The challenge

Migrating to the AWS Cloud was an opportunity for Child Care Aware of America (CCAoA) to revolutionize their organization both technologically and culturally. The 501(c)3 organization serves as an advocate in the childcare space, connecting military and Department of Defense (DoD) families with a network of thousands of childcare providers nationally. Much of CCAoA’s contract work depends on a platform called the Fee Assistance Portal (FAP), which enables contract deliverables for various military branches. The Fee Assistance Portal was more than 10 years old, and technical limitations were causing slowdowns across all parts of the system. CCAoA was concerned about performance and availability—they wanted to guarantee 99.999% uptime and ensure that the platform’s performance met the needs of the growing number of families taking advantage of fee assistance. When presented with a time- sensitive opportunity to significantly further their mission to “advance a childcare system that effectively serves all children and families,” they looked to AWS and Intel for the technological solution, and to AWS Advanced Consulting Partner CDW to help them rethink how they do business from the ground up.


The solution

Here are the steps CDW used to launch a world-class solution:

  1. Define business objectives
  2. Understand the users’ needs
  3. Address technical pain points
  4. Train employees on the new approach
  5. Keep production costs low
  6. Start small

With these steps in mind, CDW and CCAoA developed a prototype using agile design sprints. CCAoA then validated that the app’s front and backend met their needs. Plus, it gave them space to run a smaller subset of the application by their users to get feedback that shaped the rest of the app. The prototype also gave them an existing technology stack to work with, which they fine-tuned as they moved the rest of the application into the AWS Cloud. By moving a small section of the app first, they set themselves up for streamlined migration and left space to incorporate user feedback along the way.  



Today, CCAoA’s flagship application runs solely on Intel CPUs, which were found to be the best fit for compatibility, performance and cost efficiency. Every nonprofit aims to be as efficient as possible to serve their mission, and with Intel’s CPUs, the organization can maximize its reach to new markets while reducing cost. CCAoA currently connects tens of thousands of childcare providers with military families living on and around the nation’s military installations. But they wanted to bring their mission to a much wider audience— and thanks to CDW’s expertise and the technology backbone provided by AWS and Intel, they achieved that goal in 2022. As CCAoA continues to develop an SaaS solution that will serve America’s families, they are also paving the way for other nonprofit organizations to embrace cloud technology, human-centered design, and a more agile approach to fulfilling their missions.

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