States and communities use an array of strategies to support the health, development, and well-being of children and families. Although well-intentioned, these efforts are often disconnected — supported by multiple agencies and siloed funding sources — making it difficult to track total available resources and determine how funds are invested for a particular population. Multiple and often complex funding streams make it challenging for government agency leaders and community stakeholders to make decisions on how to efficiently leverage financial resources.

A fiscal map — an inventory of funds directed toward a particular population, service array, or intervention — is one way to tackle the challenges associated with multiple funding streams. The Center for Health Care Strategies, with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, assisted the state of Maryland and Hennepin County, Minnesota, in mapping funding sources for early childhood services. This technical assistance brief examines implementation considerations for fiscal mapping from each of these sites to help inform similar mapping activities in additional states and communities. A companion how-to guide and data collection tool are also available for other states or communities interested in starting a fiscal mapping process.

While this brief and related tools are geared toward applying fiscal mapping to early childhood services, the lessons herein are generalizable to any population.