Information Technology Services and Consulting

MB_0029_programsIssue

  • Agencies and non-profits in the early care and education (ECE) field are chronically short-staffed in the area of technology and could benefit greatly from the application of technology to their operations.
  • Technology expertise is difficult and expensive to obtain on a consulting basis, since most technology experts have little or no experience or knowledge of the ECE field, jargon, laws, and processes.
  • The lack of understanding of the ECE field by general technology consulting firms increases costs in both dollars and staff time.

Response

  • The Children’s Forum has been a leader in the application of technological solutions to the operations of ECE- related agencies since the late 90’s. The Forum has invested in a strong information technology infrastructure and the staff to create and support that infrastructure, including enterprise-level:
    • Servers/Virtual Environment
    • Backup systems, including backup power systems
    • Webhosting infrastructure
    • Custom database creation and management
    • Custom programming and data reporting
    • Advanced networking, security, and firewall creation and management
    • Intra-system data transfers between partners and automated data import and export processes

Accomplishments

  • Our IT team’s accomplishments include the development of:
    • The Registry and scholarship system for Miami-Dade County
    • Custom database-driven web applications for Early Learning Coalitions (ELCs) around the state, such as VPK-provider searches
    • Custom websites for ELCs around the state
    • An Online Event Registration and Management system for ECE agencies, which includes:
      • extensive reporting and event coordination tools, as well as a training verification process to integrate with a Registry
      • online conference registration and management system, including payment processes
    • Online form submission processes
    • Automated data transfer processes between partners in Miami-Dade County and the state of Florida

Importance

  • The proper use of technology can significantly reduce the cost of operations of many ECE agencies, as well as improve their productivity and reach.
  • Many tasks currently done on paper or with one-to-one staff contact or phone calls with clients could be done more efficiently through web-based solutions.
  • Given the limited funds available to many agencies, efficiencies in the use of technology allow more funds to be directed where they are needed most, to services for children.