Early Care and Education 740

Early education systems work together to support school readiness

woman teaching a childWhat We Do

We collaborate with schools, community organizations, and local funders to establish effective partnerships and encourage alignment in strategies that will promote school readiness for all children.

Why We Do It

Research shows that the first few years of education are critical to a child’s later school success. A child’s early learning experiences form the foundation of reading, counting, and social interaction. Children are best set up for kindergarten success when early learning programs align, providing a continuity in quality and instruction.

Our Results

Our advocacy efforts and financial support have helped increase the availability of high-quality preschool in high-need areas across the County. We are facilitating partnerships to focus efforts and maximize impact in order to ensure all children enter kindergarten ready to succeed

Cradle to Career

We participate in Cradle to Career (C2C) Sonoma County, a collective impact partnership that connects stakeholders involved in all segments of the education continuum, working toward a common goal to improve educational, economic, and health outcomes for Sonoma County youth.

Our participation in the C2C leadership team has been critical for maintaining a voice for children 0-5 and their families. We regularly stress the importance of early investment in young children. Our efforts have helped to strengthen the case for early care and education as a critical component of the academic system, and the need to offer literacy support and scholarships for preschool and infant and toddler care.

Now when Cradle to Career is talked about, so much is about early care and education.

2013 First 5 Sonoma County Stakeholder Survey Respondent

C2C’s Goal 1: Every Child Enters Kindergarten Ready to Succeed

As its first goal, the group is focusing on kindergarten readiness and has asked First 5 to lead the effort. We have partnered with ECE experts to establish four workgroups that will focus on the following issues to address kindergarten readiness:

  • Increase preschool access
  • Identify and promote use of a common kindergarten readiness assessment
  • Increase early literacy
  • Develop a Quality Improvement and Rating System

Learn more about Cradle to Career

Road to the Early Achievement & Development of Youth (READY)

Guided by the vision of our local collective impact initiatives, we are fund READY (Road to the Early Achievement and Development of Youth) – a cross-sector partnership supporting school districts and early childhood educators in their efforts to increase Early Childhood Education quality and strengthen young learners’ transition to kindergarten. READY is implemented by Sonoma County Health and Human Services Departments, 11 local school districts and numerous early learning partners.

Results of the 2016-2017 school year's READY Report

Kindergarten teachers from 105 classrooms in 35 schools completed the  KSEP in Fall 2016 for nearly 2052 students and baseline results show there is room to improve school readiness:

2 out of 5 kindergartners assessed enter school “ready to go”

Children who enter kindergarten “ready to go” are more likely to be reading at grade level in second and third grade, and more likely to succeed later on.

Preschool was a key factor in school readiness for all children, especially children from Spanish-speaking households. Children from Spanish-speaking households with any preschool experience were approximately 3 times more likely to enter kindergarten "Read to Go," and approximately 4 times less likely to need immediate follow-up and referral for additional support.

Learn more about READY