The report is a tool practitioners and stakeholders can use to inform the development and distribution of early childhood programs and services. The report can inform conversations on resource allocation, illuminate structural barriers, and facilitate common points of reference when addressing “risk” and “reach.”
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The following questions can guide your analysis and in contextualizing the data with local stakeholders.
What stands out on this map?
Numerous factors including social and economic differences, and the number, quality and accessibility of programs available to support children and families can explain county differences.
What patterns do you see across indicators for a given county?
Cycling through indicators may reveal more nuanced inquiry and generate additional questions about how to address risk factors. For example, are there fewer health related risk factors in the environment compared to family stability? If so, what can be done to leverage health to make a positive impact in family stability?
Can connections be made by looking at different combinations of indicators? Which ones call more attention?
The domains function like a three-legged stool with each part reinforcing each other. Strength in one domain cannot fully extinguish risk in another given the holistic nature of child development. Sensitivity to the interdependence of each domain will be necessary when observing connections among domains.
What is happening in the county or region that might explain trends?
Conversations about history, infrastructure, racial and ethnic characteristics are important when thinking about differences and understanding the context that created them. Community members and those with local knowledge can provide insight into the complexity of these factors.
Does this indicator present a regional or pocketed problem?
Widening the focus on the map can illuminate if high risk or low reach is unique to a particular county or experienced by a clustering of neighboring counties. The context in which people live is fluid and crosses county boundaries and identifying trends is a particular area or region is critical to planning and building out services.
What other questions do these data raise?
Next steps can be to develop more detailed questions, research resources or connect with people who can provide answers.
Are all children served equitably? Who needs more support?
What data needs to be disaggregated (by race, gender, location, etc.) to understand if there are inequities/disparities?
What changes in existing policies, programs, budgets would reduce racial inequities?
What steps can ensure input from racial/ethnic groups experiencing risk to inform policy and program changes?