Developed by and for communities, EC-LINC is dedicated to supporting families and improving results for young children by bringing communities together to accelerate the development and impact of community-based, integrated early childhood systems. EC-LINC brings together pioneering communities that are actively engaged in implementing these results-based, comprehensive and integrated community strategies for the youngest children and their families.
Working together with national experts, communities have a formed learning and innovation network to:
Demonstrate results at the child, family, program, and community-levels.
Harvest and disseminate new and existing information on strategies and lessons learned in ways that are accessible and useful for hundreds of communities.
Tackle tough challenges facing communities as they work to improve immediate and long-term outcomes for young children and their families, particularly those living in neighborhoods of concentrated poverty.
Develop practical state and federal policy and funding recommendations to promote coherent, integrated community strategies that help parents give their young children the best possible start in life.
Convene state and federal leaders to learn in a systematic way about local experiences and the policy recommendations that flow from the knowledge gained from local efforts.
EC-LINC members learn from one another and advance solutions for the toughest challenges they face. They implement solutions, providing a real-time test of their effectiveness, in turn generating a deeper level of learning among the group. These solutions are observed, analyzed, and shared with the field as quickly as possible.
Fourteen exemplary communities with long histories of building effective early childhood systems are members of EC-LINC. Their perspectives and experiences are invaluable to guiding the work and solving common challenges faced by communities together. Member communities and their leading organizations include:
- Alameda County, CA: First 5 Alameda County
- Boston, MA: United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley
- Denver, CO: Denver’s Early Childhood Council
- Hartford, CT: The Office for Community Child Health at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center
- Guilford County, NC: Ready for School, Ready for Life
- Kent County, MI: First Steps
- Lamoille Valley, VT: Lamoille Family Center and Building Bright Futures
- Los Angeles, CA: First 5 LA
- Multnomah County, OR: Early Learning Multnomah
- Onondaga County, NY: Early Childhood Alliance
- Orange County, CA: Children and Families Commission of Orange County
- Palm Beach, FL: Children Services Council of Palm Beach County
- Volusia and Flagler Counties, FL: Thrive by Five
- Ventura, CA: First 5 Ventura County
EC-LINC Current Activities
Building Blocks for Early Learning Communities. In partnership with the National League of Cities, three EC-LINC communities piloted and tested an Early Learning Community Action Guide and Progress Rating Tool.
Shared Results: Outcomes & Metrics. Seven EC-LINC communities have worked together to develop a set of outcomes and indicators for child and family well-being, as well as early childhood system performance measures.
DULCE: Pediatric Care and Social Determinants of Health. Five EC-LINC communities are in their third year of piloting the implementation of DULCE, a pediatric innovation embedded in early childhood systems, building the evidence for what it takes to adopt and adapt this approach in varying locations across the country.
Parent Agency: Parent Voice and Leadership, Emphasizing Equity. Nine EC-LINC communities have joined together in a Community of Practice to advance family engagement in early childhood as a core strategy to advance equity and community empowerment.
Prenatal – Three: National Collaborative for Infants and Toddlers. Ten EC-LINC communities are participating in a set of activities designed to increase the number of children developmentally on track for Kindergarten by addressing women’s prenatal needs and supporting child development from birth to age three.