RICHMOND, Va. — Governor Ralph Northam announced on Thursday the completion of a statewide Needs Assessment and draft Strategic Plan.

The plan was made through the $9.9 million federal Preschool Development Grant Birth through Five (PDG B-5) announced in January.

The Needs Assessment identifies gaps in Virginia’s early childhood system and the draft Strategic Plan outlines the goals and priorities for unifying and strengthening early childhood care and education in Virginia.

Both documents were developed through close collaboration with stakeholders, families, and state legislators to identify and address the unique needs of Virginia children ages birth to five. Both documents are now available online to solicit feedback to help shape the final version of the Strategic Plan, which will be released later this year.

“When children have access to quality, stable, affordable care during their earliest years, they build the foundation they need for future success, not only for themselves but for their communities,” said Governor Northam. “These collaborative efforts will drive our continued work to strengthen the Commonwealth’s early childhood system and improve the health, safety, and academic readiness of all of our youngest learners.”

Needs Assessment:

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Draft Virginia's Strategic Plan:

The Virginia Early Childhood Foundation has partnered with the Commonwealth to help collect and process feedback on this draft plan. All documents may be found at www.vecf.org and feedback on the draft Strategic Plan and its findings can be provided to info@vecf.org. The deadline for providing feedback is August 31, 2019.

“Assessing need, implementing plans to move children and families forward, and focusing on classroom quality are practices that Head Start has used for years and we know it takes collaboration,” said Shikee Franklin, Director of Head Start at Hampton Roads Community Action Program. “We are anticipating the opportunity to continue engaging with a diverse set of early childhood stakeholders, including families, providers, business leaders, and advocates to strengthen our early education system.”

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