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Early Childhood - LINC

Early Childhood-LINC is a learning and innovation network developed by and for communities. The mission is to support families and improve results for young children in communities across the country with a focus on accelerating the development of effective, integrated, local early childhood systems.

Co-sponsored by the CSSP and the Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach County, Early Childhood-LINC works to:

  • Create a "community of communities" that fuels learning and innovation to tackle the toughest shared challenges and demonstrate results.
  • Build and disseminate knowledge about the range of community-based efforts across the country.
  • Develop opportunities for local leaders and state and federal policymakers to work together to accelerate strategies that improve results for children and families.

Meet the Early Childhood-LINC Member Communities

Nine exemplary communities with long histories of building effective early childhood systems are members of Early Childhood-LINC. Their perspectives and experiences are invaluable to guiding the work and solving common challenges faced by communities together. Member communities and their leading organizations include:

What Do Effective Community Early Childhood Systems Look Like?

Community-based early childhood systems connect many types of services, supports and opportunities for young children and their families - from the prenatal period through third grade. But this work is more than just “connecting the dots.” Early Childhood-LINC believes that community early childhood systems need to be grounded in a core set of values and strategies that guide their work. The most effective early childhood systems:

  • Support the importance and role of families in raising healthy and resilient children.
  • Use intentional developmental activities to increase parental skills and capacities and build the full range of conditions research has shown to improve outcomes for children.
  • Align and integrate multiple sectors and systems critical to early childhood development (e.g. parenting, health, mental health, early learning and development and family leadership and support).
  • Share accountability for results across multiple sectors.
  • Use data to inform continuous system, program and practice improvements and innovations.
  • Strengthen social networks, a sense of community and opportunities for leadership and collective action among residents.
Translating the vision of an affective early childhood system into reality can be a challenge. Early Childhood Learning Communities: Building Blocks for Success is the first in a series of guidance documents that aim to help local leaders move their communities toward this goal.
 

Learn More about Our Work

EC-LINC member communities and staff at CSSP work together in a variety of ways to learn from each other, tackle challenging issues and accelerate promising strategies that improve results for children and families. EC-LINC activities include:

  • Extended Network – Early Childhood-LINC offers and gathers information from a larger community of communities through webinars, surveys, reports and other tools and materials. For example, findings from the first Early Childhood-LINC national survey of community early childhood systems are summarized in the report, Building Communities That Help Young Children and Families Thrive and a webinar.  
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Interested in Finding Out More?  For questions, comments or to join our Action/Learning Teams, contact us at: ec‑lincinfo@cssp.org

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