State Systems Guides
The following links will take you to the digital versions of the guides. PDF versions are available on the landing page of each digital guide or through the site search.
Understanding Systems Building is a starting point for state and territory leaders who are interested in early childhood systems building. Beginning with definition and methods of building early childhood systems, the guide also covers system integration and common themes in systems building. The guide includes examples of both systems building initiatives and early childhood systems in states and localities as well as resources and tools that can be used to assess the strengths and opportunities in an early childhood system
Capacity Building Self-Assessment Tool offers a method for states and territories to assess their capacity to improve their early childhood system. This tool allows any group or organization to identify strengths and challenges in planning and achieving specified goals.
Equity This chapter of the Early Childhood Systems Building Resource Guide introduces equity in early childhood systems. In the chapter, equity is defined and examined within the context of state and federal early childhood systems. Equity is also examined using dimensions of capacity building from the Early Childhood Systems Building Resource Guide: Capacity Building Self-Assessment and examples from across the country are provided to illustrate each dimension. Resources to delve deeper into this important topic are offered along with definitions of common terms.
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.
Leadership provides a framework of adaptive leadership principles and competencies that aim to help state leaders build capacity to think more clearly and execute better in a constantly shifting environment so that they can energize others to make progress on both opportunities and challenges. Additionally, this chapter presents two brain-based models (SCARF and SEEDS) from the field of applied neuroscience that work to improve both our individual and shared leadership practices as well as our approaches for leading change.
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.
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.
Project Management addresses project management approaches with an early childhood systems building lens. It shares resources, tools, and considerations for project management within states and territories and features examples from early childhood programs and systems.
Stakeholder Communications addresses the benefits of communicating and engaging with stakeholders, communication plans, making the most of stakeholder meetings, and resources. 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.
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.
Strategic Relationships address building and sustaining strategic relationships in the context of systems building, value of strategic relationships, and initiating and sustaining strategic relationships. This guide also provides resources and quick tips for CCDF Administrators.
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.