Jumpstarting Change Across Systems

As part of CSSP’s work with the National Collaborative for Infants and Toddlers (NCIT), we’ve produced three community action briefs which document and promote strategies that communities can use to jumpstart a prenatal-to-three focus across systems including ones focused on equity, data, and parent and family engagement.

Equity in Early Childhood Systems: A Community Action Brief
This brief emphasizes ten domains where leaders can have an impact on making sure all families with young children have access to high-quality programs and services. Three communities in action are profiled, illustrating how they have advanced equitable outcomes for young children through data, policy analysis, access, quality, partnerships and more.

Using Data to Advance Outcomes for Young Children & Families: A Community Action Brief
This brief presents three examples of communities using their data to answer fundamental questions about how best to support the needs of young children and their families. Topics include: aligning key stakeholders in the community on behalf of a common goal, reaching all families in need, including those who may be hard to reach, and using data to inform service delivery.

Parent and Family Engagement: A Community Action Brief
This brief shares core principles that promote effective strategies to engage and partner with parents of young children. Examples of collaboration, communication, sustained engagement, and system-level involvement are presented. The brief profiles communities that have made parent and family engagement a high priority from provider level training to parent leadership in government.

If you’re looking for even more research, tools, and materials to help you make the case for strengthening prenatal-to-three services and systems, check out the recently launched www.thencit.org.  Here you’ll find tools like NCIT’s Outcomes Framework, a model for building and sustaining locally responsive programs, policies and systems in early childhood. Or you can use the NCIT Data Guidebook which lays out a set of evidence-based metrics to track the health and development of children prenatally through age three. You can even find state and county specific data about important indicators of child and family well-being! NCIT’s website also provides ready-made materials to aid you in educating decision-makers at all levels about the importance of the prenatal to three period. Whether it’s examples of best practices, tips for how you can get started promoting prenatal to three systems, tools for measuring your impact, materials for making the case, or just connections to other communities doing this work, the NCIT website places prenatal to three resources at your fingertips.

Erin Robinson is a Policy Analyst at CSSP.