How to Become
OVERVIEW OF REQUIREMENTS
The community involvement focus area is designed to engage the broader community (i.e. businesses, churches, civic organizations, etc.) and make them aware of the importance of early child development. Raising children in the best developmental environment enhances a community’s vitality.
Improving the environment for a community’s children to achieve their potential helps the community grow and prosper. Failure to pay attention to early child development contributes to increased drop out rates, crime, poverty, health issues, etc. An engaged community working toward the best early child development environment will produce productive workers that attract business development.
Some specific Excel By 5 requirements under this focus area include:
Establishing a community coalition willing and able to move the community toward certification.
Identifying community resources available for young children and families.
Hosting community wide events focusing on young children and their needs.
FAMILY AND PARENT SUPPORT
This focus area is designed to strengthen and support families and parents of children from birth to 5 years of age. Level 3 and 4 Communities are required to establish a Parent Resource Center where parents and families of young children can receive assistance in various aspects of parenting young children.
EARLY CARE AND EDUCATION
This area focuses on both licensed and unlicensed child care facilities and staff. The thrust is to improve the education of child care staff and coordinate services that parallel the efforts of community schools. Local child care providers are identified, and the educational needs of the staff are met through a confidential system of customized technical support. Additionally, quarterly meetings of Head Start, child care providers and school district personnel are designed to share information and curriculum.
The health area focuses on early detection and intervention for locally defined health issues. Each community identifies the health issues most prevalent in their area, locates available health resources and establishes a referral system. Each community is responsible for hosting a health fair for young children and their families.