The Core Community Leadership Team, or Core Team, is a critical part of the success of the project, for the application, and throughout the process. The Core Team will be asked to take on a leadership role in the community in convening stakeholder groups, analyzing data and research, creating a community solution plan, and implementing the plan’s strategies.
It is recommended that each community have at least six Core Team members (or more if possible), including representatives from the community collaboratives, public schools, parents, local business leaders, chamber/economic development, health care, and current child care providers. Consider the following when establishing a Core Team:
- People with intersecting or overlapping roles or interests (e.g., basic/emergency needs and business people).
- Content experts
Each Core Team will be different based on the unique dynamics of the community. Core Teams will be asked to elect or appoint a lead person who will act as the meeting facilitator and primary contact for the initiative. It will be important to establish a co-lead or secondary leader to act in the absence of the lead. It is also encouraged to assign roles to members such as minutes, scheduling, event planning, research and data, business contact, grant writing, etc. The Core Team is also encouraged to know and utilize each other’s specific strengths and interests when assigning roles. Nebraska Children staff will assist in determining what roles need to be filled and helping members understand what these roles require.
What’s the timeline for implementing Communities for Kids?
The community engagement process typically spans an 18- to 24-month period and requires community members to be actively involved. Nebraska Children will work with selected communities to fully develop the final timeline for their individual community. There are several steps in a standard timeline:
- Application phase: The first phase includes Nebraska Children opening the field for community applications, selecting communities, and setting up the program, including scheduling an initial meeting with the selected community’s Core Team.
- Planning phase: The planning phase includes the initial meeting and orientation of the community’s Core Team as well as additional Core Team planning meetings. During this phase, the group will participate in community engagement activities, including a community assessment and engagement event designed to identify and develop community project activities. The group will also create a Community Solutions Action Plan detailing community data, types of solutions and community-identified projects, and community priorities.
- Implementation phase: With a plan in place, the implementation phase is where things come to fruition, with regular project team meetings, Core Team meetings, and cohort convenings. This phase includes ongoing technical assistance support. At the completion of this phase, a final report will be created and the Core Team will meet with Nebraska Children to review it and determine next steps.