Assessing funding options is a complex mix of legal, financial and political considerations. Consider the following issues and then use the worksheet to help determine a funding mechanism that best supports your early childhood initiative.
Adequacy of a Financing Strategy
The funding raised must be able to meet the needs for the early childhood system. This means first understanding the costs and demand for services now and in the future. It also means assessing the funding source for its ability to meet those costs and needs.
Sustainability of the Funding Source
Consideration must be given to the stability and sustainability of the funding source. Since consistent programming for children delivers the best outcomes, a funding source for systems change and ongoing service delivery needs more than one-time money. The possibility exists for one-time funds to be invested to generate a revenue stream that is sustainable over time, but absent such an approach, non-recurring funds may be problematic. Of particular importance is that new funding sources leverage and supplement existing funding, rather than replace it.
Consider these issues:
- Can this funding source be relied upon in the long-term?
- How would it be affected by an economic downturn?
- What other factors could influence its availability over time?