Early Childhood Systems Building Resource Guide

Policy alignment

Smarter Reform: Moving Beyond Single-Program Solutions to an Early Care and Education System

This paper argues that current approaches to early childhood research, policy development, and investment are too narrow and only address one aspect of the entire system. It advocates for a broader approach that focuses on systemic reform, universal access, improved quality, accountability, increased respect for the value of children and the families who raise them, and increased public investments in services and leadership. The paper culminates with a concrete proposal for reforming the early childhood system.

Comprehensive Early Childhood Systems-Building: A Tool to Inform Discussions on Collaborative, Cross-Sector Planning

The purpose of this tool is to help state and community leaders improve the capacity of their early childhood systems. Comprehensive early childhood systems require work across health, early learning and development, and family support and leadership sectors to achieve goals for thriving children and families. The tool is based on the framework and accompanying graphic developed by the Early Childhood Systems Working Group.

Blending and Braiding Early Childhood Program Funding Streams Toolkit

This toolkit provides guidance and resources related to blending and braiding early childhood funding streams. It was designed to support state advocates and policymakers with making policy choices that facilitate the blending and braiding of funding streams to improve access to and length of children’s participation in high-quality early learning programs.

Systems of Care Toolkits

This set of guides addresses key issues and processes involved in framing an effective system of care infrastructure. Each toolkit discusses related activities, tasks, sustainability, and key partners. They provide examples from the field and perspectives from those who have developed promising practices.

Kids Matter: Improving Outcomes for Children in Washington State

This publication outlines a collaborative and comprehensive strategic framework for building the early childhood system in Washington State in order to improve outcomes for children (Kids Matter). This plan offers a framework that supports the efforts of local and state stakeholders to coordinate, collaborate, and integrate efforts that will lead to children being healthy and ready for school.

The Next Step in Systems-Building: Early Childhood Advisory Councils and Federal Efforts to Promote Policy Alignment in Early Childhood

This report describes States’ progress in establishing and implementing Early Childhood Advisory Councils. It is based on interviews with representatives involved in Early Childhood Advisory Council development in all 50 States. The report also offers recommendations for how to ensure that the councils make a positive impact on the lives of young children and their families.

Local Systems Development

This brief highlights the efforts of 10 States that are developing local systems to build early childhood comprehensive systems and to improve outcomes for children and families. It illustrates various approaches for state-to-local support for developing early childhood systems.


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