Preschool Development Grant News & Resources


Alaska Early Childhood Needs Assessment Now Available Posted 7-1-2020

After a lengthy process of in-state review followed by a federal review process, A Needs Assessment of Alaska’s Mixed-Delivery System of Early Childhood Care and Education, is available here.

The appendices that accompany the report are available here.

PDFs of the report and its appendices are also available at the bottom of this page under “Alaska’s Early Childhood Needs Assessment.”

The statewide needs assessment was completed at the end of December 2019, by the McDowell Group under contract to AASB. It was funded by a Preschool Development Grant B-5 (PDG) from the federal Office of Child Care, Administration for Children and Families awarded to the Alaska Dept. of Education and Early Development (DEED) in partnership with the Alaska Dept. of Health and Social Services (DHSS). AASB entered into an agreement with DEED to coordinate PDG grant activities with a focus on completing a statewide early childhood needs assessment and, based on the findings of the needs assessment, a statewide strategic plan. The early childhood strategic plan has just been completed and will be reviewed by federal funders and then made widely available.

For more information contact Betsy Brenneman, AASB’s PDG Coordinator at bbrenneman@nullaasb.org


New Strategic Plan for Alaska’s Early Childhood System Nears Completion Posted 5-15-2020

The draft strategic plan for Alaska’s early childhood system is currently being reviewed by more than 200 educators, parents, health care providers, caregivers, social service agencies, school board members, program administrators, funders and other stakeholders around the state. In development since October, “Early Childhood Alaska: A Strategic Direction for 2020-2025” will provide goals, strategies and actions to strengthen and improve the state’s complex, fragmented network of programs and services that make up the early childhood system. It is on track to be completed in June.

LKSD Early Learning Center, Bethel, March 2020.

The plan can be a guide for anyone in the state with young children from prenatal to age eight, and those who work with or provide services to those children and their families. With findings from a statewide needs assessment completed in December, the draft plan was created with the ideas, concerns and involvement of over 500 Alaskans and hundreds of hours of work by the Early Childhood Joint Task Force and its leadership team assisted by contractor Denali Daniels + Associates. 

In-person meetings took place with families and those who work for and with young children in Kodiak, Bethel and Kotzebue; with AASB members during two annual gatherings; with statewide attendees at the Anchorage Association for the Education of Young Children conference; with members of the Kindergarten Ready Network in Anchorage; and with the Alaska Head Start Association.

Two statewide video conferences gathered input from tribal administrators of early childhood programs. When Covid-19 cut short plans for planned in-person community meetings, a regional video and phone conference with a large number of Interior villages was organized by Tanana Chiefs Conference and another took place with residents of communities on Prince of Wales Island who work in the early childhood system. Families in Anchorage participated in a video conference, families in Minto offered their ideas via video conference and phone, and 300 Alaskans responded to an online survey in March.

Members of the Alaska Early Childhood Coordinating Council joined with the Early Childhood Joint Task Force in two video conference work sessions in late March and early April to help move the plan to the draft version currently being reviewed.

“Early Childhood Alaska: A Strategic Direction for 2020-2025” and the needs assessment on which it was based were funded by the federal Preschool Development Grant awarded to the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development and coordinated by AASB.

For up-to-date information and resources:


Alaskans Around the State Help Build the New Early Childhood Strategic Plan Posted 2-19-2020

AASB continues its work coordinating the new statewide strategic plan for Alaska’s early childhood system with guidance, concerns and suggestions from around the state. Families, caregivers, parents, early childhood teachers, administrators, school board members and funders from a variety of communities and members of the advisory Early Childhood Joint Task Force have been actively sharing their passion and ideas to improve early childhood care and education with contractor Denali Daniels + Associates. The new strategic plan and the needs assessment on which it is based were funded by the federal Preschool Development Grant (PDG) awarded to the Alaska Department of Education.

Communities visited so far include Kodiak, Bethel, and Kotzebue, with upcoming visits to Klawock/Prince of Wales Island, Interior Alaska, and the Anchorage/Mat-Su area. Presentations and/or engagement sessions have occurred with members of the Alaska Early Childhood Coordinating Council; AASB; Kindergarten Ready Network; AEYC-Anchorage, tribal administrators and statewide Head Start directors.

