Create an Elevate Program Plan

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

1. Reflect on where your program is right now 

The first step is to do some thinking about your child care program. What are its strengths? What are its weaknesses? 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  
Use these self-reflection tools to evaluate your program

The Office of Early Childhood (OEC) worked with NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children) to develop a number of self-reflection tools to help you evaluate your program. 

For center-based programs
Curriculum Planning: How your program supports children’s learning
Program Professional Development Plan: Your professional growth plans
Connecting with Families: How your program communicates with families
Facility: Your space and setting

For family child care providers
Curriculum Planning: How you support children’s learning 
Connecting with Families: How you communicate with families
Facility: Your space and setting

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. 

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. Keep in mind that 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.

4. Set action steps and create your plan  

Now you’re ready to set the concrete action steps that will help you meet your SMART goals.

If your child care is a center or group child care home, your Program Plan also needs to include:

  • Training and educational professional development SMART goals for your program
  • 1 specific professional development SMART goal for each staff member

Use our templates to set action steps and develop your plan:

You can also take a look at some sample plans to get ideas:

5. Continually update your plan

Your plan will be a living document and you can update it often. It’s a way to mark progress and document changes you’ve made to your approach. Starting early next year, you’ll be able to submit your plan through the CT Professional Registry to earn Member+ status. 

Get help creating your Elevate Program Plan

Connect with a Service Navigator. They’re experienced guides who can talk about your program’s needs and direct you to Elevate resources.

Last updated November 29, 2022