Issue

Agency leadership for the development process

Rationale:

Decisions about which agencies will take leadership for the project have implications for resources available for the ELG development process, for how the document will be disseminated, and for supports to promote the use of the document.

Choices:

Decisions about which agencies will take leadership for the project have implications for resources available for the ELG development process, for how the document will be disseminated, and for supports to promote the use of the document.

Considerations:

General considerations: The agency with the greatest vested interest in the document/responsibilities for the target audience may want to take the lead; however, it may be useful for the project to be a collaborative effort to provide greater expertise for the process and/or "buy in" or legitimacy for the product. Some states opt for one agency to take the lead and have other agencies represented in the process; others opt for collaborative leadership that involves more than one agency, and some decide to create a collaborative entity that is separate from the agencies involved (a workgroup) but includes representatives from the respective agencies involved. Another option is for a nongovernmental organization to take the lead, creating a neutral entity that can foster collaboration across various systems. Having one agency take the lead may facilitate a more efficient development process, while a joint effort between two or more agencies or a collaborative workgroup may increase the "buy in" within the state and bring additional resources for the development and implementation of the document. Irrespective of which agency leads the effort, care must be taken to ensure that the process is inclusive and that individuals with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and disciplines are involved.

Age-specific considerations: Agencies may vary in their investment in services for a particular age group and/or experience/credibility with the target audience for the ELG document. For instance, the department of human services may work more closely with childcare providers and have more experience with infant-toddler providers, while the department of education may work more closely with pre-kindergarten programs. For infants and toddlers, it is particularly important that the leadership for the ELG project reflect the various disciplines that serve infants and toddlers. The agency/agencies that oversee health services and special education services should be deeply involved in development of the ELG document, and it may be appropriate for these agencies to take the lead in the development process. For preschool-age children, it may be more appropriate for the agency that administers the pre-kindergarten program to take the lead, particularly if pre-kindergarten programs will be required to use the ELGs. Decisions regarding which agency/agencies should take the lead in the ELG development process should be made with some consideration for the age range that will be addressed in the ELGs and the agency/agencies that have the clearest connection to the target audience.

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