In concept, “alignment” sounds promising. It can be difficult to operationalize, however, especially for state policymakers. The National P-3 Center strives to make sense of states’ roles in P-3 work. For example, from 2017-2019, funded by the Nevada Department of Education’s Preschool Development Grant (PDG), we conducted a review of the B-3* alignment of state-level policy plans in Nevada. The analysis and recommendations can be accessed here.
We analyzed two key policy documents from the Nevada Department of Education (NDE) that primarily frame K-3/K-12 policy efforts; one policy document from the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) that primarily frames key services for the 0-5 age range and child care programs; and one document from the state’s inter-agency Early Childhood Advisory Council (ECAC) that works to strengthen state-level coordination and collaboration among and across agencies, sectors, and programs that serve children, birth through age eight.
Our unique policy analysis approach contributes to state-level P-3/B-3 conversations by:
- Raising Awareness: It highlights specific examples of how individual/independent policy documents inadvertently create and perpetuate conditions for mis-alignment in practice.
- Engaging Agency Leadership: It offers concrete examples that help state-level B-3 conversations feel less vague and conceptual, and more tangible, practical, and do-able.
- Generating Intra- and Inter-Agency Discussion: Leadership in the state agencies/entities may use the suggestions to engage in conversations within their departments about how they can present a more unified voice/vision for B-3 in Nevada.
- Informing Future State Policy Guidance and Plans: The suggested revisions can be used by agency staff, providing common language that could be written into future iterations of policy guidance.
- Infusing B-3 into Agency and Public Discourse: Often, B-3 is seen to be a stand-alone initiative, rather than a goal and intention across agencies and initiatives. If the four state policy documents analyzed were to include some of the suggested changes, the true intention of B-3 as a framework rather than a separate initiative would be realized.
- Expanding Nevada’s B-3 Resources: There is a growing list of Nevada-specific resources related to B-3 reforms. These resources – including other deliverables from this PDG-funded project –can be accessed on the Nevada ECAC website.
Other important collaborators in this work included Turning Point Inc., FirstSchool, and University of Nevada, Reno.
If you would like to explore how the National P-3 Center can support state-level work in your state, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
* Note: Nevada uses “B-3” to specify their work from birth through 3rd grade.