To increase the effectiveness of early childhood services, States and communities should strive to build a comprehensive system with an array of services that links young children and their families to the support they need. Use the following resources to learn more about developing an effective and comprehensive early childhood system, including State and local examples.
Best Practices in Data Governance and Management for Early Care and Education: Supporting Effective Quality Rating and Improvement Systems
Weber & Iruka (2014)
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research & Evaluation
Illustrates the need for and benefits of building strong early care and education data governance structures and implementing systemwide data management policies and practices, exemplified by Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS). Describes existing QRIS data systems, the common challenges to data coordination and integrity in these data systems, and provides guidance on best practices related to data governance and the development of integrated data systems that can support QRIS implementation, monitoring, and evaluation.
Building Comprehensive and Collaborative Early Childhood Systems
National Center for Healthy Safe Children
Reviews current early childhood systems and describes the partnerships and State and local level system building and integration efforts that are required for implementing a program that improves coordination across child-serving systems.
Early Childhood Funders Collaborative
Helps States construct a coordinated system of programs, policies, and services that responds to the needs of young children and their families. The initiative created an animated video that explains the systems building process.
Building Stronger Early Childhood Systems
Institute for Child Success
Provides issue briefs, data books, and other materials related to building stronger early childhood systems.
Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems Collaborative Improvement and Innovation Network (ECCS CoIIN)
National Institute for Children’s Health Quality
Provides information on the initiative to improve early childhood service systems to increase developmental skills and reduce disparities among 3-year-old children, including information on participating States, resources, webinars, related content, and related early childhood projects.
Early Childhood Program Standards and Accreditation Criteria
National Association for the Education of Young Children
Presents accreditation criteria focusing on ten standards: relationships, curriculum, teaching, assessment of child progress, health, staff competencies, families, community relationships, physical environment, and leadership and management. The website includes steps and requirements for accreditation as well as information for programs, assessors, and facilitation projects.
Early Childhood State Advisory Councils
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families (2017)
Discusses the work of the State Advisory Councils on Early Childhood Education and Care grant program that enables States to lead the development and enhancement of high-quality, comprehensive early childhood systems that optimize childhood service delivery so that children can succeed in school. The council’s joint statement, reports, and state profile are also available.
Early Childhood Systems
Zero to Three
Provides series, articles, tools, and other resources to support the development of high-quality, affordable early care and education, health and mental health, and family support services.
An Integrated Stage-Based Framework for Implementation of Early Childhood Programs and Systems (PDF - 1,659 KB)
Bartley, Halle, Metz, & Naoom (2015)
U.S. Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation
Introduces and describes key elements of an integrated, stage-based framework for effective implementation in early care and education programs and systems. The brief includes illustrative examples of how this framework can be used in a practical setting.
National Survey of Early Care and Education
Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Describes a project gathering national data on utilization and availability of early care and education (including school-age care) and examining the extent to which families needs and preferences coordinate with providers offerings and constraints.
National Center for Children in Poverty
Promotes improved early childhood policies and practices by helping States strengthen and expand their early childhood systems. Resources include the virtual policy-sharing network and summaries of State early childhood activities.
Starting Strong: Policy Ideas for Quality Child Care and Early Childhood Development (PDF - 329 KB)
Provides recommendations for states to expand access to child care and early childhood development services. The brief includes three examples of this work in practice.
Transforming Early Childhood Systems
National Institute for Children’s Healthy Quality
Provides information, facts, collaborative partners, and related content on the initiatives to improve early childhood systems, such as the Strengthening Early Childhood Comprehensive System Through Policy and Cross-State Learning Efforts and the Strive Together Prenatal-Three Impact And Improvement Network, in order to increase child health outcomes.
United Way of Connecticut (2017)
Outlines the partnership and collaboration between the United Way of Connecticut and the Connecticut Office of Early Childhood to create an early childhood comprehensive system.
Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems
University of South Florida, College of Public Health
Provides information on Florida’s Early Comprehensive Systems (ECCS) Impact grant, including annual reports, evaluation measures, community profiles, and additional resources.
Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems Impact Initiative (ECCS Impact)
Council on Children and Families
Provides information and resources on New York’s project to enhance early childhood systems building and improve developmental health and family well-being outcomes.
Early Childhood Iowa
Provides reports, policies and procedures, toolkits, and other resources on Iowa’s initiative to collaborate efforts across communities to improve early care, education, health, and human services.
Early Childhood Systems
Describes the features of Wisconsin’s efforts to build and integrate services and supports that promote mental, social, and physical health and development.
Early Childhood Systems Working Group
BUILD Initiative (2017)
Shows the focus areas, funding, and early childhood comprehensive systems of the District of Columbia, Georgia, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Washington.
Early Lessons Learned from Building Local Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems in Texas
Ayrhart, Bobbitt, Boelter, & Osborne (2014)
Family Well-Being and Social Environment, 5(7)
Provides five useful takeaways from an implementation evaluation of the efforts to build childhood comprehensive systems in Texas. The report concludes with recommendations for future work.