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Early Learning Needs Assessment Data Sources Guide

An early learning needs assessment supports schools and districts in analyzing the needs and learning of children within their community. The guide below provides detailed information on data sources which may be helpful in completing an early learning needs assessment. The CDE encourages schools to use these data sources and questions in partnership with the key personnel listed to guide conversation. The information gained through the analysis of these data sources will help determine performance trends and gaps across early learning and inform the root causes of school performance.

Contents

Demographic
Process
Performance

*Denotes data that may inform the early learning needs assessment as required in 1 CCR 301-1 (PDF).


Demographic

K-3 Teacher Credentials

Data Source

Description:
General license and endorsement information on preschool through 3rd grade teachers in our school.
 
Resource:

To search for credentials held by currently licensed teachers in your school, visit the CDE’s Licensing Lookup page.

Key Personnel

K-3 teachers

Metrics

Number and percent of K-3 teachers with an early childhood endorsement, or who are in progress*

Number and percent of students in your school educated by a teacher with an early childhood endorsement

Guiding Questions: What percent of K-3 teachers hold an early childhood endorsement? What percent of K-3 students are educated by a K-3 teacher with an early childhood endorsement? What school policies or procedures determine the placement of teachers in grades K-3? What knowledge do K-3 teachers have of child development, scientifically based reading instruction, and teaching young children with special needs? How do the school’s trends impact ongoing professional development and coaching plans.

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Process

Availability of Early Childhood Programs

Data Source

Description:
The number of early childhood programs within a community, including:
  • state-funded preschool
  • head start
  • Private sector early care and education
  • Family, friends and neighbor care
At minimum, this includes the availability of EC programs within the school’s geographic boundaries. However, this process may need to expand to include additional EC programs based on Kindergarten enrollment data to ensure accuracy.
 
Resources:

Search licensed programs within geographical boundaries. Colorado Shines Find a Program.

Colorado Kids Count Data by county on p. 58 of KIDS COUNT in Colorado!: Creating a Path Forward for Colorado’s Kids.

Key Personnel

Early Childhood Council Coordinator

Located at the Early Childhood Council Leadership Alliance, Find an Early Childhood Council webpage.

Metrics

Total number of early childhood programs available in your community in Colorado Shines*

Number and percent of students currently enrolled in a funded district preschool program*

Number and percent of preschool students currently enrolled in a state-funded preschool position at a community partner site*

Number and percent of students, K-3, who were previously enrolled in a state-funded district preschool program*

Number and percent of students currently enrolled in a community EC program that received school readiness quality improvement (SQRI) funds*

Guiding Questions: What data is collected on where preschool age children are educated in our community? Where are children educated prior to Kindergarten entry? What partnerships exist between the school and community early childhood providers who educate children within the community prior to Kindergarten entry.

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Program Quality

Data Source

Description:
Quality level of the licensed early childhood programs within the community.
 
Resources:

Search programs participating in Colorado Shines Find a Program, Colorado’s Tiered Quality Improvement Rating System.

Search programs accredited through NAEYC: NAEYC Program Search

Search programs accredited through NACCRRA: NACCRRA Program Search

Colorado Kids Count Data by county on p. 58 of KIDS COUNT in Colorado!: Creating a Path Forward for Colorado’s Kids.

Key Personnel

Early Childhood Council Coordinator

Located at the Early Childhood Council Leadership Alliance, Find an Early Childhood Council webpage.

Metrics

Number of EC programs receiving each level of quality rating*

Number of accredited programs

Number of licensed early childhood providers within community

Guiding Questions: How many students are coming from an entity at each rating level? How many students are coming from a licensed program? Unlicensed programs, if known? How many students come from an unknown early childhood environment? What else do we know about the quality of programs in our community?

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MOU’s or Agreements with Early Childhood Councils

Data Source

Description:
Agreements with local Early Childhood councils, including information on the programs in your community who receive school readiness and quality improvement funds (SRQI)
 
Resources:

For more information on Early Childhood Councils, review the The Core Functions of Early Childhood Councils (PDF).

Early Childhood Council Locator

Key Personnel

Local Early Childhood Council

Located at the Early Childhood Council Leadership Alliance, Find an Early Childhood Council webpage.

Metrics

Number of formal agreements existing with local early childhood entities and the local Early Childhood Council*

Guiding Questions: Are the agreements current and inclusive of roles and responsibilities? Is each agreement applicable to current initiatives and to guide collaborative work between the district and the early childhood entity?

