Alaska Early Childhood Environmental Scan
& Baseline Report on the Condition of Young Children
Early childhood is a period of incredible growth and development. Early life experiences influence children’s cognitive, emotional, social, and physical development and directly influence the adults they will become. Positive experiences that young children have early in life help set them on the path for success in school and into adulthood. Negative or adverse experiences have the opposite effect, resulting in deficits in skills and abilities and increased health risks into adulthood, driving down productivity and quality of life, and increasing social costs. National research across disciplines has established that investments in the early years are an efficient and effective use of resources.
Alaska’s early childhood system is relatively small, but it is complex and poorly understood. Research-based indicators show that young children in Alaska are at risk of poor outcomes, many of which are preventable. Identifying and tracking research-based indicators over time is important to measure trends, determine progress on statewide goals and priorities, identify and reduce
disparities, and target resources to areas of highest need.
The All Alaska Pediatric Partnership (AAPP) commissioned the Alaska Early Childhood Environmental Scan as a first step towards identifying and prioritizing statewide needs that will enable stakeholders to better coordinate, align and integrate the services, supports, and resources needed to build a stronger, more comprehensive early childhood system for all children and their families.
System components are not independent programs or services. They are linked, overlapping, and mutually reinforcing pieces that when properly functioning should provide the infrastructure needed for families and young children to thrive.
Core component of Alaska’s early childhood system:
Components of an Early Childhood System
With this report, our goal is to inform the identification and adoption of statewide priorities through a coordinated and thoughtful process.
How To Use This Report
This report is a resource for policymakers, program managers, service providers, and anyone who cares about Alaska’s young children and families. It is not intended to define the system as it should be, but to start a conversation about how to achieve a shared vision of healthy, thriving young children and families in Alaska.
Downloadable Documents From The Report
Regional Data Profiles
The regional profiles select indicators for each of the seven public health regions in Alaska. Profiles includes demographics, prenatal care, birth rates, child abuse and neglect, child mortality, and maternal depression, as well as kindergarten readiness and third grade ELA and Mathematics proficiency rates. Additional information about the availability of licensed child care centers, child care need, and use of early intervention, early childhood education programs and public assistance programs is also included.
Foundations of an Early Childhood System
This section of the report explores the different components of Alaska’s early childhood system, illustrated in the image below, to identify what is already in place, and where the system has challenges.
Early Childhood Foundations
Alaska’s Funding Map
This analysis presents a preliminary look at state and federal funding within the state of Alaska.
Timeline of Early Childhood in Alaska
Identifies significant milestones in early childhood initiatives, policy changes and program developments over time in Alaska and at the federal level.
We are grateful to those who provided financial support, data, and content guidance for this project.
* “The project described was supported by the Preschool Development Grant Birth through Five Initiative (PDG B-5), Grant Number 90TP0012, from the Office of Child Care, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Office of Child Care, the Administration for Children and Families, or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.”