Early Childhood Fellow



Rockefeller Institute’s First 1,000 Days on Medicaid Partnership Project

Project Leader: Early Childhood Development Fellow


Description, Duties, and Expectations

The individual or organization contracted to serve as the project leader for the Rockefeller Institute’s First 1,000 Days Partnership project will have expertise in issues and policies surrounding early childhood development, the capacity to train leaders of local organizations in collective impact strategies, and a demonstrated ability to establish his or her own work schedule that includes making multiple visits to project sites. During the project, the project leader will serve as Rockefeller institute’s Early Childhood Fellow, will work to optimize the success of the Medicaid pilot programs, and will produce outcomes that maximize the value and impact of the Rockefeller institute’s project.

The Fellow will develop local communities-of-action – partnerships of neighborhood-based organizations – connected to the state Department of Health’s First 1,000 Days on Medicaid initiative pilot sites that will be located across New York (the selection of 15 to 20 pilot sites across five program initiatives is expected to occur in early and mid-2019). The Fellow will be responsible for recruiting to the effort and cultivating productive relationships with relevant community group partners once the pilot sites are selected. Overall, the Institute’s project will be a three-year effort.

As part of the project, the Fellow will receive formally training in the collective impact theory of action implemented by the StriveTogether national network, and in turn will be expected to recruit and train community organizations to partner with the First 1,000 Days pilot efforts (more detail on the type of training the Fellow is expected to deliver and coordinate appears below).  The Fellow will prioritize his or her delivery of training services to, oversight of, and reporting on each pilot project site based on his or her perception of the site’s need for such services at any given time. As part of the Fellow’s contractual expectations, the Fellow will visit each pilot site multiple times throughout each year and will have the responsibility of coordinating each of these visits will the availability of all local participants.

Training and technical assistance at each site will be appropriately tailored by the Fellow to the specific project being piloted as he or she determines, ranging from working with a broad range of cross-sector partners (for initiatives such as the peer navigator program) to more targeted community partnership development (such as with libraries and schools for the early literacy program).

The Fellow will partner with the First 1,000 Days team and its workgroups at the New York State Department of Health regarding the development and monitoring of outcome goals for the pilot projects. The Fellow will also help coordinate participation in the project’s Year 2 and Year 3 Learning Collaboratives, statewide convenings of pilot site stakeholders to be facilitated by the United Hospital Foundation (UHF will be separately contracted by the project for facilitation of the Learning Collaboratives).

Toward the end of the three-year project, the Early Childhood Fellow will spearhead the development of a comprehensive evaluation report, an analysis that includes measurements of the success of the First 1,000 Days pilots and the impact of the project’s activities, including efforts to increase and coordinate the involvement of local organizations, on the success of these pilot programs. The report also will outline options for policy action based on these findings.

It is expected that the Fellow will meet with leadership at the Rockefeller Institute periodically to provide updates on activities undertaken and plans for next steps, brainstorm about possible additional activities, and strategize about problems and solutions. Select staff at the Institute also will be made available to support the Fellow in his or her work.


Local Training – Details

Communities selected to pilot a First 1,000 Days program will receive training coordinated by and/or provided by the Fellow to set up successful and outcomes-producing cross-sector collaborative partnerships. These partnerships will be structured around the framework of collective impact.

The project will separately contract with Albany Promise, a local StriveTogether collective impact community organization, to also provide local training. Albany Promise will collaborate with the Fellow in determining the needs for and priorities of training under the project, and the Fellow will coordinate the delivery of these services with training and other support and activity provided directly by the Fellow.

Technical assistance to each of these pilot communities will focus on: 1) building a shared community vision across partners and a local leadership council; 2) adopting a shared guiding outcome measure; 3) building proper data collection and data analysis capacity; and, 4) setting up continuous improvement evaluation cycles.

As the project sites mature, under timing to be determined by the Fellow, the Fellow will provide assistance, training, and coaching as he or she determines is appropriate to each projects site that enables them to: 1) begin reporting out locally on their continuous improvement results; 2) ensure results are shared with partners in ways designed to support project evaluation; and, 3) begin to explore ways in which their local partnership scope can grow to engage other local early childhood program and policy elements.


Project Description

A write-up of the project is available from the Rockefeller Institute. Please contact Brian Backstrom by email at [email protected] or by phone at 518.445.4150 and ask for the write-up of Rockefeller Institute’s First 1,000 Days on Medicaid Partnership Project.


Milestones and Goals

The Rockefeller Institute will develop milestones and expected key activities over the course of the three-year project term and establish goals and expected results for the project in conjunction with the project sponsor. The Fellow will incorporate these milestones and goals as part of the expectations for the project leader.


Application Timeline and Requirements

The Rockefeller Institute intends to complete its evaluation of applications by independent contractors for the Early Childhood Development Fellow (project leader) in January 2019. All letters of interest and submission of qualifications should occur prior to January 15, 2019. If the Rockefeller institute determines that additional candidates for the position are desired, this deadline may be extended. It is anticipated that a final selection of the project leader will be made by January 31, 2019, at the latest.


Interested parties should submit:
  • A formal letter of interest that details the candidate’s experience, fit, and qualifications for the vision of the project. If the applicant is an organization, the letter should clearly identify the individual or individuals within that organization that will be dedicated to the project.
  • A resume.
  • Contact information for professional references.

All information should be labeled “First 1,000 Days Partnership – Fellow” and sent to the attention of Brian Backstrom at:

Rockefeller Institute of Government
411 State Street
Albany, New York  12203


Electronic submissions are strongly preferred, and should be sent via email to: [email protected]rock.suny.edu

All questions should be directed to Brian Backstrom via email or by phone at: 518.445.4150.



The contract for the services of the project leader Fellow will be “all-inclusive,” with the Fellow responsible for the costs of travel, supplies, equipment, etc., necessary for the successful performance of his or her duties. Temporary work space at Rockefeller Institute will be provided for the Fellow as needed.

The contract will be for the three-year term of the project, 2019 through 2021, and will include review of performance and separation terms. Payment under the contract will not exceed $65,000 in 2019, $70,000 in 2020, and $70,000 in 2021.