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Quality of Transitions

Key Personnel

CPP Coordinator, search the CPP Coordinator Directory (Google Sheet)

Early Childhood Special Education administrator

Head Start and community early childhood program directors

Metrics

Number of EC programs with active MOUs in place which include PreK-K transition plans, including state-funded preschools, head starts, and community EC programs*

Percent of total EC programs currently partnering with your school on PreK-K transitions*

Number and type of transition practices to support receiving students in Kindergarten

Percent of children and families participating in or impacted by the transition practice*

Questions: How many transition practices are implemented? How many students and families are supported through the transition practices currently implemented? Are the demographics of those participating in or impacted by the practice representative of the demographics of the school? What has the impact of the practices been in supporting successful transitions in Kindergarten?

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Professional Development Plan

Data Source

Description:
Completion and use of a school-wide Professional Development plan, inclusive of preschool through 3rd grade opportunities and joint opportunities with EC providers.Professional Development plans may include opportunities such as the READ Act Evidence-based Teacher Training, or collaboration opportunities with EC providers.
 
Resource:

Example: CO-MTSS  Personnel Development Planning

Key Personnel

School (or district) Early Childhood administrator

Local Colorado Preschool Program (CPP) Coordinator, search the CPP Coordinator Directory (Google Sheet)

Early Childhood Special Education administrator

Local Early Childhood program directors

Metrics

Number of 1-day training instances or joint collaboration opportunities that include EC providers (district employed or community providers), teachers, and principles

Number and percent of training series that include early childhood providers (district employed or community providers), teachers, and principles.

Number and percent of PD opportunities that include training and coaching, including an intended audience of early childhood providers (district employed or community providers) and teachers.*

Guiding Questions: How many PD opportunities are offered for early childhood providers (district employed or community providers), teachers and principals? Are the outcomes specifically focused on teaching and learning for the targeted audience? What data is driving decisions on the selection of professional development? Describe the process for identifying and meeting the professional learning needs of P-3 staff. What intentional opportunities for joint collaboration between early childhood providers (district employed or community providers), teachers, and leadership exist?

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Family Engagement Plan

Data Source

Description:
Completion and use of a district or school-wide family engagement plan, inclusive of preschool through 3rd grade.
 
Resources:

P-12 Family School Community Partnering Framework

Colorado Preschool Program Family Engagement Resources (Google Doc)

Head Start Family Engagement

Key Personnel

CPP Coordinator

Head Start director

School Family Engagement Coordinator

Parent Teacher Organization lead

Local Family Resource Center Association Member Center Contact Information

Metrics

Number and percent of families participating in engagement activities

Number and type of engagement activities*

Guiding Questions: Has the family engagement plan been updated for the current year? In what ways does the family engagement plan align with each of the 4 essential elements of the Family School Community Partnering Framework? Do the demographics of the families engaging mirror the demographics of the school?

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External Resources

Data Source

Description:
Presence of external resources available to families within the community. This may include:
  • home visitation
  • early intervention services
  • library programs for young children
  • family resource centers.
 
Resources:

Early Intervention Colorado

Directory of Colorado Libraries

Family Resource Center Association

Colorado Ecosystem: Map of Early Childhood Ventures, Orgs and Supports

Key Personnel

Head Start director, Head Start Locator

Early Childhood Council Coordinator

Metrics

Number of resources available*

Rate of participate access

Number of partnerships with community resources

Presence of partnership indicators:
  • Written agreements between community resource and school
  • Regular two-way communication between community resource and school

Guiding Questions: What are the available resources for families within our community? How do we collect data on the needs of children and families in our community? What are the current needs of families and how do these match the resources currently available? What are the demographics of the families accessing the resources and do they mirror the demographics of the school?

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Performance

OSEP Preschool Outcomes (Indicator 7) Administrative Unit Reports

Data Source

Annual collection as a part of special education requirements. Publicly available from CDE website.

Description:
Percent of preschool children aged 3 through 5 with IEPs who demonstrate improvement in the following areas:
  • Indicator 7A. Positive social-emotional skills (including social relationships).
  • Indicator 7B. Acquisition and use of knowledge and skills (including early language/ communication and early literacy).
  • Indicator 7C. Use of appropriate behaviors to meet their needs.
Resource:

For more information on OSEP reports and Preschool outcomes, visit the Indicator 7 - CDE’s Preschool Outcomes webpage

Key Personnel

Early Childhood Special Education administrator or Director of Special Education

Metrics

Percent of preschoolers with disabilities who entered below age expectations and who made greater than expected progress, within each Outcome (A-C)

Percent of preschoolers with disabilities who exited at age expectations, within each Outcome (A-C)

Guiding Questions: If the percentage is high for one or each metric, what is leading to our strong outcomes in preschool? If the percentage is low for one or each metric, what changes are needed to improve outcomes in preschool.

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For more information, contact Megan Rogers or Erin Loften.