Parental Outreach & Communications
The Parental Outreach and Communications Subcommittee is committed to assessing the needs of the young Texas population, as well as providing critical information to parents about the importance of school readiness. The goal of the Subcommittee is to conduct a thorough initial and ongoing needs assessment on the quality and availability of early childhood education and care and engage in targeted outreach to underrepresented and special populations. The Subcommittee will complete three projects over the course of the Council's three-year grant to increase outreach to Texas parents and improve school readiness in Texas.
Each of the Council's Subcommittees will complete projects that fulfill requirements from the Council's authorizing legislation. For more information on the Improving Head Start for School Readiness Act of 2007, click here. The Parental Outreach and Communications Subcommittee will fulfill two of these mandates:
- Conduct a periodic statewide needs assessment concerning the quality and availability of early childhood education and development programs and services for children from birth to school entry, including an assessment of the availability of high-quality pre-kindergarten services for low-income children in Texas
- Develop recommendations for increasing the overall participation of children in existing Federal, State, and local child care and early childhood education programs, including outreach to underrepresented and special populations in Texas
Statewide Early Childhood Needs Assessment
The Council contracted with the Ray Marshall Center at the University of Texas at Austin to conduct a statewide early childhood needs assessment and gap analysis of early childhood services and resources in Texas. In addition, the Ray Marshall Center subcontracted the Hobby Center for the Study of Texas at Rice University to conduct a 30-year Texas population projection using data from the 2010 Census. The needs assessment and population projection will allow Texas to plan for early childhood services in the near and distant future.
Texas Community Campaign for School Readiness
In addition to the statewide needs assessment, the Council is also conducting local needs assessments and early childhood systems planning. The Council is funding four communities to conduct the Early Development Instrument (EDI) kindergarten assessment, form local stakeholder groups, and develop recommendations for early childhood systems planning based on the data from the EDI assessment. The lead agencies for this project are United Way of Southern Cameron County, United Way of El Paso County, United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County, and North Texas Area United Way. To learn more about the exciting work going on each of the TCCSR communities, click here.
Little Texans. Big Futures. Statewide Public Awareness Campaign on School Readiness
The Subcommittee is also developing a statewide awareness campaign on school readiness. In addition to the Council's website, launched in April 2011, the Subcommittee will work with the Council to develop targeted outreach to parents about school readiness. The awareness campaign will begin in the Council's third year, based on information collected by the statewide early childhood needs assessment. Visitwww.littletexans.org or www.tejanospequenos.org to see the public awareness campaign that was developed used the Infant, Toddler, and Three-Year-Old Early Learning Guidelines.
Subcommittee Members 2010-2013
Subcommittee Chair: John W. Gasko
Gina S. Day, Region 13 Education Service Center
Angela Hobbs-Lopez, Texas Department of State Health Services
Bobby Ott, Temple Independent School District
Elaine Shiver, Mental Health America of Texas