Born Ready, an initiative from the Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education (ADECE), is focused on raising awareness among Alabama parents of the importance of early brain development and high-quality early care and education.
Launched in December 2019, the Born Ready initiative provides parents with information and resources to help their children learn and develop at every age from birth to five years old. According to officials, the program was designed to target that age range because research shows that up to 95 percent of a child’s brain is developed in the first five years of life.
Included on the initiative’s website are free tips for parents in recognizing their role as their child’s first, and most important teacher. Included in the tips are ideas for educational songs, conversation topics, and games. The website also clues parents in to what to look for in early childhood education, with the hope that families will be better informed when looking at child care options, leading them to enroll their children in higher-quality programs.
Funded by a federal Preschool Development Grant (PDG B-5), the program was developed with input from dozens of state agencies and nonprofits, along with focus groups that included pediatricians, university researchers, and parents. According to the state’s Department of Early Childhood Education, the process was intentionally designed to coordinate both services and participants across the public and private sectors.
Officials plan to gauge the program’s success initially through user engagement, largely from data collected from the website, and additional programs and initiatives will be rolled out early in 2020.