Issue

Timeframe for the development process

Rationale:

Development of ELG documents is time-intensive, so it is helpful to estimate the amount of time that will be required to complete the project and to develop a timeline for the work.

Recommendation(s):

Develop (and meet) an agreed upon and realistic timeline that allows sufficient time for committee deliberations, writing, stake-holder feedback, analyses, and formatting the document.

Considerations:

General considerations: Some states have a predetermined timeframe for completing the development process that is mandated by policymakers or an agency; others have a pressing need in the field for the document that may necessitate a shorter development process; and others have a more open-ended timeframe for completing the document. The majority of states have taken at least one year to complete their document, while the development process has spanned several years in some states. A shorter process may facilitate a more focused effort, which can enhance consistency across the document. A longer process may allow for greater stakeholder input and for greater representation of diverse perspectives, may incorporate more thorough analyses/review of draft content, and may require less staff time on a monthly basis. The funding and other resources available to support the project can also impact the timeline, particularly if funding is available only during a specific budget period or if the amount of funding is insufficient to support a lengthy development process.

Age-specific considerations: The timeframe for developing the ELG document will depend on the number of domains that are included, the age range addressed, and the number of age groupings used within the document. ELGs that address more domains and include a broader age range (i.e., birth through age five) will require a longer development process than those that address a more narrow age range.

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