Partnerships are essential to mobilizing the community around early care and education. The good news is that there are many individuals and organizations that are committed to improving early childhood outcomes. Read below and click the links to the right to learn more.
As superintendents begin to assess relevant partnerships, they will find that the relationships inside their organization matter just as much as those beyond their purview. Before reaching out into the community, superintendents should assess whose work in their organization touches early childhood, and what district resources are at their disposal to support, engage, and empower these internal partners as a part of initial district planning.
Across the state, programs are collaborating to leverage resources and take good ideas to scale through our Community Early Childhood Councils. These Councils, funded in part by grants from the Governor’s Office of Early Childhood, serve as a catalyst for bringing community members together to support issues of importance to children and families, and address the unique needs and strengths of local communities related to early childhood. Community Early Childhood Councils support school readiness by responding to the unique needs of their communities.
Parents and caring adults are children’s first and best teachers, and essential partners in any program aimed at children. Every parent has aspirations for their child, and wants to see them learn and grow to be successful in adulthood.
Early Childhood Programs
Early childhood professionals understand that the education and training of early childhood caregivers and educators is strongly correlated with favorable outcomes for young children in early care and education programs. Early childhood caregivers and educators want to provide high quality care and education for children within a framework of best practices standards. They also want to understand their own practices with children within the context of the entire education continuum, birth through elementary and secondary education.
Head Start and Early Head Start
The Head Start program (for children ages three to five) and Early Head Start program (for pregnant women, infants, and toddlers) promote school readiness for children in low-income families by providing comprehensive educational, health, nutritional, and social services. Both programs provide pre-literacy and literacy experiences in a multi-cultural environment. Parents are also provided social services, including assistance with childcare. Services are also available to migrant and seasonal farm worker families.
Early Intervention and Home Visiting
Early intervention means to provide appropriate services and supports to families that enhance children’s growth and development, particularly those with developmental delay. There are a variety of services that are available to children and families. First Steps is available in all of Kentucky’s counties, and provides services primarily by referral. Families enrolled in HANDS Home Visiting can have access to information and resources, and specialists who may offer services in their home. In partnership with cross sector allies in early childhood, communities mobilize around children in all early childhood environments to identify the needs of children and direct families to the full range of resources.