… to prioritize communities for investment.
The L.A. County Child Care Planning Committee overlaid Local Funding Priority and Strong Start Index maps to identify the neighborhoods in greatest need of early care and education investment.
… to inform the expansion of family strengthening and early childhood supports.
In its recommendations for the State Master Plan on Early Learning and Care, the First 5 Association identified the Strong Start Index as a key tool for determining assets and inequities for young children in California.
… to assess need for and availability of resources, such as home visiting.
The California Department of Public Health in their Community Needs Assessment, and the California Budget and Policy Center, used Strong Start data to show that the number of children in California who would benefit most from home visiting vastly outweighs service capacity.
Both the California Governor’s Office and First 5 California Governing Board have leveraged the Strong Start Index to help identify, and ultimately address, inequities present at birth.
… to inform organizational planning and evaluation.
First 5s in Los Angeles, Sonoma, Fresno, and San Mateo counties use Strong Start data to augment community needs assessments, facilitate strategic planning, and monitor impacts.
… to advocate more generally on behalf of young children and families.
Citing its clarity, simplicity, and comprehensiveness, organizations have proposed using the Strong Start Index to make a persuasive case in funding presentations; when providing elected officials with data for speeches; and when testifying in State Assembly hearings.
As a measure of the Index’s broad reach, Children’s Data Network at USC has presented the Strong Start Index at a community level, including Marin, LA, Sacramento, San Diego, and Santa Clara counties, and nationally, including conferences in Baltimore, Chicago, and Denver. A Strong Start Index presentation was even accepted at the 8th International Society of Child Indicators Conference in Brazil in 2022. Additionally, the project team has partnered with other state entities to explore replication.