Five Steps for State and Community Leaders to Increase Equitable Access to Early Care and Education
Many state early childhood leaders prioritize identifying and addressing inequities in access to early childhood programs and services, but this process can be overwhelming. Child Trends and a dozen states and communities participating in the National Collaborative for Infants and Toddlers have been working together to promote equitable access to programs and services and to better serve all children and families. The brief by Child Trends, Five Steps for State and Community Leaders to Increase Equitable Access to Early Care and Education outlines successful efforts in Michigan, Illinois, and New Jersey and identifies actions state and community leaders can take, including:
- Adopt a family-centric definition of equitable access
- Examine, and when possible, disaggregate existing data on early childhood programs and services to identify equitable access challenges
- Identify a specific region, county, community, or zip code within which to focus an exploration of equitable access.
- Collect information about community- and family-level perceptions of and experiences with access.
- Co-develop strategies with families and early childhood community partners.