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October 2012Vol. 13, No. 9Integrating Early Learning and Development Systems

A paper released in August 2011, 1 year after the Federal Early Childhood (EC) 2010: Innovations for the Next Generation meeting, details the meeting and the strides made since in improving the quality of Federal early learning and development programs. The paper highlights the meeting's events and ongoing collaboration between the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) to enhance services and improve the health, social, emotional, and cognitive outcomes for young children. 

The report begins with a definition of "integrated State early learning and development system" and provides readers with an overview of the EC 2010 and the resulting six interrelated themes that emerged from postmeeting discussions between State stakeholders. A chapter is dedicated to each theme:

  • Coordinated State Leadership
  • Effective Use of Data
  • Systemic Quality Improvement
  • Partnerships With Families and Communities
  • Physical and Behavioral Health Integration
  • Children With Multiple Risks

Examples of the varying strategies and activities underway in many States are included.

Federal partners, including HHS and DOE, are optimistic that this document will serve as a guide and encourage additional State and local system-building efforts devoted to improving early learning and developmental outcomes for youth.

State Issues and Innovations in Creating Integrated Early Learning and Development Systems was prepared by HHS and DOE for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The full report is available here:  (2 MB)