participants to the important health care services they need through enhancing and expanding services in rural areas outside of the city of Santa Rosa, where individuals are often underserved. This includes expanding Sonoma County’s Community Intervention Program (CIP), which conducts outreach to underserved populations to engage them in mental health services as needed, and expanding community health center partner outreach and case management capacity. This work will allow the County to identify, reach, and engage more individuals in need of specialty services living in geographically isolated areas.

GPG is proud to have supported the development of Sonoma County Behavioral Health Division’s WPC Pilots Round 2 application to better integrate care for particularly vulnerable Medi-Cal beneficiaries.

Contra Costa Family Justice Center Receives Domestic Violence Housing First Program Award

The Contra Costa Family Justice Center is a recent grant recipient of the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES)’s Domestic Violence Housing First (KD) Program. The KD Program provides funds through the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) Victim Assistance Formula Grant Program to “expand the number of projects that will first provide stable housing, and then supportive services, to victims of domestic violence (DV).” This grant program is modeled after the Washington State DV Housing First Program.

The Contra Costa Family Justice Center was awarded the maximum amount of $525,000 for a 21-month subaward performance period.

The Center will use these funds to expand access to safe permanent housing and supportive services for victims of domestic violence in Contra Costa County. The Center will partner with SHELTER, Inc. and STAND! For Families Free of Violence to provide flexible, safe housing and housing-related assistance to victims of domestic violence, while leveraging the Center’s existing network of service providers to provide victims with wraparound supportive services. The services provided for domestic violence victims will be tailored to their specific needs and will be survivor-driven and trauma-informed. In addition to expanding services for victims of domestic violence and helping victims to access long-term stable housing, the Center will continue to engage and educate the community on domestic violence, victims’ rights, and available services for victims.

GPG is proud to have supported Contra Costa Family Justice Center in its proposal to expand housing services for victims of domestic violence.

See for additional information about the Contra Costa Family Justice Center.

Upcoming Changes to Submission Process and Email Notifications, the major online system for finding and applying for federal grant opportunities, recently made changes to its email notifications system and will be making additional changes to its application submission process next month.

As of December 31, 2017, will no longer be using the legacy PDF package for submission of grant applications. Submissions to will now be done through Workspace, “an online environment optimized for applicants who are collaborating on an application.” Workspace was launched in October 2015 and has been available for applicants to use for submission since early 2017. Workspace allows users to complete forms online or download and upload forms individually. Forms are then stored in Workspace and available for future applications. You can find more information on using Workspace, including an overview and video series, on the Community Blog and on A key benefit of the new system is the ability to share application forms and attachments with other members of the team that is working on the application.

As another update, as of November 18, 2017, a account is required to receive email notifications about funding opportunities (including daily updates of new funding opportunities, updates on saved searches, and updates about specific opportunities). To simplify the registration process, will no longer require an organization name or a DUNS number in order to register. Make sure to register if you do not have a account and wish to continue receiving funding opportunities notifications. has more information on its notification subscription updates here.

More information about the registration process is available here.

GPG Launches Interactive Map of Recent Work

We are excited to announce a new addition to the GPG website: a Kumu map of recent work. GPG developed this map in part to help visualize its breadth of work and to demonstrate its capacity for system and ecosystem mapping using Kumu. For more information on how to use and build Kumu maps, check out Kumu’s documentation which includes introductory videos.

GPG has recently completed several projects that involved using Kumu to develop and analyze maps of systems, partnerships, and policy landscapes. In addition, GPG is incorporating Kumu as a project management tool to help clarify team membership and connections between partners as appropriate.

map screenshot

Navigating the Map

This interactive map visualizes GPG’s recent and ongoing work, with projects grouped or “clustered” by GPG’s main categories of work:

  • Systems Change and Collaboration (gear icon)
  • Strategic, Business, and Sustainability Planning (directional signs icon)
  • Funding Research and Grant Proposal Development (piggy bank icon)

In addition, there is a category for “Other” (tools icon) to accommodate a few projects that do not fit into these three categories.

Users can click on each circle (element) in the map to view more details on a specific project or to view a definition of the categories of work in the left profile bar. For project elements, you can find information such as the client who provided funding for the project and the related field (Education, Criminal Justice, etc.) and subfields of work. Clicking on the background of the map will re-hide the sidebar.

