Commit to Keiki envisions the creation of a sustainable, responsive, integrated Early Childhood System that enables the development of our youngest keiki (0 – 5 years old), as depicted in the diagram above.
In order to create an effective Early Childhood System, we need to do the following:
- Provide Sufficient, Culturally Appropriate, Quality Child Care & Early Learning Services. This requires more infant and toddler care options, pre-kindergarten seats and access to family-child interaction learning programs. Child care and early learning support the healthy, happy development of our youngest children and provide care for working families.
- Build Linked, Wraparound Continuums of Family Support Services. Family support services include Family Violence Intervention & Prevention Services and Mental Health Supports. These additional services ensure that our youngest children can live a happy, trauma-free life and are critical for children to be successful learners.
- Remove Economic Stressors for Families. The cost of living in Hawaii is high. Families need to balance the need for affordable housing with the cost of caring for their children. They shouldn’t have to choose.
- Develop a Well-Compensated and Skilled Workforce. We need to recruit, develop, and retain a skilled workforce to provide the critical services needed by our youngest children and their families.
- Create an Integrated Data System and Supporting Infrastructure. This will enable the State to know, with more accuracy, how young children are doing and what programs are most effective for which keiki. In order to ensure that children are able to receive needed services, we need a screening and referral system, and a way to access and manage cases, especially through transitions between service providers.
Commit to Keiki is working with elected officials and stakeholders to ensure that all of our youngest children are able to have a brighter start.