United Way of the Greater Seacoast pioneered the Seacoast Early Learning Alliance (SELA), developing it as a new shared services model for area early childhood programs to strengthen business practices and enhance program quality in order to give children a better start.

In the first six months of 2011, Alliance members saved $84,000 in operating costs and reallocated those funds to quality initiatives.  One member saved $26,000 in one year by switching to the shared food vendor and reinvested it back into quality.  Seacoast Early Learning Alliance members saved as much as 25% on commercial insurance with better coverage.

SELA benefits include:

ECE SHARED RESOURCES
ECE Shared Resources is a web-based platform that offers a wealth of tools, services and cost and time-savings for Early Childhood Education programs and professionals. Members gain enormous buying power by joining an existing nationwide pool of purchasers. More information can be found by going to www.ecesharedresources.com and and to earlylearningnh.org/ece_shared_resources.php.

TIME SAVINGS
With this program, the work is done for you so you don’t have to spend hours searching for best practices. Sample policies, procedures, handbooks, forms, interview guides, job descriptions, marketing materials and much more have been created by national ECE experts. All are posted in a format you can download and edit.

COST SAVINGS FOR PROGRAMS
ECE Shared Resources offers national cost savings programs with vendors used by ECE Programs. You join very large pools of buyers, so you get the purchasing and service benefits enjoyed by big players. On average, a center with 100 children saves over $6,000 per year; and a family provider with six children saves over $700 per year. This program pays for itself!

COST SAVINGS FOR PROFESSIONALS
When an ECE program signs up, staff can get their own perks and discounts, access to the online trainings, and download the resources on their own!

QUALITY SUPPORT
The goal of this program is to simplify management functions so that you can spend less time solving problems and managing administrative details and more of your time where it counts the most, face-to-face with the children. Online trainings, including an interactive “Hand Washing” training developed with the Centers for Disease Control, are included and you can assign trainings directly to your staff!

GREAT NORTH ADVANTAGE
Great North Advantage is a ‘boots on the ground,’ people-oriented service.  They provide the facilities management, emergency maintenance, accounting and human resources expertise that early learning centers need – but so rarely have in-house.   They leverage their 20 years of experience managing property and critical vendor relationships to deliver affordable quality improvements and cost savings.  Find more information at www.greatnorthadvantage.com.