REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS FOR CHATTANOOGA 2.0 EARLY MATTERS QUALITY MATTERS FUND

PROJECT OVERVIEW

Early Matters is seeking proposals from accredited and qualified higher education institutions located in Hamilton County, Tennessee to administer and provide undergraduate level coursework in Early Childhood Education and Development to selected early childhood educators or prospective early childhood educators for the 2023-24 school year.

ABOUT THE QUALITY MATTERS FUND

During the pandemic, many child care teachers left the workforce, leaving less experienced teachers in the classroom. To increase the quality of early childhood education while providing a continuum of care for working parents, Chattanooga 2.0 proposes reinstating the Quality Matters Fund (QMF), a public-private partnership grant created by Early Matters and the City’s Department of Early Learning to support childcare businesses in increasing the number of high-quality seats.

The QMF aims to do the following:

  1. Provide higher education and professional development opportunities to existing child care teachers to improve the quality of early care and education in the Chattanooga-Hamilton County area
  2. Increase job satisfaction by offering unique skills opportunities to teachers serving economically disadvantaged students

SCOPE OF WORK

PROJECT OBJECTIVES

A primary objective of the Quality Matters Fund is to support early educators in their professional development by providing tuition assistance for up to six credit hours (reimbursed at a rate of up to $1,200) of Early Childhood Education and Development coursework in partial fulfillment of an associates or bachelors degree or Child Development Associate (CDA) credential.

The requirements and deliverables of this project include the following:

  • Efficiently administer the tuition assistance program to allow the funder to effectively manage funds
  • Maintain clear and consistent communication with the funding entity (United Way of Greater Chattanooga) and their designee (Chattanooga 2.0) to ensure transparent fund allocation
  • Provide in-person class meetings and content tutoring to accommodate the particular needs of first-time students
  • Clearly outline any of the college’s courses that align with the eight required CDA subject areas, enabling non-degree seeking students to pursue their CDA credential and acquire relevant skills
  • Offer online and virtual course options to accommodate students with previous college experience
  • Accurately record and maintain participant information, course enrollment, and completion information to ensure program integrity and improve data collection
  • Defer tuition payment for enrolled students receiving the funding entity’s tuition support, ensuring they are not dropped from classes due to lack of payment
  • Supply one invoice to the funding entity near the end of the semester, listing all enrolled students on the funding entity-supplied roster, and their tuition amount owed

PROJECT TIMELINE

RFP Announced: July 10, 2023

RFP Closes: July 20, 2023

The project is scheduled to commence in August 2023 and will continue through June 2024, following the college course schedule.

BUDGET

The overall budget allocated for this project is up to $132,000. This budget is intended to cover tuition assistance for selected child care teachers and does not include administrative or operational costs for the higher education institution.

EVALUATION CRITERIA

Proposals will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Experience administering Early Childhood Education and Development undergraduate level coursework
  • Ability to accommodate various modes of course delivery (i.e. in-person, online, and virtual) tailored to students in the Chattanooga-Hamilton County area
  • Allowability of satellite sites to provide convenient access to education and support services
  • Demonstrated ability to accommodate both degree-seeking and non-degree-seeking students, ensuring inclusivity and flexibility in program offerings
  • Provision of coaching or tutoring supports for students completing their CDA portfolio, facilitating successful completion
  • Development of or provision of existing a crosswalk that aligns Early Childhood Education and Development courses with CDA credential subject areas
  • Availability of on-site campus support for students with extenuating needs
  • Experience administering tuition assistance programs, illustrating knowledge and proficiency in managing such programs effectively
  • Demonstrated ability to provide administrative support (i.e. record keeping, financial disbursements) accurately and efficiently
  • Acknowledgement that one invoice will be supplied to the funding entity for all supported students with the specific tuition-assistance, at the end of the semester

2023 Quality Matters Fund Tuition Assistance RFP Scoring Rubric

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