By Marsha Basloe, Senior Advisor, Early Childhood Development
I was recently sent this headline from the Blue Mountain Eagle in Oregon. “Umatilla County may not have any five-star hotels or restaurants, but it can boast the state's first five-star Head Start program.”
The headline made me smile. It actually made me smile for a number of reasons.
Oregon’s Early Learning Council used the finding of its needs assessment to develop its Race to the Top –Early Learning Challenge (RTT-ELC) grant application. In 2012, Oregon was awarded the RTT-ELC grant. It is a vehicle for expediting the Early Learning Council’s priority initiatives that the legislature adopted into statute. This included the development of Early Learning Hubs and Oregon’s Quality Rating and Improvement System.
The Early Learning Council is now in the process of reviewing applications for the second round of Early Learning Hubs. The regional hubs bring agencies and government together like Head Start, public schools, educational service districts and the medical community to collaborate on programs to serve young children and their parents.
There are Five Core Responsibilities of Early Learning Hubs
The Early Learning Hubs build on existing community resources, while asking tough questions about what can be done differently to get better results.
When I see a headline about a five-star Head Start program, I think about the planning both at the local level and the state level to make this happen. I also know the federal government helped! Look at the results of efforts that started years ago. Doesn’t it make you smile too?