Sound Child Care Solutions Consortium Pilot Project

Organization Name
Sound Child Care Solutions
Mission Statement

Sound Child Care Solutions’ mission is to educate children for life by deeply integrating child-centered, high quality, anti-biased, early childhood education with excellent business practices.

City & State
Question 1
The Before: What was the challenge, issue or problem your organization was facing? Or, what was the opportunity you were not able to take advantage of before you put a technology solution in place?

Answer: SCCS provides high quality early education to diverse communities. Our program is based on an innovative shared services consortium model. Our consortium of child care centers use high quality, cutting edge technology and economies of scale to increase efficiency and save resources. We redirect those resources to raise quality and provide scholarships for low-income children. The initial challenge we had was being able to weave together diverse programs from a financial and business perspective, while keeping the quality and uniqueness of each community-based program. This included merging different operating, communications, billing, payroll and budgeting systems. Technology played a key role in addressing our initial challenges.

Question 2
What Microsoft software have you used/are you using in your organization to more effectively engage your beneficiaries, donors and/or volunteers and/or to make a difference in your community?

Answer: Microsoft Office 2007 or 2010 (Includes any of the following: Access, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher, OneNote, Outlook, and Word)

Question 3
The After: How have these Microsoft products allowed you to engage your stakeholders more efficiently or effectively to make a difference in your community?

Answer: We standardized the operating and email systems across all 5 centers, using Microsoft Office and Outlook. This has made it easier to communicate, share documents and process necessary business functions. In addition, we are able to send emails and information to parents in a consistent fashion. We use Excel in our financial analysis and budgeting work, which is extensive and the core of our consortium model. We also use Excel to collect data that we report to our funders. We need resources to upgrade our data tracking system to Access. Powerpoint is a valuable tool in explaining our model. We make presentations to funders and prospective partner centers and at national child care conferences. We use Microsoft Publisher for fliers/newsletters to communicate with our families.

Question 4
What about these products (the features or the way you used them) made them particularly helpful in enabling your organization to expand and improve upon its community impact?

Answer: We have developed several generations of budget templates and a comprehensive budget system that allows each of the centers to complete an individual budget for their center that rolls up into a program wide budget using Excel. Each of the budgets have multiple spreadsheets that link to the center’s budget. Excel has allowed us to calculate complicated formulas with variables that differ with each center. These variables include staffing, enrollment, sliding fees, subsidies, grants and contracts from public and private entities. For planning purposes, we test different scenarios using our spreadsheets. For example, we can determine which combination of enrollment and staffing maximizes the number of low-income families we can accommodate.

Question 5
Please provide any examples, stories or data that illustrate the difference the use of Microsoft software has enabled you to make (i.e., # of new clients reached, new program added, increased dollars raised, increased volunteers, etc.

Answer: One of the critical functions we must do well to ensure funding to provide free or low-cost early education to low-income children of color, is tracking data outcomes on all the children whose education are funded by our funders (City of Seattle, United Way of King County). We use Microsoft Excel to collect and report that data. Both the City of Seattle and United Way of King County accept our data in the Excel format. We provide free, high quality, culturally and linguistically appropriate early education, to 100 low-income children. We would not be able to serve those children without the use of Microsoft software. Excel enables us to plan for a variety of complicated scenarios that involve weaving multiple funding streams seamlessly.

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Sound Child Care Solutions