Discovery 2010-14 Strategies and Actions
Strategy 1: Build an early childhood system at both the state and local levels with communities as full partners from creating the vision to implementation.
The Memorial Fund will continue to support local planning and action in up to 52 communities. Grants and intensive technical assistance will support at least 10 communities to implement local early childhood plans already developed, and up to 20 communities to develop new plans. Smaller grants will fund projects in other communities committed to pursuing Discovery’s goal.
The Memorial Fund will continue to support communities and statewide partners to pursue a common policy and practice agenda and to find ways to measure progress.
Starting in 2010, the Memorial Fund will convene communities, statewide organizations, state agencies, policymakers and other stakeholders to create a vision for a more effective early childhood system in Connecticut. We will underwrite facilitation support, expertise, advocacy, research and communications.
The Memorial Fund will support a research agenda about early childhood systems and the roles that community decision-making, parent leadership and policy change play in systemic change.
Strategy 2: Increase parent engagement and leadership in early care and education through information, support and leadership development opportunities.
The Memorial Fund will help local early childhood councils to provide parents with information, connections to services and leadership development opportunities.
The Memorial Fund will continue to challenge the State and other potential funders with matching dollars to provide parent leadership training.
The Memorial Fund will underwrite advocacy for parent leadership and help to create an online network of alumni who want to be engaged in local and statewide children’s issues.
The Memorial Fund will research and link communities to online resources about parenting and child development.
Strategy 3: Improve the quality of and access to family- and center-based early care and education for children from birth through age five.
The Memorial Fund will make grants for advocacy to address quality improvement, workforce development and other means that promote voluntary preschool for all 3- and 4-year-olds and expand services for infants and toddlers.
The Memorial Fund’s community grants will enable local early childhood councils to improve quality and access to early care.
The Memorial Fund will research the role of school districts in providing early childhood education.
In partnership with All Our Kin, the Memorial Fund will help family care providers by developing community networks that can offer accreditation, professional development, business management and other assistance.
Strategy 4: Improve the quality of PreK-3 education in ways that increase early language and literacy development among all children and promote continuity of a child’s learning from preschool through third grade.
The Memorial Fund will co-invest with the Annie E. Casey Foundation and the State Department of Education to pilot in one community a broad-based initiative to increase literacy by grade three. The pilot will draw on multi-generational approaches, community-engagement strategies, and the instructional improvement expertise of the Connecticut Center for School Change.
With our partners, we will share the lessons of the early literacy initiative with other communities, and will support advocacy efforts aimed at improving literacy statewide.
The Memorial Fund will undertake research and share information about best practices for school improvement, including potential roles for state agencies, local districts and public/private partnerships.
The Memorial Fund will support tools and training to help communities align policy and practice from preschool to grade three, starting with the Kindergarten Transition Institute.
Strategy 5: Increase state and local capacity to set goals, measure progress and encourage those most affected to share their own stories.
The Memorial Fund will work with communities and state partners to gather and translate data and experience into stories that can engage citizens, question what does not work, and promote better solutions that support the development of young children.
The Memorial Fund will research and share effective methods that blend measurement and storytelling to help partners identify the questions they want to answer and acquire the skills needed to tell their stories.
The Memorial Fund will continue to support the work of partners to advocate for better access to data, to develop a shared agenda for improving data, and to increase effectiveness of data collection and use.
The Memorial Fund will work with all grantees to identify a common set of indicators/performance measures to show progress within the work supported by Discovery.