Case Study: Creating a More Coordinated Early Childhood System
Learn how Mississippi established a unified vision, mapped its assets, set data-driven priorities, and leveraged funding to pursue a more coordinated, equitable birth to five early childhood system.
Mississippi’s newly appointed State Early Childhood Advisory Council (SECAC) wanted to rebuild trust by setting an inclusive, transparent tone within the early childhood community and establishing a common system vision. SECAC sought a better understanding of how to leverage all available funding streams to move toward a more coordinated, sustainable, equitable birth to five early childhood system in Mississippi. In response to advocates, SECAC also sought ways to remove barriers and increase program access for children and families.
Restructuring a state-wide system is no simple task. The Start Early Team was integral in the development of an actionable plan and creation of a cohesive vision for the future of Mississippi’s ECE system. Whether it was contributing to brainstorming sessions, trouble-shooting potential issues, or working through logistics, they had us covered.Chad Allgood, Ph.D., Mississippi Department of Human Services
SECAC and Start Early’s collaboration resulted in three important outcomes for SECAC:
- Relaunched Council: The new SECAC now meets regularly and maintains clear communication with constituents. Through interviews, focus groups, and town halls SECAC is centering the voices of those served by its system and working toward a unified vision.
- Comprehensive System Mapping & New Data-Driven Priorities: SECAC and its stakeholders now have a comprehensive map of Mississippi’s early childhood system and its strengths and opportunities. Drawing from this report developed by Start Early, SECAC has identified the state’s urgent priorities, including:
• Address the early childhood workforce crisis and compensation issues to stem turnover and fill vacancies
• Improve early intervention services and the state’s ability to serve families in their natural environment
- Strategic Planning Process: SECAC adopted a new strategic vision framework, and system-wide strategic planning work is now underway in SECAC committees.
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