Michigan Department of Education
Data Analysis and Content Development for the Early Learning Program
TRAINING & CUSTOM PROGRAMMING
The Michigan Department of Education received a Federal grant to inform parents of the importance of early learning from ages zero to three when 80% of brain development happens. The grant was also to inform parents of the small steps they should take during that time to greatly improve their child’s chances of success in school and later in life.
Initial Research and Analysis
Upon a thorough analysis, the main issue that presented itself was that the target audience was an ever-changing group of parents in a short time window. Each year, new babies were born and three-year-olds would age out of the group, turning four. The parents MDE needed to reach was a moving target. There was not enough budget to reach every Michigan parent in this constantly changing group on an on-going basis.
Development and Distribution of Information Kits
Informed by the data analysis, we crafted a strategy to put together information kits for three target audiences: the Parents of 0 – 3-year-olds, Trusted Advisors, and Trainers. The key to this strategy was the Trusted Advisors group. This group would include pediatrician offices, OBGYN offices, preschool, and child care personnel, and health and welfare workers – all the people who regularly interact with parents in this group. The idea was to give them the materials to share with parents.
Recruitment and Training
However, providing early learning materials and advice was not the main function of anyone in this Trusted Advisor group. In order to best prepare them to achieve our goal, another group was created, the Trainers. These were interested parties that already had a stake in this early childhood success or showed strong attitudes and beliefs that aligned with MDE’s mission. This smaller group was recruited and trained to be able to educate the Trusted Advisors in the importance of early learning, where to get the information, and how to pass it on to parents.