Since our inception more than a decade ago, GEEARS: Georgia Early Education Alliance for Ready Students has been known in the state as a trusted resource for early childhood data. We’re proud of our in-depth community-focused tools like the Readiness Radar, but we’ve also wanted to provide a more high-level snapshot of how well Georgia is meeting the needs of our youngest children and their families.
That’s why we recently launched the Annual Early Childhood Checkup, a quick, digestible reference to help policymakers, community leaders, and others measure progress.
As you can see, we made several considerations when building the Checkup’s format.
- We chose indicators within the categories of Early Learning, Health, and Family Supports, reflecting the wide variety of factors that contribute to child and family well-being.
- Young children grow up in the context of their families, communities, and broader systems of supports, so we have included indicators like program access and health and educational outcomes.
- We showed both year-over-year changes and general five-year trends, allowing us to track progress over time.
We hope Georgia’s early childhood professionals and allies will use this substantial, yet accessible Checkup to fuel their advocacy, to refine their services for families with young children, to assess the past, and to strategize for the future. We also look forward to the Checkup’s annual release as an illuminating check-in for all of us in the early childhood space—a chance to collectively celebrate successes, mobilize around our setbacks, and learn from the results.
This inaugural Early Childhood Checkup had a summer launch. But starting in 2024, the report will be published every January, just in time for Georgia’s legislative session to begin. Advocates can email the digital version throughout their networks or leave behind printouts whenever they meet with elected officials, community and business leaders, and of course, other early childhood professionals.
We look forward to using the Early Childhood Checkup in our collaborations with the GEEARS community. Please share your feedback with us!