United Way for Greater Austin is the leader of a large community coalition dedicated to ensuring that all children in Travis County enter kindergarten prepared for success.
Currently, only half of our community’s children enter kindergarten prepared for school success – and children of low-income families are especially at-risk for poor school achievement. We know that children who start behind tend to stay behind – and supporting healthy brain development in the early years is far more effective than treating problems at a later age.
Over the past three years, United Way has led a strong coalition of early childhood advocates, experts, parents, service providers and business leaders to put together an ambitious plan to fundamentally change the landscape of care for our youngest community members.
It is our hope that this plan will inspire and guide community leaders, advocates, parents, service providers and educators to participate in a movement that will allow Travis County to be the best place to prosper and raise a family for decades to come.
The first phase of the SRAP (2012- 2015) wrapped up this year, and we are proud to share the results. Read the full SRAP Year Three Update here!
Thanks to the School Readiness Action Plan, more than 5,000 families now receive information through free videos, text messages and printed guides about how to help their children become school-ready.
The Austin Public Library more than doubled the number of bilingual storytimes in low-income communities as a response to community advocacy.
The number of vulnerable families receiving home visiting services in our county nearly tripled, improving health outcomes for the children and dramatically reducing the likelihood of child abuse in these homes.
Child Inc. shifted its delivery model to serve more 3-year-olds in Head Start.
The City of Austin increased their Health and Human Services funding for early childhood by nearly $1 million over the three year period.
New interventions were developed and implemented to address the gap in services for families, including Play To Learn; PALS; and Ready, Set, K.
The percentage of children who entered kindergarten “school ready” increased by 5 percent, from 49 percent to 54 percent last year.
We plan to release our new SRAP (2015-2018) in the coming months! Our work is far from over and we can’t wait to unveil the exciting new goals and strategies that we’ve developed to help children become ready for school by focusing on families, early education, health and mental health, as well as the communities in which low-income families raise Austin’s youngest residents.