Practical guides are available, providing practical information that state leaders can use to support early childhood systems building.  Printable guides are available as follows:

Systems Building Resource Guide 1: Leadership shares leadership approaches and issues that are often in play during times of change, including:  Change Management, Teams and Change, Governance, Decisionmaking, Conflict Resolution, Public-Private Partnerships, and also provides Resources.

Strategic planning is an essential part of early childhood systems building, providing a State and its partners with a coherent vision and roadmap. Systems Building Resource Guide 2: Strategic Plans provides an overview of key concepts linking strategic planning and systems building (i.e., delineating what strategic planning is and why it is important to systems building), strategic planning in a nutshell (i.e. key elements, quick tips for strategic planning, and dangers to avoid in the planning process), an organizational design approach that helps to accelerate the work getting done, examples of statewide and city-specific strategic plans, and resources. 

As States have embarked on many significant and often transformative efforts to strengthen their approach to early learning, they face new challenges on sustaining effective work that is contributing to their goals for early learning. Systems Building Resource Guide 3: Sustaining Gains addresses sustainability and systems building; sustainability planning and implementation in a nutshell; the sustainability timeline; the people, including participants, partners and consultants; policy, legislation and regulation; overcoming challenges; and cross-sector resources. 

Successful early childhood systems building in States and Territories requires CCDF Administrators to build strong, trusting relationships throughout the State and its systems. Building relationships may seem like a simple and straightforward task, but as experts have suggested, it requires a serious investment of time, discipline, and a fair amount of humility to develop relationships in a way that will help lead to successful systems. Systems Building Resource Guide 4: Strategic Relationships addresses building and sustaining strategic relationships in the context of systems building, value of strategic relationships, and initiating and sustaining strategic relationships; and provides quick tips for CCDF Administrators and resources. 

One of the key responsibilities of the CCDF SA is to draw attention to issues facing young children and families, to communicate how specific policies and initiatives can lead to a stronger start for children, and to show how early learning is essential to later success in school and life. Engaging stakeholders, parents, State and local officials, philanthropy and business leaders in conversation about the importance of high quality early childhood services, and the challenges inherent in providing them, requires collaborative leadership and thoughtful, intentional planning to discern what children really need at home, school, and in the community to be successful.  Systems Building Resource Guide 5: Stakeholder Communications addresses the benefits of communicating and engaging with stakeholders, communication plans, making the most of stakeholder meetings, and resources. 

Program design and implementation are central to state work in support of effective, quality services for children and their families. Systems Building Resource Guide 6: Program Design and Implementation provides state leaders with 1) information about a structured process to support program design and implementation, 2) examples from States and local jurisdictions, and 3) tools and resources. This guide serves as an introduction for state leaders and their partners as they plan and install early care and education programs. 

Financing an early childhood system is an essential part of systems building. Providing a State and its partners with approaches for a sound and solvent finance strategy is critical. Systems Building Resource Guide 7: Financing Strategically provides an overview of key concepts linking State financing options and systems building. The focus is on defining key state-based financing strategies, providing an overview of practical financial management practices, and reviewing financing forecasting tools.  

Systems Building Resource Guide 8: Program Evaluation and Continuous Quality Improvement is designed to help States and Territories understand more about evaluation and CQI. It is intended for early childhood leaders who are not evaluators, such as state administrators and their partners. The guide introduces a range of evaluation and CQI approaches and practices that reflect the richness of these fields. It also provides an overview of additional resources for deeper exploration, including how-to manuals and other instruction materials. 

Systems Building Resource Guide 9: Capacity Building Self-Assessment Tool aims to highlight capacities to improve your early childhood system. It can be useful in and around your organization, system, or any project you are launching. This tool allows any group or organization to identify strengths and challenges in planning and achieving specified goals.