Alabama’s Blueprint for Zero to Five was developed through the Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems (ECCS) Initiative of the Alabama Department of Public Health, building on the report of the Early Learning Commission and the Systems Mapping Initiative. The Blueprint is offered as the starting point for directing resources and efforts toward what has proven to make a difference. Viewed as a structure for planning, funding, advocacy, accountability, and policy decisions, statewide support for the Blueprint as the comprehensive plan for children’s healthy development and school readiness results from state leadership, input from local service providers and parents, and a unified message about what young children need to develop optimally.
The brief outline of the plan is based on the report from the National School Readiness Indicators Initiative, a 17-state initiative with these objectives:
- to create a set of measurable indicators related to and defining school readiness that can be tracked over time at the state and local levels;
- to have states and local governments adopt this indicators-based definition of school readiness, fill in gaps in data availability, track data over time and report findings to the citizens;
- to stimulate policy, program and other actions to improve the ability of all children to read at grade level by the end of the third grade.
Implementation of the work is directed by a statewide advisory committee and is an on-going process of defining priorities, supporting specific actions and programs, identifying or developing data sources, and measuring and reporting results. Local communities also use the Blueprint to build local partnerships, identify community resources and needs, and develop a plan for optimum child development that is based in research and has measurable indicators.
Blueprint for Zero to Five Resources