Start Early Consulting Impact Initiative

The 2023 application is now closed. Click the link below to join our mailing list and hear about future opportunities to build high-quality, equitable systems.

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Start Early Consulting Impact Initiative

The Start Early Consulting Impact Initiative accelerates early childhood systems’ ability to address issues of equity in priority areas with the support of high-quality consulting.

Through a simple application process, the Impact Initiative pairs systems with experienced Start Early consultants so public sector leaders and advocates can more quickly identify, understand, and address specific equity gaps in policies and programs. The Impact Initiative is designed to boost local systems-building work, offer lessons and insights for other states and communities, and promote equity and quality across the early childhood field.

The Details

The Impact Initiative will provide 10-12 selected applicants with 100+ hours of tailored support from Start Early Consulting. In a 6–12-month engagement, leaders/advocates will further their work to build high-quality, equitable systems in one of the following areas:

Home Visiting

Newborn baby and motherSupport for state-level system leaders developing a more coordinated approach to home visiting that ensures sustained capacity, family and provider engagement, and positive outcomes. Engagements may address family participation (enrollment & eligibility), workforce retention, maximization of funding streams, and more.

Eligible entities: State government agencies/entities


Support for experienced state-level early childhood and/or disability advocates working on more equitable and inclusive early childhood systems to better support children with disabilities and developmental delays. Engagements may address access to services, inclusion in all early learning settings, workforce shortages, coalition building, state governance, and integration of family and provider voice in state disability advocacy work.

Eligible entities: State advocacy organizations

Inclusion in Communities

Teacher doing activity with studentsSupport for school district leaders creating increased access to equitable, inclusive early childhood special education services in settings that are most optimal for children and families. Engagements will focus on increasing the delivery of special education services in “least restrictive environments” across all types of early childhood programs, including childcare and Head Start.

Eligible entities: School districts or other local government agencies/entities

System Mapping

Support for local system leaders working to gain a better, more holistic understanding of their early childhood system including funding, programs, child, family, and workforce data to improve system equity and effectiveness. Engagements will involve piloting a tech-enabled system mapping tool to help aggregate and visualize data, such as community population and demographics, major early childhood programs and services available in the community, etc. The resulting system map will inform improvements, such as how to increase equitable access, leverage funding, improve coordination, and/or communicate system-wide priorities.

Eligible entities: Local government agencies/entities

The Process

The application is now closed. If you applied by the deadline of August 2nd, you will be receiving an email from Start Early Consulting by late August regarding the status of your application. For reference, the application process included the following short and simple 3 easy steps:

  • Answer a set of 6-10 questions in the application linked below.
  • If selected as a finalist, join a call with Start Early Consultants to discuss your application and ask questions of the team.
    • Invitation will be sent by mid-August
  • Final recipients of the Impact Initiative will be contacted in September to plan for their engagement.

Frequently Asked Questions

Please reach out to and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

The Impact Initiative is designed to support early childhood systems leaders. Each engagement type supports a different type of leader:

  • Home Visiting: state-level system leaders
  • Disability: state-level early childhood and/or disability advocates
  • Inclusion in Communities: school district leaders
  • System Mapping: local system leaders

If you have any questions about your eligibility to apply please contact us at

No, selected participants in the Impact Initiative will receive consulting from Start Early at no cost to participants.

Yes! We are committed to the Impact Initiative being easy to apply to and dedicated to building a diverse, inclusive, and equitable partnership and encourage you to apply with the information you do have available. You can upload responses to the applications questions in an alternate format (such as a letter of interest or video) – instructions can be found in the application page.

If you have questions about how to do so or would like additional assistance please contact us at

Yes! Click to download a PDF version of the Impact Initiative application questions.

Home visiting, disability, and inclusion: A successful engagement will depend on the support requested but all types of consulting engagements will require a commitment from the engagement team from your organization to partner with Start Early consultants.

This will likely include:

  • Regular meetings – a kick-off meeting, regular check-ins, and a final close-out session.
  • Partnering with consultants in planning and communicating about the project and engaging local partners, providers and families as appropriate.

System mapping engagements will also require:

  • Identifying data sources and facilitating connections to key contacts for data requests.
  • Partnering to determine specific focus and methods for engaging families and early childhood professionals. Planning and disseminating outreach/recruitment communications. Facilitating connections to local providers as needed. (Cohort 2 only)
  • Providing feedback on the utility of the system mapping tool, process and results.

Through system mapping, communities can gain an accurate, digestible and shareable picture of their early childhood system, which can help them make quality decisions and collaborative plans to improve equity and effectiveness. System mapping can help system leaders address questions such as:

  • I would like to increase access to home visiting, but I first need to know: How many home visiting programs are serving our community (including all funding streams and models), what’s their capacity, who is eligible, and who is currently served?
  • How many three- to five-year-old children are served across state pre-k, Head Start, early childhood special education, and other publicly funded pre-k programs? Do children have equitable access? What are the gaps?
  • What are family experiences, priorities and needs in finding/accessing early care and education for their children?

Contact Us

If you have any questions or if this process raises barriers to your participation and/or you require additional assistance, please reach out to our team.

Email Our Team

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