1) Review: Introduction, Description, Objectives, and Key Concepts of lesson
2) Complete: Activity 1: Assessing the Characteristics, Strengths, and Needs of our Community
3) Read: Material in Your Essential Library
5) Complete: Activity 2: Assessing B-3 Readiness for Administrators
B-3 system-building in the ongoing process of developing the structures, behaviors, and connections that make all the components of an early childhood system operate as a whole to promote shared results for children and families. It is not a linear process. It's a dynamic process that can include starts and stops and start overs. To create and sustain the B-3 continuum requires significant investments in planning, collaboration, and review continuous improvement. Accessing useful tools and resources to facilitate these processes is key. The third lesson in Strand Two, Lesson 2.3 provides an overview of the essential steps of B-3 implementation and the types of tools and resources available to school leaders as they undertake the phases of B-3 work. This lesson introduces participants to the plethora of available resources and provides support and guidance in their use.
After completing this lesson, students should be able to:
(Key concepts are based in part on the ECSWG 2014 Systems Planning Tool)
Successful B-3 programming requires shared vision and thorough planning among a team of invested and engaged cross-sector partners.
B-3 models require, by nature, cross-sector collaboration. To ensure community-based partners' meaningful and sustained contributions and to maximize their resources, it is essential to recruit engaged and invested stakeholders to establish B-3 planning teams or steering committees. These teams allow varied community and school interests to be represented throughout the B-3 planning and implementation work. Planning teams of invested partners that span the community-based and school-based sectors engage in a deliberate and substantial period of planning and continue to steer B-3 programming throughout the implementation and sustainability phases.
Defined and coordinated leadership facilitates B-3 work.
Well coordinated leadership improves B-3 system functioning. Leaders should work together according to shared understanding of common goals and what their roles and functions are within the system. Cross-sector leadership is inclusive and representative of families, provides, administrators, and other professional within delivery system partners.
Understanding needs and assets is an essential element of successful B-3 programming.
Successful B-3 programs are tailored to the unique needs and assets of the communities, schools, families, and children they serve. There is no "one-size-fits-all" approach that can govern B-3 implementation. Rather, B-3 planning teams must carefully assess their schools' and communities' needs and assets. Undertaking a formal needs assessment of schools and communities will identify the most pressing needs for B-3 programming to address. Asset mapping identifies the assets or resources already available within the schools and communities that may be able to meet those needs identified through the needs assessment. And gap analysis indicates the areas of unmet needs within the schools and community based on the needs assessment and asset mapping. Together, these lay the groundwork for a well-planned and well-tailored B-3 approach.
Strategic financing improves system functioning.
Once the scope of work has been well defined through the needs assessment/asset mapping/gap analysis work, funding strategies must be carefully aligned to the work at hand. Financing strategically enables policy makers to leverage and maximize all available resources and improve access to additional financial support to achieve common goals for children and families.
Creating and supporting improvement strategies and accountability measures improves B-3 system functioning.
Improvement plans based on effective system change that are coordinated across sectors and allow for ongoing review and refinement ensure B-3 programs continue to grow and evolve in accordance with the needs of children and families. Such strategies ensure cross-sector collaboration continues to effectively meet the shared goals.
LINC has identified the following resources as the most essential current resources to help you inform yourself on this topic. You should peruse each of these resources prior to teaching this lesson. If you would like to complete additional research in this topic, there are optional resources in the Additional Resources for Further Study section.
To synthesize the material completed thus far in this lesson, consider the following through either small group discussion or individual writing response:
The pre-lesson activity should be completed prior to reading the material in Your Essential Library or participating in the discussion/writing response.
Activity 2: Assessing B-3 Readiness for Administrators
The post-lesson activity is designed to help participants begin to assess the readiness of their own schools and districts to implement B-3 work. It should be completed after the rest of the lesson has finished.