Welcome to Early Childhood Alaska

Alaska’s children and families thrive in a strong and equitable early childhood system

This website is a resource to share milestone efforts undertaken in 2019 and 2020 to improve Alaska’s early childhood system by first conducting a needs assessment, followed by the development of a stakeholder-driven statewide strategic plan. This site recaps the development of these milestone documents, and other critical resources related to Alaska’s early childhood system. The real work of implementation begins with the completion of these activities, and this website provides the background to support and assist in future efforts.

Early Childhood Alaska timeline

Early Childhood Alaska: A Strategic Direction for 2020-2025 outlines a series of bold actions and improvements to benefit children and families across the state by 2025 and establishes a Ten-Year North Star Vision for Alaska’s early childhood system. Its three goals focus on children from prenatal through age 8, their families, and their communities. This strategic plan is built on A Needs Assessment of Alaska’s Mixed-Delivery System of Early Childhood Care and Education, which was finalized in December 2019. The assessment compiled and analyzed data about where Alaska’s children live, what their lives are like, and what their families, caregivers, and educators need. During 2019 and 2020, face to face and virtual meetings were held with parents, families, community members, and people working in the early childhood system. A detailed recap of stakeholder engagement is provided in the Strategic Planning Process Report and Appendices.

Creation of the needs assessment and strategic plan was coordinated by recipients of among three grants: the initial Preschool Development Grant B-5 received by the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development (DEED) and jointly managed by DEED and the Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS); an Impact Project grant from the State Capacity Building Center to align early care and education systems with programs and services, led by the DHSS Child Care Program Office; and an Indigenous Project LAUNCH grant to prepare Alaska Native children 0-8 with skills to succeed in school, led by Southcentral Foundation, a health and wellness organization serving the Alaska Native population in Southcentral Alaska.