To stay up to date on the project visit:


Statewide Early Childhood Needs Assessment Completed and Community Meetings for the New Strategic Plan in Full Swing  Posted 1-29-20

A Needs Assessment of Alaska’s Mixed-Delivery System of Early Childhood Care and Education has been completed by McDowell Group for AASB. After final approval by the Alaska Dept. of Education and Early Development (DEED) and federal funders it will be posted, publicized and widely distributed. The needs assessment was coordinated by AASB with funding from the federal Preschool Development Grant B-5 (PDG) awarded to DEED.

A new statewide early childhood strategic plan, also coordinated by AASB with PDG funding from DEED, is well underway and is based largely on data and considerations from the needs assessment. Denali Daniels + Associates (DDA) of Anchorage and Juneau has designed and facilitated a number of meetings around the state with the Early Childhood Joint Task Force, AASB members, the ad hoc Kindergarten Ready Network in Anchorage and families and early childhood professionals in Kodiak to create the framework and goals of the plan. Parents, families and early childhood educators around the state will build on that framework in February. Meetings are scheduled so far in Bethel on 2/4, Alaska Association for the Education of Young Children-Anchorage on 2/6 and 2/7, and Kotzebue on 2/10. In addition, an Interior community and one in Southeast will be visited, several tribal engagement sessions will take place and meetings in Anchorage and Mat-Su are planned in partnership with Southcentral Foundation. With the passion and hard work of many around the state, the new early childhood strategic plan will be completed by the end of April.

For more information about the early childhood strategic planning process and the needs assessment contact Betsy Brenneman, Preschool Development Grant Coordinator at AASB, bbrenneman@nullaasb.org


Community members discuss early childhood education in Kodiak, Kodiak Daily Mirror, December 12, 2019


AASB and Statewide Partners Work to Improve Alaska’s Early Childhood Care and Education System, By Betsy Brenneman, Preschool Development Grant Coordinator, December 5, 2019, Commentary newsletter


Statewide Early Childhood Strategic Planning Launched While Needs Assessment Nears Completion Posted 11-19-19

A new comprehensive strategic planning process is underway for Alaska’s early childhood care and education system, coordinated by AASB on behalf of the Alaska Dept. of Education and Early Development (DEED) with federal funding from the Preschool Development Grant B-5 (PDGB-5). Denali Daniels + Associates (DDA) of Anchorage and Juneau submitted the top-ranked proposal to design and write the strategic plan as selected by a five-member review team convened by AASB. DDA began work at a strategic planning meeting of Alaska’s Early Childhood Joint Task Force on October 2, 2019. More engagement sessions and stakeholder meetings took place Nov. 6 and Nov. 8 during AASB’s Annual Conference in Anchorage and many more, including site visits to at least four rural regional hubs, are scheduled for mid-late November and early December.

At the same time, the Needs Assessment of Alaska’s Mixed-Delivery System of Early Childhood Care and Education is being finalized. The needs assessment will provide baseline data and findings to guide the strategic planning process. It was also made possible with federal funds from PDGB-5 awarded to DEED and was also coordinated by AASB.

For more information about the early childhood strategic planning process and needs assessment contact Betsy Brenneman, Preschool Development Grant Coordinator at AASB, bbrenneman@nullaasb.org


Preschool Development Grant Statewide Strategic Plan Update Posted 9-30-19

A five-member review team from various parts of the state, met on Sept. 5 and again on Sept. 20 and came to consensus on four robust proposals from vendors interested in developing a comprehensive strategic plan for Alaska’s mixed delivery system of early childhood care and education focused on low-income, rural and vulnerable children from prenatal through age 8.

The teams’ final ratings were very close and each vendor offered unique ideas and special skills. Meetings have begun with the top-ranked vendor and an announcement will be made once a contract is finalized. The strategic plan will be underway in mid-October based on findings a statewide needs assessment also being coordinated by AASB for the Alaska Dept. of Education and Early Development. The plan will be guided by the Early Childhood Joint Task Force and the reactions and suggestions of parents, communities, educators, tribes, child care providers and other early childhood stakeholders. The Preschool Development Grant is funded by the US Dept. of Health and Human Services and the US Dept. of Education with matching funds from the AK Dept. of Education and Early Development.


Request for Proposals – Preschool Development Grant Strategic Plan Posted 8-14-19

AASB is soliciting proposals from highly qualified individuals or organizations to design a strategic planning process and write a comprehensive, collaborative statewide strategic plan for Alaska’s mixed delivery system of early childhood care and learning for low-income, disadvantaged, and rural Alaska children ages prenatal through 8 and their families. Interested vendors can access the RFP here. Proposals are due no later than 5pm, Friday, August 30, 2019. A pre-proposal webinar will be offered to answer vendor questions on Mon. August 19, 2019 at 10:30am Alaska time. For information, contact Betsy Brenneman, Preschool Development Grant Coordinator, bbrenneman@nullaasb.org, 907-463-1676 or 907-463-1660 (main).


