Coordinated & Responsive Systems

Because children and families often have more than one need, supports and services must be coordinated so that it easy for families to address their needs without having to independently seek out every service that they require. If services are not readily accessible and effective, then needs are not met. To ensure that services are available and the highest quality, a variety of structural supports are necessary.  Staff providing services must have adequate preparation and development and be knowledgeable about the rest of the health, education, and human services systems. Programs need to be monitored and evaluated and services must be based on research and best practice.

Infrastructure at the state and community level is critical for the effective and efficient delivery of supports and services to young children and their families.  It is the lynchpin that reduces fragmentation and ensures quality.  When functioning well, state and community service systems provide children and families with positive external supports that enable and reinforce families’ primary role in nurturing the healthy development of children. When not functioning well, child and family needs are not met and long-term repercussions can have costly effects in terms of future need for health, education, and human services.


ECAC Desired Outcomes: Coordinated and Responsive Systems

The following desired outcomes guide the ECAC’s work on Coordinated and Responsive Systems:

  • Support: Children, families, and other caregivers are supported by peers, workplace, community, and government.
  • Involvement: Families are involved in service planning, delivery, and evaluation at the local and state level.
  • Diversity: Community support and services recognize, respect, and reflect the strengths of families and cultures.
  • Access: Families are aware of and able to access all the support and services they need. In turn, child and family needs are anticipated, including preventive, intervention, and developmentally appropriate services.
  • Environment: Communities provide children and families with healthy and safe environments that support physical, social, cognitive, and emotional growth.
  • Cross-Sector Delivery: Programs, policies and infrastructure are coordinated to achieve cross-sector service delivery.
  • Workforce: Health, education, and human service providers that serve children and families have the knowledge and skills needed to promote positive child and family development.
  • Tested methods: Early childhood services, programs, and policies are based on evidence, theory, and best practices.


The ECAC is working to support Coordinated and Responsive Systems through the: