LAUNCH Flagstaff — Strategy to Improve Early Childhood Education – Elevate PreK

| November 10, 2020

Family support services in Flagstaff lack any coordinated infrastructure which produces inequities for families and their children.  
LAUNCH Flagstaff’s solution is to convene service providers with families, who are at the center of those conversations.  Together they take collaborative action toward building capacity for families to support optimal socio-emotional development for their children.
Here’s how we are doing it:

Elevate PreK is a three-year community-based pilot preschool expansionprogram designed to enhance Flagstaff’s early childhood education systems.  It is a free, full-day, year-round, high-quality program using evidence-based curriculum and highly qualified staff.
In its pilot phase, Elevate PreK is targeted toward 4-year-old children living in households between 101% to 250% of the Federal Poverty Level who are not currently enrolled in preschool.  These are families that often cannot quality for federally subsidized preschool and yet still cannot afford private, tuition-based programs.
The Northern Arizona University College of Education is partnering in this effort for program evaluation and outcome research.  Experts from the Association for Supportive Child Care are leading the implementation of the pilot.  Building Community, LLC is cultivating the coordination of family supports.
One of the tangential outcomes we seek in this effort is to elevate the profession of early childhood education, where teachers are more respected as the true educators they are.  This will require additional educational and professional development opportunities for early childhood educators.   
Our partners from Northern Arizona University, Coconino Community College, and Flagstaff Unified School District are working toward this goal by aligning course pre-requisites, curricula, and streamlining the credit transfer process so that a high-school student in Flagstaff who is interested in a career in early childhood education could receive certification in early childhood education, start working in the field upon graduation while then pursuing their full credentials and certification through CCC and then NAU.  This is an example of the type of community coordination we seek toward developing a sustainable early childhood educational infrastructure.
While we have the talent and resources here in Flagstaff, we know there are other communities across the country who are farther along in this effort.  This is why we are participating in a year-long technical assistance program with twenty-one other cities across the U.S. under the coordination of the National League of Cities.
Any one of these efforts would be a big undertaking for any community, but the partners of LAUNCH Flagstaff are thinking big and for the long-term.   Since, every partner brings something unique to the work in the spirit of collective impact, we believe we will succeed.

Partners actively participating in Elevate PreK include:

Coconino Social
Safety-Net Services
The growing list of major investors in Elevate PreK include:
In my next mail we’ll take a look at our efforts on the other end of the cradle to career continuum:  career and college readiness.


Paul Kulpinski,
Partnership Director

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Category: Advocacy, Child Welfare, Education, Programs, Resources

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