Policy Matters: ECE Planning In the Real World

Policy Matters takes states through a three-phase process that combines broad, long-range, systemic visions with the policy analysis needed to identify and produce short-term, politically feasible policy victories.  Aligned with the Policy Matters project of the Center for the Study of Social Policy, we provide state-specific technical assistance to individual states on their school readiness policies. Using a semi-structured 14- to 18-month process adapted to each state’s unique context, we engage a diverse set of state-based stakeholders in a series of analytic, synthetic, and catalytic activities related to a broad set of school readiness policy options. This process includes an audit of the current state policies across early care and education, health, mental health, family support, and K-3 education, as well as a comparison of the state’s policies with national recommendations and state-developed policy goals. This information is combined with results from an analysis of the state’s political context to identify a few politically feasible policy options.

In the final stage of the project, state policymakers work with NCCF to develop action tools (e.g., legislation) and a detailed policy plan for implementing the policy change. To date, this work has been completed with Ohio, Mississippi, North Carolina, and Colorado; work is underway in West Virginia and Florida. We welcome inquiries from other states.

Funding Sources: Carnegie Corporation of New York.

Contact: Sharon Lynn Kagan, Ed.D.