Request for Proposals: Website and Design Support

Request for Proposals: Website and Design Support

Request for Proposals: Website and Design Support 

About Children’s Institute 

Children’s Institute (CI) envisions an Oregon where every child is prepared for success in school and life. To meet this goal, we advocate for strategic investments in high-quality early childhood education and healthy development while highlighting effective strategies to improve outcomes for children. We also develop and implement programs that demonstrate the essential components of an integrated early care and education system, prenatal through third grade.  

Our advocacy and implementation efforts strive to connect research, lived experience, and community voice as we work toward accountable advocacy. We work to ensure that more children who experience barriers to opportunity due to poverty, race, disability and/or geography succeed in kindergarten and meet third grade benchmarks. 

Website and Design  

Children’s Institute is seeking a contractor or firm to provide technical support and maintenance of our website, design services for the website and other collateral, and marketing support. The website is built in WordPress and uses the Divi building platform. It features ecommerce capabilities, members-only content that requires sign in and account maintenance, and a range of plugins that impact functionality and design. Many of CI’s design needs are related to website design but also translate to other digital and print collateral. This work would be performed on an ongoing basis and in collaboration with the communications team at Children’s Institute. 

Required Skills 

  • Ability to maintain the website, including features listed above, and keep it updated and secure in a timely manner 
  • Visual and website design skills, ideally in the nonprofit sector 
  • Ability to build website content on the WordPress platform, including custom CSS and mobile responsive layouts 
  • Provide cost estimates for individual projects as they develop during the contract period 
  • Marketing expertise to help drive website traffic and engagement 
  • Ability to work collaboratively with team members at Children’s Institute

To Apply 

Please send a proposal sharing your background, skills, applicable links to your portfolio and interest in working on a contract basis with Children’s Institute.

Please also include: a sample itemized budget for a project, cost for ongoing monthly website maintenance, and your equity values or statement, if available. We anticipate that the contract would include a baseline monthly rate with an annual not to exceed cap. Individual projects, such as building a new set of custom pages, would need separate estimates subject to approval.  

  • Proposals are due Friday, August 2, 2024, or until a proposal has been accepted.
  • Questions can be directed to Rafael Otto, Director of Communications,

CI staff will review proposals on a rolling basis and will contact applicants with questions as needed.  



Key Findings from the Oregon Early Childhood Health Summit, Report

Key Findings from the Oregon Early Childhood Health Summit, Report


This year, Children’s Institute and Trauma Informed Oregon (TIO) co-hosted the Oregon Early Childhood Summit. This event brought together cross-sector partners from early childhood, health and behavioral health, education and special education, advocacy, and philanthropy to build a shared vision and plan for early childhood social-emotional health, and to ensure all children are included in education and care.

We know that early childhood experiences set a foundation for a lifetime of well-being and success. That’s why it is critically important to prioritize social-emotional health during the earliest years of a child’s life. With this in mind, the summit focused on exploring strategies for enhancing social-emotional support for children and families.

The summit also aimed to unearth effective practices, innovative ideas, and systemic changes needed to ensure that all children have the opportunity to thrive.

Following this event, Children’s Institute and TIO produced a social-emotional health report, informed by focused sessions and conversations from participants who attended the gathering.


Oregon Early Childhood Summit Report

SEH Report_CI+TIO_2024 by Children's Institute

Key Findings

Vision for Children’s Social and Emotional Health

  • Attendees shared a comprehensive vision for promoting children’s social-emotional health, rooted in child-centered care, community support, social-emotional learning, equity, inclusion, and trauma-informed care.
  • This holistic vision emphasizes the importance of creating environments where children feel safe, supported, and empowered to express themselves authentically.
  • By prioritizing the well-being of children and families, stakeholders envision a future where every child has the opportunity to reach their full potential.

What is Working for Children and Families?

  • Transparent communication, cultural responsiveness, community collaboration, equity initiatives, trauma-informed care, and family-centered approaches emerged as effective strategies for supporting children and families.
  • Participants highlighted successful programs and initiatives that foster trust, partnership, and family empowerment.
  • By leveraging community strengths and centering families’ voices and experiences, stakeholders identified promising practices for promoting social-emotional health and resilience.

Untried Ideas, Changes in Policy or Practices

  • Proposed solutions included advocating for equity and access, enhancing community engagement, investing in professional development, driving systemic change, implementing trauma-informed care, and empowering families.
  • Stakeholders explored innovative approaches to address systemic barriers and promote the well-being of children and families.
  • By challenging the status quo and embracing new ideas, attendees identified opportunities for transformative change in early childhood systems and practices.

Actions to Move Forward

  • Participants called for increased funding, collaboration, equity initiatives, professional development opportunities, policy reform, family engagement efforts, and systemic change.
  • These actions reflect a shared commitment to building more inclusive, supportive early childhood systems that prioritize the needs of children and families.
  • By advocating for bold action and mobilizing resources, stakeholders aim to create lasting impact and positive change in early childhood care and education.

What We’re Reading: Oregon KIDS Count Data

What We’re Reading: Oregon KIDS Count Data

In June, the Annie E. Casey Foundation released its 2023 KIDS COUNT data book with national and state-level data on child well-being across four core areas: economic well-being, education, health, and family and community. The 34th edition of this critical assessment shows ways each state is fighting to care for families, but also ways in which the country’s lack of affordable and accessible child care negatively affects children, families and U.S. businesses.