Statewide Early Childhood Needs Assessment Underway Posted 8-12-19

McDowell Group of Juneau and Anchorage has been selected by AASB to conduct a comprehensive statewide needs assessment of Alaska’s mixed delivery system of early care and learning services primarily for low-income, rural and disadvantaged children ages prenatal through eight and their families. Funding is from the federal Preschool Development Grant B-5 (PDG) to the Alaska Dept. of Education and Early Development (DEED) which signed an agreement with AASB to coordinate grant activities. The needs assessment along with stakeholder and community input will form the basis of a statewide strategic plan intended to maximize availability of early childhood care and education options for families, improve quality, streamline administrative infrastructure, facilitate collaboration among existing programs, and improve funding efficiencies. For more information contact Betsy Brenneman, PDG Coordinator, bbrenneman@nullaasb.org


Preschool Development Grant Needs Assessment Update Posted 7-16-19

On July 11, a five-member review team from various parts of the state, met, rated and came to consensus on three robust proposals from vendors interested in conducting a needs assessment of Alaska’s mixed delivery system of early childhood care and education focusing on low-income, disadvantaged and rural children. The final ratings were very close and each vendor offered unique ideas and special skills. Meetings are beginning with the top-ranked vendor and an announcement will be made once a contract is finalized. The needs assessment will form the backbone of a statewide early childhood strategic plan which also will be coordinated by AASB. The Preschool Development Grant is funded by the US Dept. of Health and Human Services and the US Dept. of Education with matching funds from the AK Dept. of Education and Early Development.


Request for Proposals Open – Preschool Development Grant Needs Assessment

AASB is soliciting proposals from highly qualified individuals or organizations to conduct a comprehensive statewide needs assessment of the mixed delivery system of early care and learning services for low-income, disadvantaged and rural Alaska children ages birth to five. Interested vendors can access the RFP here. Proposals are due no later than 5pm, Monday, July 8, 2019. A pre-proposal webinar will be offered to answer questions from interested vendors on Fri. June 14, 2019 at 10:00am Alaska Time. For information contact Betsy Brenneman, Preschool Development Grant Coordinator, bbrenneman@nullaasb.org, 907-463-1676 or 907-463-1660 (main).


Alaska’s Early Childhood Needs Assessment

A Needs Assessment of Alaska’s Mixed-Delivery System of Early Childhood Care and Education, Dec. 2019

A Needs Assessment of Alaska’s Mixed-Delivery System of Early Childhood Care and Education, APPENDICES, Dec. 2019


AASB Early Childhood Meeting Reports

11-8-19 Early Childhood Strategic Plan Working Lunch, AASB Annual Conference

11-8-19 Early Childhood Snapshot Sessions, AASB Annual Conference

4-6-19 Early Childhood Conversation, AASB Spring Academy


Webinars

8-19-19 Zoom Pre-Proposal Meeting – PDG Strategic Plan

6-14-19 Zoom Pre-proposal Meeting – PDG Needs Assessment

5-23-19 Zoom PDG Update


RFPs

8-26-19 Q & As – Answers to Vendor Questions about the RFP for the PDG Strategic Plan

8-13-19 PDG Strategic Plan RFP FINAL

8-13-19 PDG Needs Assess Domains Key Questions

8-7-19 Anticipated Timeline and Tasks for the PDG Early Childhood Needs Assessment

6-26-19 Q & As – Answers to Vendor Questions about the RFP for the PDG Needs Assessment

6-11-19 PDG Needs Assessment RFP FINAL 6-11-19


Resources

Examples of strategic plans from other states:

North Carolina Early Childhood Action Plan Report

Colorado Early Childhood Framework

Philadelphia Citywide Plan to Improve Early Learning

Raise Up Oregon Plan 2019-2023

Michigan – Great Start – Great Investment – Great_Future

New Mexico Early Childhood – Business Plan Report

Washington State – Early Learning Plan, Executive Summary

Hawaii – Early Childhood State Plan Comprehensive

CA Blue Ribbon Commission – FinalReport – April 2019

Montana Strategic Plan 2019-2024

 

The project described was supported by the Preschool Development Grant Birth through Five Initiative (PDG B-5), Grant Number 90TP0012, from the Office of Child Care, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  .  Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Office of Child Care, the Administration for Children and Families, or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.