Click elements for more info:

Each red, blue, and grey element represents a project. In the case of Funding Research and Grant Proposal Development work, each element corresponds to an agency or organization that GPG has worked with to support one or more fund development activities. Elements are color-coded by client type: government, non-profit, and foundation.

Filter by field:

gif of filtering by field of work
This map also allows you to filter by fields of work by clicking one or more of the the options at the top of the map (education, criminal justice, etc.), or to filter work by client type by using the dropdown menu in the upper-left corner underneath the search bar.

Filter by client type:

gif of filtering by client type

The map can be further (and temporarily) pared down through “focusing” on elements by hovering the mouse icon over an element or clicking and holding on an element until the map only shows elements directly connected to the clicked element. If clicking the element, the focus can be cleared by pressing the escape button on your keyboard. Focusing can also be cleared by clicking on the cross-hairs icon at the upper-right beneath the + and – (zoom) icons and clicking “Clear” in the menu that pops up; the focus degree can also be adjusted this way.

“Focus” on a project type:


If you have questions about this map or other GPG system and stakeholder mapping, please contact us at or (510) 528-1558.

New Resource Exploring Promising Approaches to California’s Teacher Shortage

The California Labor Management Initiative (CA LMI) and the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) have released a new resource for districts and others interested in learning more about emerging approaches to California’s teacher shortage. This compendium, “From Shortage to Solutions: Exploring Promising Approaches to California’s Teacher Shortage,” was based on the results of two meetings convened by the CA LMI and the CTC on May 2-3, 2017 held in the San Francisco Bay Area and Orange County and focused on sharing and exploring actionable approaches to the California teacher shortage.

The meetings and recently released compendium were conceived as a response to the growing teacher shortages in California: 75% of districts reported shortages in 2016-17, and 81% of districts with shortages reported that the shortage problem has gotten worse.1 To address these shortages, districts are often forced to use stopgap measures, including replacing departing teachers with substitutes or new teachers with substandard credentials.2 While increasing recruitment of individuals into the teaching profession is critical, improving teacher retention will also be essential to addressing shortages. Nationally, 19-30% of new teachers leave the profession within their first five years, while 55% of teachers leaving the profession cite working conditions, the administration, and accountability pressures as the reason for their departure.3 More information on the teacher shortage and recommendations for state-level and district-level stakeholders can be found on the Learning Policy Institute’s website.

At the Shortage to Solutions meetings, some presenters shared strategies undertaken through a collaborative approach involving labor and management. These strategies had been an effective way to impact working conditions and other factors that cause teachers to leave. Research from Dr. Saul Rubinstein of Rutgers University and Dr. John McCarthy from Cornell University has shown that high levels of labor management collaboration can have significant impact on teacher turnover. While high poverty schools experience teacher departure rates at 3.5 times the rate of low poverty schools, high poverty schools with high levels of collaboration do not experience these elevated levels of teacher turnover.4

The meetings drew a mixture of stakeholders, from district and county office of education teams to representatives from institutions of higher education (IHEs) and statewide organizations. The Learning Policy Institute first provided an overview on the latest findings and data on the California teacher shortage. Participants then had the opportunity to learn about emerging practices related to recruitment and retention used by IHEs, districts, and unions around the state to address the teacher shortage, including collaborative work in several school districts to improve new teacher induction and support systems. Finally, participants discussed the presentations and shared additional strategies they had seen or implemented at their site. The compendium summarizes the presentations and highlights some of the strategies shared by meeting participants.

GPG provided meeting design and documentation support and developed the compendium as part of its work supporting the California Labor Management Initiative.

Meeting materials, including agendas and powerpoints, can be found here.

1. Carver-Thomas, D. and Darling-Hammond, L. (2017). Addressing California’s Growing Teacher Shortage: 2017 Update. Learning Policy Institute. Retrieved from
2. Ibid.
3. Podolsky, A., Kini, T., Bishop, J., & Darling-Hammond, L. (2016). Solving the Teacher Shortage: How to Attract and Retain Excellent Educators. Palo Alto, CA: Learning Policy Institute.
4. To learn more about Dr. Rubinstein and Dr. McCarthy’s research, see: