It is the power of concerned and committed people, and their organizations, that can
bring what needs to be done within the bounds of what can be done.
 (The State of the World's Children, 1995.)

It takes a whole village to raise a child. (African proverb)

Rationale: Quality services for young children and their families are best ensured by establishing a broad-based group of partners--representing the home, program, and community--to work collaboratively toward achieving common goals. Broad-based representation helps these partners keep in touch with the local community's values, beliefs, history, needs, strengths, and aspirations.

Further, recognition and inclusion of the various perspectives represented in the community enable the home, program, and community partners to develop an appropriate and efficient system of response to local needs. Renewed commitment to serve the whole child within the context of the family and the community requires that services and policies be integrated.

Outcomes: All stakeholders invested in the health, welfare, and development of young children and their families share responsibility for leadership and decision making.

Standard 1: The comprehensive needs of young children and their families are met through ongoing relationships and collaboration in the community, involving families, program personnel, and individuals whose work relates to or may impact the development of young children.

Indicator 1. The program staff collaborates with community resources to provide services as needed by the child and family (e.g., programs provided by community agencies, schools, health care and mental health professionals).

Indicator 2. The diversity and cultures of the community are reflected in the program.

Indicator 3. Referral procedures ensure that families are linked to needed services in the community.

Indicator 4. Local Interagency Coordinating Councils (LICCs) address developmental needs of young children and their families.

Indicator 5. The community and families work together to provide continuous services for all children, ensuring smooth transitions between programs.

Indicator 6. Public awareness activities are implemented to inform the community about the needs and availability of early childhood services.

Standard 2: All available resources in the community are used to eliminate duplication and to reduce gaps in services for children and families.

Indicator 1. All pertinent funding sources and services are utilized to provide comprehensive services to meet individual needs of children and their families.

Indicator 2. A community-wide needs assessment is conducted to identify strengths and weaknesses in available services to eliminate service gaps and overlaps.

Indicator 3. Hard-to-reach families are served through outreach efforts and collaboration among community programs.

Indicator 4. Extended child care needs are addressed within the community, including but not limited to such programs as before- and after-school care, summer programs, respite care, sick-child care, and transportation.

Indicator 5. Community volunteers are invited to participate in the program in a variety of roles, such as serving on interagency committees or advisory groups, communicating with other community organizations, or assisting with public awareness efforts to reach more families.

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