Outsourced consumer websites: Worth it?
The reality: most states have limited IT resources. While early care and education is one of the most vital programs available, larger state agencies or those dealing with life and death issues often receive IT support first. The trickle-down effect is that some states struggle to find the resources needed to offer consumers a user-friendly education website that helps parents find the quality child care they need.
These websites are critical to parents, though, and are often the “front door” to CCDF services and child care assistance. They play a key role in our ability to meet CCDF requirements and the needs of our funders, as well as offer parents a variety of support resources to make informed decisions.
Some states are contracting these websites to outside agencies, third-party vendors or even state universities in order to meet program-specific needs. A former East Coast state administrator who did just this, said, “We weighed the pros and cons. While it may have cost more upfront, I would argue it cost us far less in the long run because we ended up with a website that meets the needs of our funders and clients. Ultimately, it proved to be more cost-effective.”
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