University at Albany

Preschool Development Grant Birth Through Five

The vision of the New York State Preschool Development Grant Birth Through Five initiative is for every child enrolled in New York State (NYS) early childhood programs be supported by a system that provides access to high quality, equitable and comprehensive early care and learning environments and services essential for successful development and lifelong success.

The project plan is to achieve the following outcomes with the successful implementation of this grant:

  1. A comprehensive analysis of access to early childhood programs that delivers a more nuanced understanding of parent need and a detailed assessment of the system’s supply and demand.

  2. A stronger early childhood care and education mixed delivery system that fully informs and engages families in their children’s early care and education choices.

  3. New financing strategies, including braided public and private funding and seamless coordination among early childhood programs to support New York’s mixed delivery system.

  4. Increased numbers of early childhood programs with active linkages to pediatricians, dentists, and early childhood mental health consultants.

  5. A coordinated approach to sharing best practices and technical assistance.

  6. Consistent use of standard agreements to support smooth transitions for children and families, from Early Intervention to Preschool Special Education programs, and from early care and education programs to elementary school.

  7. Increased professional early childhood workforce development.

  8. Integration of the state’s early childhood data to enable better tracking of the early childhood system and of child outcomes.

  9. Expansion of a NYS early childhood program quality rating system, to ensure more children, especially those who are most vulnerable, have access to quality early childhood programs.
The grant sponsor is the NYS Council on Children and Families. Some grant partners include the New York State Early Childhood Advisory Council (ECAC), the NYS Office of Children and Family Services, the NYS Department of Health, the NYS Department of Health, the NYS Office of Mental Health, other public and private agencies, as well as parents.

Needs Assessment and Evaluation

As part of this initiative, the CHSR is conducting a statewide needs assessment to better understand the different aspects of the state’s mixed delivery early childhood system. Activities include reviewing reports, briefings, and published statistics; convening of focus groups with providers, administrators, and families; and administering an electronic survey to achieve the following:

  • Define and describe key terms: quality, access, underserved, children in rural areas.

  • Identify information gaps regarding the availability and quality of the early childhood system.

  • Identify barriers to combining funding to enable more efficient use of resources.

  • Identify strategies to address obstacles to collaboration.

  • Identify factors that impede alignment and coordination across early childhood settings.

  • Assess the following related to parents

    • knowledge regarding early childhood options

    • ability to access needed supports

    • factors that impact care choices (e.g., availability of openings, subsidies, hours of operation, tax credits).
  • Examine factors that impact transitions from early childhood programs to kindergarten.

  • Identify state capacity to develop and track measurable indicators of progress to create a more coordinated and responsive mixed delivery system.

  • Identify barriers and alternatives to gradually phasing out child care subsidies pursuant to Child Care and Development and Block Grant requirements.

  • Develop a methodology to track children on program waiting lists.

  • Examine the compensation, education, training, background check requirements and needs of the early childhood workforce.

  • Identify data to establish a data resource that informs an ongoing quality improvement system.

Additionally, the CHSR will be providing ongoing evaluation and feedback to project stakeholders through data analysis and monitoring activities

Contact: Dr. Kenneth Robin