This tool kit has been created for the Annie E. Casey Foundation to help promote early childhood development and school readiness. The purpose of this tool kit is to provide guidance, resource materials and references that will assist communities in working with families as primary partners in their child's development and school readiness. By recognizing and building the capacity of parents as their child's first educator and engaging parents as decision makers for their child and leaders in the agencies and organizations that serve them, communities can strengthen families and support young children being ready for school. The complete tool kit focuses on parents as educators and parents as leaders. The intent is to support a holistic approach and encourage parents as primary partners across all systems that serve young children and their families and help young children grow up healthy, develop well, and enter school ready to learn. Throughout the tool kit, effort has been made to be inclusive of health, mental health, early intervention, and other services systems. Although there may be extra emphasis on specific types of programs as illustrations, the concepts and practices relevant to parents as primary partners can be taken in by all those who serve children and their families in the communities where they live. (Author abstract)
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