The California Strong Start Index is being received as a valuable tool for equitably allocating resources within communities. Public, private, and philanthropic partners are using it to:
- Generate information related to racial / ethnic disparities (California Governor’s Office);
- Facilitate the identification of “Communities of Need” for the statewide California Home Visiting needs assessment (California Department of Public Health);
- Estimate number of slots for a universal, but also tailored Home Visiting program (First 5 LA, First 5 CA, California State Budget – May Revise);
- Identify communities faring better on the EDI than what would be ‘predicted’ using the CASSi (First 5 OC);
- Inform Impact Framework Monitoring Measures (First 5 LA);
- Augment and validate other local-level information (First 5 LA, First 5 Sonoma, First 5 Fresno, First 5 San Mateo, etc.)
- Inform community needs assessments (First 5 LA, First 5 Sonoma, First 5 Fresno, First 5 San Mateo, etc.)
- Inform strategic plans (First 5 LA)
- Enhance other datasets through overlays
In addition, it has been fully integrated into First 5 California’s statewide Home Visiting Workforce Study (RFP CFF 7554). Applicants are required to use the Strong Start Index as an anchor point to 1) project future home visiting needs; 2) justify proposed workforce investments; and 3) recommend geographic distribution of those resources in alignment with the distribution of vulnerable families across California.
We applaud this, and all other, efforts to make better use of existing data to inform programs and policies.
Please visit www.strongstartindex.org and project page to access the data, view the animation, explore detailed methodological documentation, download information by race/ethnicity, and to find detailed examples of how the strong start index is being used to facilitate equitable investment in the children and families of California.