April 25, 2013

Early Childhood Resource Center provides $1 million in annual local impact

The Early Childhood Resource Center (ECRC) annually provides $1 million in value to the early learning community in Stark County, according to an independent research study—and as reported in the inaugural edition of the ECRC Community Chronicle newsletter. The remainder of the article about the research study is below. Or, click here to read the entire newsletter.

As seen in the ECRC Community Chronicle:

Throughout the past year, the ECRC has worked with Dr. Joseph A. Rochford from Stark Education Partnership Inc. to evaluate the impact of the center’s efforts to improve early childhood education in Stark County over the past decade.

“This objective analysis of the ECRC’s effectiveness shows an excellent return on our efforts, which provide $1 million in direct value each year to the early childhood community in Stark County,” said Scott Hasselman, ECRC executive director. “We are incredibly pleased to share these findings, especially with the foundations and other supporters in the community that have invested in our mission to advance early learning.”

In his report, Early Returns: How the Early Childhood Resource Center Helps Maintain Stark County’s Investment in the Early Years, Dr. Rochford recognized that there are other centers throughout the country with similar missions, but few offer the breadth of services found at the ECRC. The study itself is also unique in that the distribution of resources and training is embedded within early childhood programs themselves in most cases, and the program is evaluated, not the center.

Because the impact study could not directly assign a cause-and-effect relationship to the ECRC, Dr. Rockford’s approach assigned value to the purpose and activities of the ECRC. He found that the ECRC was both a resource center and acted as a “backbone” agency, working with other early childhood initiatives to support the improvement of early childhood education and care. The $1 million in direct benefits was based on estimated values, such as circulated materials, training, staff consultation time, and scholarships and grants.

The report also noted that the ECRC provides many indirect benefits to the community that can’t be quantified, such as more accredited Family Child Care homes, more child care workers with Child Development Associate credentials and more people in local colleges receiving early education

“The $1 million in direct value provided by the ECRC each year in the early childhood community is in addition to many indirect benefits,” said Hasselman. “There is a marked increase in the number of post secondary early childhood education degrees awarded in Stark County compared to the colleges throughout the state, further supporting that our impact is significant.”

The Early Childhood Resource Center is a ministry of the Sisters of Charity Health System.

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From its Cleveland headquarters, the Sisters of Charity Health System provides oversight, leadership and strategic direction to more than 20 organizations responding to community needs in Canton and Cleveland, Ohio, and South Carolina.

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