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Sustaining collaborative preschool partnerships and the challenges of educating the whole child

  • Alverson, Ryan1
  • Ginn, Laken2
  • Gilbert, Jaesook3
  • 1 Department of Teacher Education, MEP 273, Nunn Drive, Highland Heights, KY, 40199, USA , Highland Heights (United States)
  • 2 Department of Social Work, 100 Nunn Drive, Highland Heights, KY, 40199, USA , Highland Heights (United States)
  • 3 Department of Teacher Education, MEP 280, Nunn Drive, Highland Heights, KY, 40199, USA , Highland Heights (United States)
Published Article
International Journal of Child Care and Education Policy
Springer Singapore
Publication Date
Dec 05, 2019
DOI: 10.1186/s40723-019-0065-6
Springer Nature


IntroductionOur study examined whole-child preschool programming from a policy perspective. We suggest that whole-child wellness must include sustainable approaches that are systematic and holistic approaches for educating children. The Preschool Partnership Grant was a means of funding preschool districts, who successfully applied for the grant across our state to initiate, continue, and sustain quality programming with their respective local preschool partners. Funding also enabled districts to increase access to quality programming while fostering kindergarten readiness in participating children.Case descriptionWe conducted a case study by analyzing data provided by district Preschool Partnership Grantees. Data included quantitative measures of district and partner preschools and open-ended items describing professional development opportunities, holistic interventions, and effective preschool activities afforded by grant funding.ResultsGrant recipients (n = 79) reported that they engaged in a number of different public and private partnerships. They reported being able to serve more children due to grant funding, and gave a variety of reasons for serving more children, with improved collaboration being the most reported reason. District grantees also indicated increased consultation, intervention services, and professional development opportunities through grant funding. Finally, they reported on key challenges they faced during the grant period.Discussion and evaluationData suggested that school districts recognized the importance of collaboration, trust, and relationship building among districts, partners, and families. Descriptive data indicated the importance of sustaining quality programming during the grant period. Districts also clearly voiced their appreciation of the importance of relationships and collaboration among key stakeholders who touched the lives of children enrolled in the grantee districts.ConclusionsOur study suggests that early childhood policy should enable systematic and sustainable partnerships that approach preschool programming from a holistic perspective.

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