Engaged Neighborhoods

Use the Early Development Index (EDI) to increase awareness and engage neighborhoods in improving outcomes for their young children.

An early childhood system can make an important contribution to ensuring that all young children and their families have what they need to be successful, recognizing that not everyone starts in the same place, has the same experiences, or has the same needs. A system can also improve services and outcomes when they engage parents in the early childhood system of care and better understand the needs and assets of the individuals they serve. This strategy uses a powerful tool – the Early Development Index (EDI) – to give communities information on how their young children are faring and couples it with cultivating community leaders and empowering them to act on behalf of their young children.

Engaged Neighborhoods 1: Increase family and community knowledge about child development, early intervention, and the Early Development Index.

To be measured by: Number of presentations or workshops conducted about child development, early intervention, and the Early Development Index (EDI) to community collaboratives or agencies.

Value of the measure: Raising awareness about critical child development milestones, the importance of early intervention when needed, and how a community’s young children are faring can change behavior. For example, research around parent knowledge of positive parenting practices and child development demonstrates the link between knowledge and behavior; parents with more knowledge are more likely to engage in positive parenting practices, whereas those with limited knowledge are at greater risk of negative parenting behaviors.

Engaged Neighborhoods: Increase the number of communities that have or are working toward shared, measurable goals for early childhood based on Early Development Index and other data.

To be measured by: Number of collaboratives or agencies that have or are working toward plans that target improved kindergarten readiness through the alignment of resources to support early childhood.

Value of the measure: First 5 Orange County seeks to turn the awareness of the importance of early childhood into concrete actions by building the capacity of communities that are motivated to improve outcomes for their young children. This measure enables First 5 Orange County to track whether our efforts are resulting in actionable plans to improve kindergarten readiness.

Engaged Neighborhoods 3: Increase alignment of First 5 Orange County resources (funding, technical assistance, participation in collaboratives, or other) to identified neighborhoods needs.

To be measured by: Assessment of neighborhood need based on community-level data and a neighborhood’s self-identification of need compared to First 5 Orange County formal or informal resources or services dedicated to that neighborhood.

Value of the measure: This measure tracks whether First 5 Orange County is responding to local needs by aligning its resources accordingly.