Design and Implementation

Public sector programs have special responsibility to be accountable and to have a positive impact. Programs should be well designed with a clear set of goals and objectives that are strengths based, data informed, and results oriented. Well-designed, public sector programs that are inclusive, equitable, and effectively implemented set a strong foundation for achieving positive outcomes for all children and families.

Unlike any other time in recent history, the global coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has exacerbated the crisis experienced by the early childhood education (ECE) community in this country. Far too many families cannot afford child care, making it hard for them to work or attend school or training. In addition, some early childhood educators cannot access education or training, and some still earn poverty-level wages. Finally, some children do not have access to high-quality early learning environments and lack critical supports for their health and well-being. The guiding principles for planning and program implementation outlined in this chapter give state leaders and their partners steps to follow and examples to consider as they respond to these concerns and the changing needs of the early childhood system.