Issue

Contractors to support the development process

Rationale:

Some states have found it useful to contract with entities or individuals to assist in the development process.

Choices:

Contractors can play one or more of the following roles in the development process:

  • Planning the development process: A contractor may be involved in helping the lead agency conceptualize how the ELG development process will work (who will be involved, roles for persons involved, timeframes, etc.). The contractor might serve in an advisory role during the planning process or might be responsible for leading the planning process.
  • Facilitating the process: A contractor may facilitate the development process, serving as a member of the leadership team and taking the lead during committee meetings.
  • Writing the document: Contractors can be involved in various ways during the writing process, ranging from compiling and editing the work of the development committee (with little leeway in terms of content) to writing the document with guidance from the agency and/or the development committee.
  • Conducting a research and/or validation process: Contractors may be retained to complete a process to validate the content of draft ELG documents (by compiling or conducting research related to the various ages and areas addressed in the ELGs).
  • Gathering stakeholder feedback: Contractors may be engaged to convene stakeholder groups and/or staff a stakeholder-review process once a workgroup has developed a draft ELG document.
  • Reviewing the content: Individuals and/or agencies may be retained as a contractor to review a draft ELG document and provide feedback.

Considerations:

Engaging contractors to fulfill one or more of the roles described above can be very helpful. Using contractors often is more efficient and means that persons with significant expertise are available to assist in the development process. If a state agency elects to engage contractors in the ELG development process, the persons involved should be knowledgeable about the age for which the ELGs are being written, and it is helpful if the contractor also has considerable expertise related to cultural competence, dual language development, and/or services for children with disabilities. Considerations regarding if (and if so, how) contractors will be involved in the process include the fiscal resources required and the degree to which the agency and/or workgroup/committee developing the document may have a less direct involvement in developing the content of the document if contractors take the lead for the project. Agencies developing ELGs should also consider the assets contractors bring to the process, the role(s) contractors can play that would be most beneficial for the process, and the resources available to support the development process. If the lead state agency elects to engage contractor(s) and/or consultant(s): staff should be assigned to oversee the contractor's work; the authority and process for decision-making related to the document should be specified (i.e., the role of the lead agency/agencies, the ELG committee, and the contractor in making decisions about the content and format of the document); and a mechanism for ongoing communication between the contractor and the lead agency/agencies should be established. Deliverables and deadlines should also be clearly specified.

Related Issues: