The Boone County “Wise” Early Childhood Collaborative Action Network (WECCAN)
Purpose: WECCAN CHARTER
The Boone County Early Childhood Network is dedicated to ensuring that all Boone County children will enter kindergarten prepared to succeed.
Boone County children who lack access to quality early childhood experiences and nurturing environments are unprepared for kindergarten success. Research shows that young children who start school behind have difficulty closing the learning gap. Children unprepared to learn impact the education of all children.
All members of the Boone County Early Childhood Collaborative Action Network will take action steps to promote school readiness for all Boone County children.
Goal of the WECCAN
All Boone County School Districts, individually and collectively, will increase the number of students deemed ready for kindergarten, using their respective assessments, by 8% or more by the 2020-21 school year.
WECCAN Process and Results
The “WECCAN” Collaborative Action Network (Click here to view a list of the members of the WEECAN) was convened in January 2015 with the focus of increasing the number of students considered ready for kindergarten in Boone County, Missouri. The Network originally was divided in two parallel groups: Boone County and City of Columbia. The first eight months were spent developing a common knowledge base, reviewing pertinent local data, identifying best practices as well as detractors from success, and considering how childcares and kindergarten teachers could work more closely and consistently to support kindergarten readiness.
Our group spent time:
1st — defining kindergarten readiness
2nd — determining what childcares must do to ensure children are ready for kindergarten
3rd — defining characteristics of quality childcares
4th — determining developmentally appropriate goals for children birth-five
In addition we looked at how parents might collaborate with childcares to support their child(ren) through their pre-school years.
Following eight months of study including a data review, guest speakers, kindergarten teacher panels, readings, and sharing the wealth of information within the group, the two groups combined in August. The group then reviewed their charted learning and set initial action steps and divided into four action teams each of which began to work on one of the identified actions.
WECCAN Action Steps
- State Approved Curriculum available for all childcares: In order to increase the quality of childcare facilities, secure funding for any interested childcare providers in Boone County to be provided with a state approved curriculum, the training to use it, and follow up coaching on its implementation.
- Boone County Kindergarten Readiness Standards: Refine a common set of standards for kindergarten readiness for all of Boone County known as “One Voice Boone County”. Present the K readiness standards in both childcare and parent friendly language.
- Communication with all facets of the community: Communicate the learning of the Early Childhood Collaborative Action Network (WECCAN). Information should include the importance of balanced childcare and kindergarten curricula, kindergarten readiness standards, characteristics of quality childcares, etc. Communication should be molded, as appropriate, for childcare providers, K-12 educators, parents, community members, the legislature and the business community.
- Forming Parent Partnerships to support children: Develop parent partnerships to assist parents as they work with their children’s social emotional development and self-regulation skills. Self regulations skills were identified by panels of Boone County kindergarten teachers as the most critical skills for student success in school.
Actions are projected to begin in the fall of 2016. Each Action will be assessed for effectiveness in addition to the yearly monitoring of the number of students ready for kindergarten. Click here to view a list of the volunteers working on each Action Team. Click here to view a list of all Action Team members.