The Child Development Council (CDC) of Brazoria County, Texas, is a nonprofit organization that has served as the sponsoring agency for the Brazoria County Head Start/Early Head Start Programs since 1975. The Head Start program operates seven centers in seven cities throughout Brazoria County that are all accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children. With its comprehensive birth-to-five program, the organization employs a staff of about 100, providing school readiness for children as well as additional self-sufficiency and stability support for parents, families, and caregivers.
CDC of Brazoria County embarked on a mission to better meet the needs of the children and families it serves by creating greater efficiencies. With seven centers plus administrative offices, that meant creating more reliable and consistent staff communication, connectivity, and collaboration and greater accessibility to data to help drive decisions on a daily basis.
Wipfli made no presumptions about any particular software implementations. Instead, the team began by closely examining the actual needs of CDC of Brazoria County. Wipfli studied the organization’s e-mail and calendar systems as well as its document-sharing processes. Only after conducting a thorough evaluation did Wipfli move forward with appropriate solutions. Wipfli recommended their Collaboration in the Cloud solution, which utilizes Microsoft’s Office 365 including e-mail (Exchange), instant messaging (Lync), and portal/collaboration (SharePoint) technology. Wipfli’s solution replaced the CDC’s paper calendars and binders full of documents with an online calendar system and a document repository for written policies and forms. CDC administration can publish forms/policy content quickly, staff can download always-current versions of important documents, and everyone maintains up-to-date calendars. SharePoint also houses lesson-plan templates, letting teachers customize them to fit their students’ learning objectives. Wipfli further developed a discussion board, allowing staff to communicate timely insights, collect feedback, and share best practices with one another.
CDC of Brazoria County is realizing greater efficiencies through greater automation as it more easily stores, syncs, and shares information. All information is housed in a single place and is accessible by all staff in all locations, creating improved time management. CDC of Brazoria County is also more confident about its compliance, in that all policies, procedures, and forms are always up to date, consistent with current regulations, and used by all staff in all seven centers.
The organization’s team is also better connected with reliable e-mail and always-current calendars. Communication among staff has been further enriched thanks to shared insights that are creating an enhanced service delivery to Brazoria County students and families.