West Hartford Discovery will be focusing on three main strategies in the next four years:
- 1) Awareness: We will increase the community awareness of value of high quality preschool experiences.
- 2) Resource Development: We will work collaboratively to increase the availability, accessibility, quality, and affordability of preschool education and resources.
- 3) Outreach: We will engage families in accessing community resources for young children.
Our strategic planning team developed action plans that correspond to the strategies. Through our Awareness plans, we will:
- Compile and summarize information on early education research
- Increase awareness of the role of community in engaging and education families about the importance of high quality preschool experiences
- Develop a four-year public relations campaign that delivers the message to the community
Through our Outreach efforts, we plan to:
- Establish consumer-friendly avenues for accessing early childhood resources (development of website, multi-lingual resource directory, host an annual early childhood family fair, provide informational booths at town-wide events)
- Identify barriers that inhibit parents from enrolling children in preschool programs (through surveys, focus groups and collaboration with other entities)
- Increase participation in preschool experiences within high need areas (through neighborhood-friendly social events, collaboration with West Hartford Public Schools and neighborhood agencies)
- Engage parents who use informal childcare providers.
- Improve outreach coordination
Our Resource Development efforts will include:
- Provide, within the larger structure of an Early Childhood Collaborative, the opportunity for existing entities (West Hartford Early Childhood Council, Discovery Project, early educators, library services, etc.) to collaborate
- Establish an Early Childhood Fund that will be used to subsidize ongoing monetary needs related to early care and education
- Implement new and strengthen existing early care and education programs to increase availability
- Utilize “best practices” guidelines/concepts (State of Connecticut Curriculum Framework, NAEYC, etc.) to enhance quality of early care and education
- Provide support for the Board of Education, along with the Town to pass a budget with a line item allocating funds for preschool services in high need areas
- Host a “Transitional to Kindergarten” Meeting for kindergarten teachers and early care and education teachers.