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:
- Connecticut Children's Office for Community Child Health
- Lamoille Family Center and the Building Bright Futures Regional Council
Lamoille Valley, Vermont
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.
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:
- Working Toward Well-Being: Community Approaches to Toxic Stress
With increased scientific understanding and awareness of the concept of toxic stress, community leaders are searching for ways to prevent and respond to toxic stress in the lives of young children and their families as part of their broader efforts to achieve healthy development and well-being for all children.
See how participants in an Early Childhood-LINC Learning Lab on Community Approaches to Toxic Stress defined toxic stress from a community perspective.
Explore a framework for a comprehensive community approach to toxic stress, nested within the broader context of working toward healthy development and well-being.
Read the full issue brief, Working Toward Well-Being: Community Approaches to Toxic Stress.
Watch a webinar on this topic, featuring guest presenters from the National League of Cities, recorded June 7, 2016.
- Exploring the Impact of Early Childhood Systems
- Measuring the Impact of Early Childhood Systems: Learning Lab Report
- More to come on indicators of success and measures of early childhood system performance
- Early Learning Communities and Early Learning Nation
- CSSP is partnering with the National League of Cities and our respective cohorts of communities to help achieve the vision of the United States becoming an early learning nation by 2025. See press release from July 2015 about this project.
- Early 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 becoming Early Learning Communities.
- 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.
Interested in Finding Out More? For questions, comments or to join our Action/Learning Teams, contact us at: ec‑firstname.lastname@example.org