Comprehensive early childhood systems have the potential to integrate resources to promote the success of all young children. States vary in their ability to ensure all young children have access to high quality programs. Research indicates that good data, clear communication, and effective management systems are critical to the sustainability of effective early childhood systems. Technical expertise can build the capacity of SEA staff to work side-by-side with state partners to strengthen the early childhood system and achieve school readiness and school success goals for children.

Approaches to State Pre-K Eligibility Policy: Considerations for Policy Makers in Revising Policy to Increase Access for High Needs Children

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Author(s): Megan Carolan and Lori Connors-Tadros
Date: May 2015

This report provides policy makers with information on state-funded pre-K programs’ eligibility policies and the common risk factors used to prioritize enrollment. The risk factors with the strongest impact on children’s school readiness are summarized. The report concludes with considerations for policy makers as they review or revise eligibility to serve more children, effectively and efficiently, in high quality early education programs.  [Executive Report available here]

Building a Comprehensive and Aligned Assessment System for all Children: Birth to Kindergarten

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Date: May 2015

These slides review program requirements related to assessment, a comprehensive framework for aligned assessment, and recommended practices. Jim Squires presented with Mary McLean (Head Start National Center on Quality Teaching and Learning/University of Florida) and Catherine Scott-Little (UNC-Greensboro) at the 2015 National Early Childhood Inclusion Institute.

Planning for the New Early Learning Model: Harnessing Potential in the Next School Improvement Grant Cycle

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Date: April 2015

This webinar, hosted by CEELO and the Center on School Turnaround (CST), reviews the eight components of the new model and discusses key requirements, including school leadership and expanding high quality prekindergarten and full-day kindergarten. Charlie Geier, Director of Early Learning and Intervention in the Office of Early Learning and Intervention, Indiana Department of Education, shares what the new early learning model means for the state of Indiana and examples of how Indiana is working to support the key components of the SIG. (, Webinar)

Peer Learning Community Reflection Form

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Date: March 2015

This tool guides Peer Learning Community members to reflect on the value of  activities they have initiated, or engaged in. Results of the reflection and discussion can inform next steps; content, timing, and format of  future meetings; and activities for action. (PDF) (Word)

Early Education Indicators and School Improvement Grant (SIG) Implications

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Date: March 2015

This presentation introduces new Indistar®Early Chldhood Indicators, which provide an opportunity for stakeholders to use indicators and the associated research to align early childhood education with school improvement efforts. The presentation includes information on how the indicators were selected and how they can be used.  Diane Schilder and Melissa Dahlin gave this presentation at the Fifth Annual Indistar Summit, sponsored by the Center on Innovations in Learning, and hosted by the Arkansas State Department of Education and the South Central Comprehensive Center.

Supporting Principal Leadership for Pre-K through Third Grade Learning Communities

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Date: March 2015

This webinar addresses ways to enhance SEA and LEA leadership capacity for building P -3 communities, cultivate standards of effective practice for P-3 principals and related leaders, develop practical implementation strategies as described by an elementary school principal and state education leaders, and consider implications for state and local policymakers, technical assistance and professional developmental providers, and higher education. The webinar was co-sponsored by the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP), and the National Association of Early Childhood Specialists in State Departments of Education (NAECS-SDE).

Kindergarten as a Critical Link

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Date: March 2015

This presentation focuses on ways that school districts can develop kindergarten policies to both support alignment across the early grades and ensure effective transitions for children and families into elementary school. The session highlights ten policies that support, promote, and enhance the learning and joy of learning for all kindergarten children, leading to positive child outcomes for all. Panelists share how districts and school are enacting and implementing these policies, with a discussion of strategies, approaches, and outcomes. Melissa Dahlin and Shannon Riley-Ayers gave this presentation at the Ounce of Prevention’s Excellence in the Early Grades District Leadership Summit with Vincent Costanza (New Jersey Department of Education), Anne Arnold (Highline Public Schools, WA), and Rick Falkenstein (Kingwood Township School District, NJ).

Peer Learning Community Planning Tool

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Date: March 2015

This tool assists Peer Learning Community members to plan future short-term and long-term activities and goals.  This information can be used by the PLC facilitator to identify meeting goals and resources needed to support PLC actions. (PDF) (Word)

Peer Learning Communities

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Date: January 2015

This presentation identifies the purposes of peer learning communities (PLC), principles for success, stages of a PLC, and key steps, activities, and considerations. Links to resources are available on the final three slides. Kirsty Clarke Brown gave this presentation to the New Jersey Early Learning Academy.

Evaluation of Early Childhood Teachers

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Date: January 2015

This webinar highlights the development, recommended uses, and expected tools from the Evaluating Early Childhood Educators (Prekindergarten through Third Grade) supplement to the Center on Great Teachers and Leader’s resource, Practical Guide to Designing Comprehensive Teacher Evaluation Systems.

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