The Cuyahoga County Office of Early Childhood operates the County’s Universal Pre-K (UPK) program, which provides quality enhancement funding and scholarships to select pre-kindergarten providers (school districts, private institutions, Head Start programs, and family childcare homes) throughout Cuyahoga County. Quality enhancement funding ensures that providers have access to resources in order to provide a higher quality of service to children before they enter elementary school.
Annual monitoring of each contracted UPK provider is required to ensure that all UPK students are accounted for, are eligible for scholarships (when financial criteria allows for it), and that all 68 UPK programs are properly accounting for their program dollars. This process takes three program managers multiple hours to process and review the requisite paperwork. Currently, all scholarship, payment, and expenditure reporting documentation is required in hard copy and review and approval is done manually.
The Office of Early Childhood is seeking an automated program management system that can be accessed by both County staff and UPK providers to facilitate scholarship eligibility, timely invoicing/payments, expenditure reporting, and documentation of compliance with UPK rules and presentation of UPK program service data.
Such a system must:
- Automate the processing of scholarship requests and approvals for families and UPK providers including:
- Auto generating a letter of a scholarship approval,
- Generating a list of children eligible for scholarships, and
- Serving as an ongoing resource for County staff and providing monthly/quarterly/annual reports on the number of scholarship applications received/approved, the number of children receiving scholarships, and a breakdown on scholarship amounts.
- Automate the processing of cost reimbursement invoicing including:
- Generating a monthly invoice for providers that can be processed online and reviewed in real time by UPK program managers,
- Allowing providers access to enter the children they will be serving, in real time, as the families are enrolling and allow UPK program managers to monitor in real time, and
- Providing a portal for both County staff and UPK providers to view an estimation of the amount of their monthly reimbursement.
- Automate the processing of cost category expenditure reports including:
- Providing a portal for both County staff and UPK Providers to view providers’ proposed budget, program dollar balance, and how much of their program dollars have been spent by category and by time period.
- Provide a portal for UPK providers to view their most recent monitoring report summary.
- Allow the UPK Evaluation Manager to run descriptive reports on the programs and obtain an extract for statistical analysis.