Area 2: Access to Resources

Access to More Resources for Children and Families

The phrase “access and availability” is commonly used in discussions on the early care and education needs of children and families, reflecting the deep interrelationship between the presence of resources (availability) and the ability of families to locate and secure them (access). However closely linked these two concepts are, the strategies for improving access are not the same as those for increasing availability. The focus of this plan is on increasing access to child care-related resources, especially in rural and remote areas of Hawaiʻi, by expanding community-based partnerships.

Key Priorities for Collective Action

Increase supports for families, children, and providers, including state departments' capacity to deliver wrap-around supports, and increase families’ ability to navigate resources as informed consumers when accessing services. (BB2, iv, drawn from the Hawaiʻi Early Childhood State Plan, 2019-2024)

Objective 1

Providers of all types and families are actively utilizing a resource hub – virtually and/or physically – and report being able to locate resources to meet identified needs.

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  • Aloha United Way/2-1-1

  • Department of Human Services

  • Early Childhood Action Strategy:

    • Team 4: Equitable Access to Programs & Services – Keiki Central Subcommittee

  • Executive Office on Early Learning


  1. Support ongoing design and implementation of Department of Human Services’ Benefits Eligibility Solution (BES) project.

  2. Drawing on successful models at the national level and partnering with community members and leaders at the state and local level, identify ways to make services more accessible and convenient for families that are navigating through multiple State of Hawaiʻi systems by developing systemic navigation hubs and supports. (BB5, vi, modified)

  3. Working with providers of navigation hubs, develop a system for moving families to intervention and/or case management services when navigation is insufficient to meet individual or family needs.

Indicators of Success

  • Eligibility integration has been implemented and is online.

  • Commitment exists for expansion of a physical hub to one more community and the resources to do so.

  • Federal resources for physical hub expansion are secured.

  • Long-term: Physical navigation sites are widely dispersed throughout all the Islands.

  • Triage system is mapped out.

  • Training is being provided to navigators.

Objective 2

Providers, information network leaders, and families in communities statewide understand how to access information and resources based on proactive information-sharing and ongoing training.

Click to View Objective 2 Details


  • Aloha United Way/2-1-1

  • Department of Human Services

  • Early Childhood Action Strategy:

    • Team 4: Equitable Access to Programs & Services – Keiki Central Subcommittee

  • Executive Office on Early Learning



  1. Early Care and Education Provider-Focused
    Understand the constraints experienced by early care and education providers and support services partners (e.g., housing and shelter partners) in enrolling children from vulnerable families into early care and education settings and services

  2. All Types of Providers-Focused
    Provide training and outreach to providers of programs and services of all types on available resources and network opportunities

  3. Family-Focused
    Ensure parenting resources, support programs, and parenting classes are available in all communities, are culturally responsive for diverse families, and are accessible in the state’s two official languages, as well as in dominant immigrant languages (BB2, i)

Indicators of Success

  • Providers are trained in 1-3 prioritized communities

  • 2-1-1 usage data exists on who is calling and for what

  • Inventory of existing resources by zip code is available

  • At least one training focusing on available resources and/or network opportunities has occurred on each island

  • Gaps have been identified and prioritized for action

  • Expanding services to address priority gaps has been initiated

  • Translation of materials has been initiated

Objective 3

Collaborative partners are working on and with the structures for accessing services, they are achieving common goals, and they are encouraged to share knowledge, questions, and feedback on a regular basis.

Click to View Objective 3 Details


  • Aloha United Way/2-1-1

  • Department of Human Services

  • Early Childhood Action Strategy:

    • Team 1: Healthy & Welcomed Births

    • Team 2: Safe & Nurturing Families

    • Team 3: On-Track Health & Development

    • Team 4: Equitable Access to Programs & Services

    • Team 5: High Quality Early Learning Programs

    • Team 6: School Readiness for Successful Transitions

    • Policy Team

    • Funders’ Hui


  1. Utilize the Early Childhood State Plan's Priorities for Collective Action to enhance collaboration, bring government agencies together (and also government/nonprofit organizations) to generate innovative, collaborative projects and continue to move the work forward to implementation (e.g., state and county departments identify administrative gaps and convene to align them)

Indicators of Success

  • Progress on Priorities for Collective Action in Hawaiʻi Early Childhood State Plan reported annually

  • Children's Cabinet has been established

Needs Assessment Summary



  • 33% of Hawaiʻi children live below 200% of the federal poverty level, but average cost of center-based child care for 3-4-year-old is $9,553; infant care is $13,404; toddler care is $11,904

  • There are some supports through no-cost settings, subsidies, scholarships, and sliding fees


  • Child care assistance reaches 4.7% of estimated income eligible population

  • School complexes at greatest risk: Hilo & Waiakea, Ka‘u, Kohala, Kona, Laupahoehoe, Pahoa, Hana, Lana‘i, Moloka‘i and Wai‘anae/Nanakuli

  • Family priorities are cost and flexible drop off/pick up time


  • Target resources to communities experiencing the highest need

  • Deepen understanding of the transportation barrier

  • Address state constitution’s prohibition on public funds distributed to private sector education programs

System Fragmentation


  • Many different state agencies administer early childhood programs and services, but no unified eligibility criteria or application process

  • Unclear state and federal funding mechanisms to enlarge available resources, combined with differing views on Hawaiʻi’s efforts to optimize federal funding opportunities


  • State agency leaders report difficulties reaching rural areas and ensuring adequate services of every type


  • Increase tele-help services by increasing availability and reliability of technology, internet access, and bandwidth, as well as workforce and family capacity to utilize technology

  • Develop hub models that allow families to access multiple services at a single physical or virtual site

Eligibility Requirements


  • Families report the application processes are long, tedious, rushed, require extensive documentation, and are complicated by cultural and language barriers

  • Redetermining eligibility every 6 months is challenging


  • No additional information generated


  • Provide continuous 12-month eligibility for child care subsidies

  • Revise family copayments for child care subsidies at or below 7% of family income for households of three at or below 150% of the federal poverty level

  • Enact administrative rules necessary to enable recommendations

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Additional Information

Area Summary

Full SIP

Individual SIP revisions (coming soon)