Because collaborative partners in a countywide pre-k program may have different revenue sources and program costs, county collaborative team efforts to coordinate pre-k financing can be complex. The first step in creating collaborative contracts and budgets is for collaborating programs to determine the total cost for each collaborative classroom to have the resources needed to meet quality standards, state regulations and policies, and federal requirements. Several steps are necessary to efficiently determine classroom and program costs.
Applicable programmatic regulations and policies, including WVBE Policy 2525, HeadStart Performance Standards and regulations, and WV Child Care Center Licensing, must be used to determine the total cost of each classroom. Next, partners must analyze the resources available to cover the costs.
All children enrolled in WV Universal Pre-K, including those enrolled in collaborative classrooms, are enrolled in WVEIS. Therefore, school aid funding is generated for each eligible child enrolled by October 1st of each school year. Funding generated through community classrooms should be invested into those programs providing quality early education services and local infrastructure to support WV Pre-K classrooms. In pre-k collaborative child care programs, WV Pre-K is an enhancement to the regular program during the designated WV Pre-K hours. Since WV Pre-K is part of a free public education, parents/guardians shall only be charged for those hours outside the WV Pre-K designated time. In addition to the resources provided through school aid funding, community programs participating as partners should continue using federal and state funding available for these services such as Head Start and Child care Development Fund monies supporting eligible children.
Collaborative Contracts and Classroom Budgets
Pre-K collaborative contracts are legally binding documents that delineate roles, responsibilities, and resources of each partner. A collaborative contract must be completed and signed annually prior to the first day of school by the LEA and each collaborative partner to illustrate agreement of terms for pre-k program implementation. Additionally, a Classroom Budget and Cost Allocation Worksheets must be completed for each collaborative classroom.
WV Universal Pre-K Collaborative Contracts
As partners develop an annual collaborative contract, there must be expectations that each partner will utilize available resources to meet or exceed pre-k program requirements. This contract process is not meant to supplant existing resources or place an undue burden on either partner. It is designed to accurately reflect programming, resources, and costs related to the WV Pre-K classrooms included in the contract. Contracts may cover more than one classroom operated by the same community partner; however, budgets must also be developed for each classroom included in collaborative contracts. Head Start programs are required to have a memorandum of understanding to support coordination with publicly funded pre-k programs. The memorandum of understanding, or MOU, may serve as the collaborative contract. While collaborative contracts or MOUs can vary based on the needs of each partner, there are key items that must be addressed. A collaborative contract checklist is available to assist partners in developing and updating the annual collaborative contract. The Collaborative Contract Checklist is not an exhaustive list and partners may choose to add items based on local program design. Additionally, a sample collaborative contract is also available.
Collaborative Classroom Budget and Cost Allocation Worksheet
As part of the collaborative contract process, a Collaborative Classroom Budget and Cost Allocation Worksheet must be completed for each collaborative classroom by each LEA and collaborating community partners. The worksheet, which is in excel form, is designed to illustrate costs and resources provided by each partner and connect funding to the collaborative contract. The Collaborative Classroom Budget and Cost Allocation Worksheet is an estimate of the total cost of each collaborative classroom and is a tool to assist in annual fiscal reporting. Instructions for completing the Collaborative Classroom Budget and Cost Allocation Worksheet are provided.