The Transforming Early Childhood Community Systems (TECCS) initiative is a partnership between the Center and the United Way Worldwide. The Initiative works with communities around the country to collect and map the school readiness of young children using the Early Development Instrument (EDI). This community engagement tool informs local efforts to improve early childhood services and systems. Participating communities receive maps with neighborhood-level data and EDI results showing the percentage of young children vulnerable on each of 5 key developmental domains found to measure school readiness and predict later school success. These domains are: 1) physical health and well-being; 2) social competence; 3) emotional maturity; 4) language and cognitive development; and 5) communication skills and general knowledge.
By combining EDI data collected by kindergarten teachers with health, economic, and other data on resources available at the census tract level, TECCS helps local communities map their needs and service gaps on a highly localized basis. This information becomes a roadmap for local action. TECCS helps communities establish or strengthen local coalitions and works with them to develop strategies for improving child outcomes. The community school readiness mapping process is repeated regularly to measure progress, identify emerging challenges, and guide local strategic planning and systems improvement efforts. This regular monitoring promotes accountability and ensures that resources are invested where they are needed most. The TECCS network offers a learning system designed to spread effective ideas for enhancing school readiness.
With support of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and participating communities, the national roll-out of TECCS spread from 8 communities in the first year to more than 30 in the third year. There are also a number of statewide scale efforts emerging.
For more information, please visit our website: www.teccs.net.