Create an Elevate Program Plan

Developing an Elevate Program Plan is a key step in reaching Member+ status. Your plan outlines how to improve your program — how to get it from where it is today to where you want to be. This page will help you create a plan for your program.

1. Reflect on where your program is right now 

Think about your child care program as it is right now. What are its strengths? What are its growth areas? Do you have any data you can use? Consider:

  • Feedback from families
  • Feedback from staff
  • Information about the children in your care
  • Reflections from self-assessment tools or program observations
  • Your program’s financial situation 
  • Your program’s licensing or health inspection reports   

You can choose from any or all of these self-reflection checklists to help guide you in the right direction.

OEC worked with NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children) to develop these tailored tools for child care centers.

Supportive Interactions Checklist
Environmental Checklist
Communicating with Families Checklist
Playful Learning Checklist
Planning Learning Experiences Checklist

2. Decide what you want your program to become

Now, focus on what you’d like to improve. Are there skills you’d like your staff to learn? Do you want to expand or upgrade your facility? Don’t be afraid to think big at this stage.

Elevate offers resources for child care providers and across 6 focus areas. When you choose one, you’re making a commitment to your program, your staff, and the families you serve.

3. Set SMART goals 

SMART Goals will help make your plan actionable and measurable. Think about how you could break up your big picture goals from step 2 into concrete SMART goals. Remember: your Program Plan has to include 1 to 3 SMART goals.

SpecificSpecific goals are clear and well-defined. They include what is going to be achieved, by whom, when, and where.
MeasurableMeasurable goals have clear markers of success, both for the end result and for milestones along the way.
AttainableAttainable goals are reasonable and realistic.
RelevantRelevant goals support the program’s mission and vision.
Time framedTime-framed goals have a clearly-defined window for completion.

Need help setting SMART goals?

Watch the SMART goals webinar in English


Watch the SMART goals webinar in Spanish


Read the handouts

Get an overview of what SMART goals are — along with examples from other programs.

4. Draft your plan

Think about how you will bring your SMART Goals to life. The Elevate Program Plan is a space for you to plan to achieve your program goals. For each SMART Goal, share the following:

  • Focus area:​ Where are you focusing your effort? ​
  • Action steps​: These are the specific steps to make each goal achievable. Use bullet points here and keep it simple! ​
  • Current reality, challenges, or barriers​: These are the issues that may impact your program’s efforts to reach goals. ​
  • What resources are needed​: This is a list of the specific resources you will use to reach your goal. 

You can do this on your own. Or, you can use the Developing Program Plan template as a document to help you map out your Elevate Program Plan:

Note: These templates and are in Microsoft Word format (.doc). You can fill them out in Word on your computer or print them and fill them out by hand.

5. Draft your professional development plans (for centers and group homes only)

If you administer a child care center or group child care home, you also need to create separate professional development plans as part of your Elevate Program Plan. There are 2 types you need to complete:

6. Submit your plan

The OEC 360 Provider Portal is a NEW system within the OEC.

Our new system is a mobile-friendly, easy-to-use way for you to share your plans with OEC. You can use your developing plans to help you complete and submit the Elevate Program Plan.

Family Child Care

OEC is in the process of rolling out the OEC 360 Provider Portal to Family Child Care Providers. An e-mail will be sent to ALL providers through the next couple of months. If you are ready to submit an Elevate Program Plan please fill out this form.

Centers and Group Homes

All center and group home providers have been provided an e-mail, to the listed program administrator, with instructions on how to access the system. Missed it? Request my access.

I have received my OEC 360 Provider Portal link and training (Follow next steps)

Log into your OEC 360 Provider Portal Account to complete your Elevate Program Plan. Follow the instructions provided to you by your portal invite.

If you have any trouble, you can also get step-by-step instructions on how to use the tool.

What’s next?

When you submit your plan, OEC staff will review it. They may have suggestions to ensure your plan meets the standards and provide suggestions for editing it.

Once your plan is approved, your program will earn Member+ Level of Engagement.

Starting April 15, 2024, OEC will only accept Elevate Program Plan submissions through the OEC 360 Provider Portal. We will no longer accept uploaded Word documents through the OEC Professional Registry.

Get help

If you need help walking through the steps of creating an Elevate Program Plan, reach out to your OEC Service Navigator or Staffed Family Child Care Network.

Last updated May 28, 2024