Children Primed for School
At Georgia Family Connection, we want all young children to receive everything they need to prepare them to start school, so they’re ready to succeed in the classroom and in life. We’re working to ensure that Georgia’s children are primed for school through three statewide initiatives:
- Early Childhood Health and Education Cohort
- Quality Rated Child Care Rating System
- Get Georgia Reading—Campaign for Grade-Level Reading
Early Childhood Health and Education Cohort
Early childhood experiences lay the foundation for future success in school, work, family and community. Our Early Childhood Health and Education cohort counties are working together to implement county-specific strategies to addresses the needs of children birth to age 8 and their families.
Georgia Family Connection Collaboratives in Baldwin, Newton, Washington, Polk, Charlton, and Seminole counties, involved since 2013, have established a team of key partners who are working to implement their Early Childhood Health and Education strategies. Fulton, Crisp, Hancock, Terrell, Emanuel, and Elbert counties began their strategy development work in 2015.
These twelve Collaboratives are developing and implementing Early Childhood Health and Education strategies that fit the needs of their communities to help children be healthy, ready to start school, and read on grade level by third grade.
- Blank Family Foundation
- Annie E. Casey Foundation
Resources & Best Practices
- “Helping Healthy Choices Become Easy Choices in Baldwin County”
- “Polk County Takes on Grade-Level Reading Challenge with Multi-Faceted Strategy”
- “Charlton County Strives to Get More Books in the Hands of Parents and Children”
- “Newton Focuses on Overall Health of Its Residents—and Local Economy”
- “Washington County Helping Its Residents Shape Up”
- “Early Intervention in Seminole County Helps Struggling Students Become Better Readers”
Quality Rated Child Care Rating System
In 2011, Gov. Nathan Deal charged the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL) with creating and implementing a tiered quality rating and improvement system for early childhood education programs throughout the state.
Since then, Georgia Family Connection Partnership (GaFCP) and the Georgia Early Education Alliance for Ready Students have collaborated with DECAL to implement the system, which determines, improves, and communicates the quality of programs that provide child care. Quality Rated assigns one, two, or three stars to early education and school-age care programs that meet or exceed the minimum state requirements.
By participating in Georgia’s voluntary Quality Rated program, programs make a commitment to work continuously to improve the quality of care they provide to children and families. As one of the three lead partners, GaFCP:
- administers and manages the logistics of the incentives component of the initiative by ordering and ensuring delivery of educational materials and equipment incentives, managing and issuing monetary incentives, and monitoring the receipt of the incentive packages on-site, including managing inventory checkers throughout the state; and
- works with Georgia Family Connection Collaboratives in all 159 counties to promote Quality Rated Child Care and helps educate communities on the importance of quality early childhood education.
Get Georgia Reading—Campaign for Grade-Level Reading
Two-thirds of Georgia’s third graders can’t read proficiently. That has significant and long-term consequences for all Georgians, because low achievement in reading affects our economy, our safety, and our health. The cost to our state is significant, and the cost to our children is incalculable.
Unwilling to yield any longer to the unspeakable rate of illiteracy in Georgia, the governor and first lady came together with Georgia’s leaders in 2013 to take on third-grade reading proficiency—not only as an education issue—but as an urgent priority for all who care about children’s health and well-being.
Get Georgia Reading is a collaboration of more than 100 private and public partners rallying people, organizations, and communities to apply a common agenda as a framework for action. Georgia Family Connection Partnership, involved with the Campaign from its inception by helping with planning, development, and communications, became the Campaign’s host agency in 2015, assuming management and support responsibilities.