ReadyRosie in Nebraska: Helping Families When They Needed It The Most
Earlier this year as the COVID-19 pandemic began to drastically impact the early education community, the families, children, and educators of Nebraska faced significant and unprecedented challenges. When in-person instruction became impossible, maintaining relationships with families and children became a top priority.
Luckily, Nebraska had already begun a state-wide implementation of ReadyRosie in 2018 using a grant from the Buffet Early Childhood Fund. In 2018, the Buffet Early Childhood Fund took the initiative to evaluate many digital tools to promote family partnerships. After their thorough evaluation, they decided to advocate for the implementation of ReadyRosie because of its bilingual and video support for families and its robust data features for schools and programs. The Buffet Early Childhood Fund works to make Nebraska one of the best places in America to raise a child and invests in organizations like ReadyRosie that strive to ensure that all children have an equal opportunity to a great education.
From the very beginning, the ReadyRosie team partnered with program administrators and directors to ensure a successful implementation, including in-person trainings and monthly meetings.
When widespread school and childcare closures began, ensuring families leveraged the tools in ReadyRosie effectively to create meaningful home learning environments became a mission-critical imperative. That’s when the ReadyRosie Partner Success team built on the existing partnership with the Nebraska Children and Families Foundation to develop a strategy to address the new challenges that educators and families in Nebraska were facing.
They highlighted specific areas of the platform that could help address these challenges and ideas for implementation, including family workshops, Give Me Tens, Research and Answer videos, Social and Emotional videos, and ways to use ReadyRosie during the day. Two additional time slots for the monthly meetings were added in the evenings to accommodate competing schedules. The time allocated to ReadyRosie was increased to 30-45 minutes to allow families to share in-depth information. All site coordinators were encouraged to reach out to the ReadyRosie Partners Success Manager whenever they had specific questions or needed support.
As a result of this successful rollout and the power of the ReadyRosie tool, the families, teachers, and programs in Nebraska successfully adopted the tool to help manage the strains caused by the pandemic.
The Buffet Early Childhood Fund required a formal program evaluation, which was conducted by the University of Nebraska Medical Center. They evaluated how school districts and childcare providers across the state utilized ReadyRosie to encourage family engagement and maintain connections with children and their families during the uncertainty and disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. They released their findings in the ReadyRosie Program Evaluation: 2020 COVID Report.
Below are key findings from the report:
- Parent enrollment in ReadyRosie grew steadily throughout the spring of 2020 as a result of the pandemic’s impact in Nebraska
- In-home prevention services that moved to a virtual format significantly increased their ReadyRosie use, which bolstered their services
- Program/teacher/staff adoption and usage all increased– the lack of face-to-face contact resulted in teachers, who were previously unfamiliar with ReadyRosie, leveraging the tool to stay connected with children and families
- Resources around routines and social–emotional skills were frequently requested—this content was extremely valuable to families supporting children experiencing disrupted routines and schedules and developing their basic preschool skills at home
- Parent expectations and engagement remain a struggle—COVID-19 has put additional pressures and responsibilities on families and programs continue to struggle with maintaining meaningful connections
ReadyRosie offered critical support to early childhood programs and the children, family, and communities they serve as they navigated the disruption and uncertainty brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.
If you haven’t already seen our free, accessible ReadyRosie COVID-19 Modeled Moments videos, check them out!