Excel by Eight (E8) envisions a state where all children have access to quality health care and education that maximizes their full potential, regardless of gender, income, race/ethnicity, disability, or geography. We are committed to increasing children’s health and education outcomes by 1) building models for change in communities across the state, 2) identifying policy barriers that make it difficult for communities to build and strengthen their grids of resources, and 3) enhancing public understanding of early childhood development to encourage action to build strong resource grids statewide. 

Excel by Eight Foundations (E8F) is a statewide collaborative, which is funded by the Pritzker Children’s Initiative (PCI) to expand the number of pregnant women, infants, and toddlers receiving high-quality health and education services by more than 35,000 by 2025.

To move the piece of our agenda that’s focused on early childhood education (ECE), E8F worked with 12 local chambers of commerce and regional economic development entities and 8 foundations and philanthropists to convene the Arkansas Early Childhood Education Task Force in fall 2020.  In addition to conveners, eleven stakeholders including parents, educators, providers, higher education, and state government participated in all meetings, keeping the discussion grounded in what is happening in communities.  The Task Force committed to 1) champion the advancement of ECE in Arkansas; 2) assess short-term challenges and consider long-term, systemic improvements that align with our state’s needs; and 3) create recommendations and an action plan that fulfill the vision of an ECE system that serves all children and families.

The Task Force has determined their priorities, and E8F is working with Task Force members to develop a campaign plan leading up to the 2023 legislative session.  We seek a Campaign Director who will work with Task Force members, early childhood educators, parents, other stakeholders, and E8F staff to implement the campaign. 

Specific deliverables include:

  1. Work with Task Force members and E8’s lobbying firms to identify and engage legislative champions and supporters as well as specific legislative strategies for addressing the Task Force’s priorities.
  2. Work with Task Force members to determine outreach activities in which they are willing to engage, including, but not limited to, meetings with policymakers, testifying to legislative committees, presentations to business and community leaders, op-eds and guest columns, and planning and hosting other educational events. 
  3. Work with stakeholder groups including, but not limited to, the Arkansas Association for Infant Mental Health, the Arkansas Early Childhood Association, the Arkansas Family Child Care Association, the Arkansas Family Child Care Network, Arkansas United, the Marshallese Education Initiative, and the Urban League of the State of Arkansas to engage their members in campaign activities. 
  4. Work with E8 Communications Director, PCI technical assistance provider, and E8 communications firm to develop a) one-pagers, infographics, slide decks, videos, social media posts, and other collateral materials and b) earned media opportunities including tv, radio, newspaper, and magazine interviews; radio and tv talk shows; and op-eds/guest columns as needed to support outreach activities.
  5. Provide support to Task Force members and stakeholder groups to implement outreach activities, including appropriate materials and planning as needed. 
  6. Develop and manage a master calendar of all outreach activities and strategies that ensures a strategic use of resources. 
  7. Plan and organize meetings of the ECE Task Force and subcommittees. 
  8. Participate in PCI meetings, webinars, and communities of practices as relevant. 
  9. Participate in E8F Collaborative and other team meetings as requested.  
  10. Provide oral and written progress reports to the E8F Leadership Team. 
  11. Contribute to the development of grant reports and funding proposals.

As the initiative develops, other deliverables may be added to the scope of work. 

Weekly Hours:  The consultant will work, on average, up to 30 hours per week.  This is a contract position and does not include benefits.   

Travel Requirements:  The consultant can expect to spend up to 25 percent of time on this project traveling the state to work with Task Force members and stakeholders.  Travel expenses are reimbursable; consultants must use their own vehicle. 

Qualifications:  A bachelor’s degree; relationships with state policymakers; experience managing complex projects; and experience bringing diverse voices together to support a common agenda are required.  Policy advocacy at the local, state, or national level; experience in early childhood education; and comfort with social media and communications strategies are preferred.   

Excel by Eight believes that diversity and inclusion among our team is critical to our success, and we seek to recruit, develop and retain the most talented people from a diverse candidate pool.

Resumes and letters of interest should be submitted to Angela Duran, aduran@excelby8.net.