All Stamford Youth Will Enter Kindergarten Ready to Learn
The 0-5 Early Childhood Community Action Network (CAN) focuses on engaging parents in their children’s learning, beginning at birth. The goal is that children are developmentally ready to learn. Parents play a key role in this because they are their children’s first and best teachers. Our efforts focus on making parents aware of key developmental milestones, providing child care professionals with ongoing professional development, and making linkages to service providers to keep children on track.
% of incoming kindergarten students had a preschool experience (source 2020 PKTS results)
children using Sparkler to screen for developmental delays (source Sparkler data as of end of March 2020)
% of incoming kindergarteners assessed using the Preschool Early Literacy Indicator to help teachers better understand their new students (source 2020 PELI data)
Developmental Screenings/Assessments: Ages & Stages and the Sparkler App
The Ages and Stages Questionnaire is a widely used developmental tool used by parents and early childhood providers to help identify how a child is doing developmentally. Our goal is to expand the use of these screenings and connect families to support services if needed. Thanks to a grant from the State Department of Education’s Office of Early Childhood, SC2C has promoted the use of the Sparkler App, an educational tool for parents with children ages 0-5. The app uses the Ages and Stages Questionnaire screening to identify children’s developmental progress, provides tips and activities for parents to do with their child, and includes both chat-based consulting and connections to other providers. SC2C is coordinating the effort to get this tool to parents and partners with Children’s Learning Centers, Family Centers, St. Joseph’s Parenting Center, All Our Kin, Abilis, and Inspirica to provide this resource to parents.
Prekindergarten Transition Summary (PKTS)
This summary is completed by preschool teachers across Stamford on incoming kindergarten children. This summary includes social and developmental information on children and is shared with kindergarten teachers. It is a tool that assists teachers with classroom placements and provides the opportunity for teachers to have baseline knowledge about their incoming class. Each year the number of completed PKTS forms increases, and in 2019 over 1,100 kindergarten students (out of a class of 1,337) started their year with a completed form. The 0-5 CAN plays an instrumental role in coordinating the city-wide completion of the PKTS form, working with publicly funded and private preschool programs.
The 0-5 CAN coordinates annual professional development opportunities for preschool and early education staff across the city. These workshops complement professional development opportunities offered at individual child care and preschool sites and focus on best practices and trends in early childhood education. They also provide an opportunity for networking and shared learning which is critical for early childhood teachers. Due to COVID, professional development has been postponed, but the CAN is considering offering virtual opportunities.
Go Before You Show (GBYS)
The Go Before You Show (GBYS) campaign encourages pregnant women to seek prenatal care in the first three months of their pregnancy and connects them to a prenatal care provider as early as possible in their pregnancy. The campaign educates women on related topics, such as nutrition and finances. healthy practices including nutrition information and financial aid if necessary. As a complement, access to Text4Baby, a free mobile information service designed to promote maternal and child health through text messaging, is also provided. Women who text BABY (or BEBE in Spanish) to 511411 will receive three free text messages a week related to prenatal care timed to their due date or baby’s birthdate.
0-5 Early Childhood CAN Leadership/Contributors
- Donna Arcuri, School Readiness Council
- Haley Argueta, SPEF
- Mary Basso, CLC
- Trish Behm, CES
- Antonia Better-Wirz, All Our Kin
- Dena Booker, Stamford Public Schools
- Marijane Carey, Carey Consulting/CDI
- Lisa Cody, APPLES
- Linda Darling, Hart Magnet Elementary
- Jennifer DeRubeis, Julia A. Stark Elementary
- Kareena DuPlessis, CDI
- Carole Elias, Family Centers
- Karen Feder, Abilis
- Catherine Forde, Optimus Health Care
- Emily Goldschmid, CLC
- Marsha Guthrie, CLC
- Helma Gregorich, Family Centers
- Yazmin Iglesias, All Our Kin
- Janet Jones, WIC
- Margot Laedlein, Medical Home Initiative
- Amy Laughlin, The Ferguson Library
- Anika McPherson, Community Health Center Inc.
- Joanna Meyer, PEER
- Brooke Nilsen, The Early Childhood Directors Group
- Ellen Reardon, Stamford Museum & Nature Center
- Tiffani Olenek, Mid Fairfield Child Guidance Center/EECP
- Lorely Peche, Building One Community
- Lisa Konopko, The City of Stamford, Department of Health
- Erica Phillips, All Our Kin
- Tania Recinos, Family Centers
- Leslie Sexer, Family Centers
- Shira Tarantino, PLTI
- Mary Tabb Foley, UCONN
- Natalie Tocci, Care to Care
- Amy Twing, The Ferguson Library
- Anna Witkowski, CLC
To effectively measure and identify effective practices while aligning resources, we have designed and developed a detailed Action Plan process. The process and the related template were created in close partnership with Stamford Public Schools and the Superintendent’s team. This process is consistently followed by all CANs. Each CAN is at a different stage of action plan completion, depending on the complexity of its objectives and the available data.
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