Children must reach critical health and well-being benchmarks in order to thrive, be ready for kindergarten and read at grade level by third grade.
At the BUILD Initiative, we know that families and communities are the primary source of this foundational support for children. We help state leaders create safe, healthy, nurturing early learning experiences for all children – to better support families and communities. This “whole-systems” approach includes an emphasis on:
- primary and preventive health care
- early intervention
- quality early care and education
With a coordinated, systemic response in each of these areas, families and communities are better able to prepare their children for a lifetime of learning. That is why the BUILD Initiative assists states in focusing on standards and assessment, including kindergarten entry assessment; early care and education, with a focus on infant/toddler and pre-K services, programs and policies; and family, friend and neighbor care.
In addition, BUILD helps states build early learning systems that support quality, including planning, piloting and implementing effective quality rating and improvement systems, or QRIS. We also work with partners to help BUILD states and others create successful outcomes for children from birth to eight. This includes supporting programs and services for children in pre-K to grade three and strengthening early childhood/K-12 alignment.
BUILD also provides support to states as they strive to forge strong connections and align services that affect young children and their families. These connections are also needed to build the political and public will needed to advance an agenda for our youngest children.
A major challenge for states is coordinating the range of supports and policies for different settings and age ranges, and understanding the natural tensions between expanding access and improving quality with limited resources. Helping states integrate these core systems with quality and accountability is an important role that BUILD plays.