From the KIDS COUNT Data Book website: 

This year’s Data Book presents a picture of how the COVID-19 pandemic impacted child well-being in the United States, making comparisons between 2019 and 2021 where possible. As the nation recovers from the coronavirus crisis, the latest data on the well-being of kids, youth and families can be found in the KIDS COUNT Data Center at

Overall, Oregon ranked 26th in the nation across categories, finishing relatively high in the health-related categories and contrastingly low across the board in education. Read through the breakdown of categories below to get a closer look at how Oregon compares nationally in these key indicators, and learn about what CI is doing to improve child well-being and early education. 

Economic Well-Being

  • Currently, 17 percent of all children in the United States — 12.2 million kids total — are living in poverty. In Oregon, this percentage is slightly lower, affecting 14 percent, but still greatly increasing the risks of social emotional, behavioral and health challenges for children across the state.
  • Oregon has higher rates than the national average of children whose parents lack secure employment as well as households with a high housing cost burden. Economic challenges of this nature are entrenched in systemic oppression and lack of access to resources that should be available for all. 
  • To directly combat these difficult circumstances and fight for better futures, CI advocates for legislation that increases employment opportunities and child care facilities for families across the state. 


  • Health is Oregon’s highest ranking of the KIDS COUNT Data Book at #7 nationally.  
  • Though the state’s rate of children with health insurance and death of young folks per 100,000 people is better than the national average, these categories have worsened for Oregon over the past two years.
  • Additionally, more progress must be made in Oregon for research and care addressing children’s social, emotional and mental health metric. At CI, we are working with the Oregon Pediatric Improvement Partnership (OPIP) to 1) Gather insightful health complexity data, 2) Shift attention to social emotional health services for children from birth to age 5, and 3) Help Oregon’s Medicaid system focus on prevention and investment in young children. Learn more in our recent podcast, Taking Action to Improve Social Emotional Services for Young Children: The Power of Data and Metrics. 

Family and Community

  • Examining the resources and support available to families through community is a critical component of the two-generation approach to ending poverty: looking to the needs of parents and children at the same time so that both can succeed together. When communities offer safety, good schools, and accessible support for families at every socioeconomic level, children are more likely to thrive. 
  • From our community-integrated Early Works programs to the mission of our Early Learning Academy, CI is working to help schools and care providers engage community partners, improve practices, and foster meaningful connections with families. As a result, our partners build strong ties that can lead to better outcomes for children across the state. 


  • Early academic experiences lay the groundwork for lifelong success, yet our country consistently fails to provide sufficient access for early education. The same rings true in Oregon, where every county could be categorized as a child care desert and a growing percentage of children aged 3-4 are not in school. 
  • In CI’s programmatic initiatives and across our legislative agenda, we are working to support more access to preschool and higher support for literacy across the state. Learn more about our Campaign for Grade Level Reading as well as our 2023 Oregon Legislative Session wins for early learning (including launching a NEW state agency, the Department of Early Learning and Care).

For more of the latest data from KIDS COUNT, head to the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s website to explore their interactive map of 2023 findings. 


Nurturing Child Development Through Inclusive Stories: A Conversation with JaNay Brown-Wood

Nurturing Child Development Through Inclusive Stories: A Conversation with JaNay Brown-Wood


On this episode of the Early Link Podcast, host Rafael Otto sits down with JaNay Brown-Wood, an award-winning children’s author, poet, educator and scholar. She writes about stories that celebrate diversity, inclusivity, self-esteem, and learning. 

JaNay’s first children’s book, “Imani’s Moon,” was published in 2014 and won the NAESP Children’s Book of the Year Award, and was featured on Stephen Colbert’s “The Late Show,” and Storytime with the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  

During this episode, JaNay shares how her personal experiences and passion for child development and supporting children, led her to write children’s books with an emphasis on diversity, representation, and inclusivity. She also talks about the importance of engaging young children in language and how this sets the foundation for building early literacy skills. JaNay shares her creative storytelling process and offers words of wisdom to listeners about pursuing their creative dreams. Finally, she talks about infant development and her hopes and dreams for young children. 

More about The Early Link Podcast

The Early Link Podcast highlights national, regional, and local voices working in early childhood education and the nonprofit sector. The podcast is written, hosted, and produced by Rafael Otto, Children’s Institute’s director of communications.

Becoming Optimistic Leaders for Children with Judy Jablon

Becoming Optimistic Leaders for Children with Judy Jablon


On this episode of the Early Link Podcast, Rafael Otto speaks with Judy Jablon, founder and executive director of Leading for Children. Judy discusses her initial leap into the early learning field after working with young children at Bank Street College in New York City, an experience that led her to a career in teaching young children, and later, adults. She shares her experiences working with educators, being a curious learner, and the importance of being optimistic leaders for children. She also talks about her book, The Five Commitments of Optimistic Leaders, and shares how early childhood educators can embrace optimistic leadership. Finally, Judy talks about how an intentional focus on equity is vital in working with children, adults, and educators.  

Judy Jablon has spent more than 35 years in early childhood education, working in the classroom, and teaching at Bank Street College. Her work has focused on helping educators use their collective wisdom to support and extend learning in young children. Judy is the author of many publications and videos, including The Five Commitments of Optimistic Leaders for Children, Powerful Interactions, and Coaching with Powerful Interactions.  

More about The Early Link Podcast

The Early Link Podcast highlights national, regional, and local voices working in early childhood education and the nonprofit sector. The podcast is written, hosted, and produced by Rafael Otto, Children’s Institute’s director of communications.