Texas Needs a Comprehensive View of School Readiness

There is broad agreement in Texas about the importance of early childhood and school readiness. However, state leaders and advocates have historically tackled these issues in a piecemeal, siloed fashion rather than taking a more comprehensive approach.

In response, stakeholders from across Texas began meeting in 2020 to develop a strategy to strengthen the state’s approach to school readiness. Texans Care for Children facilitated a collective process with a Leadership Council composed of Representatives James White and Diego Bernal, Texans representing communities from Harlingen to Lubbock, and business leaders, local school districts, and early childhood education. The work was also informed by an Advisory Committee and relevant Texas and national research. There was broad consensus that effectively gauging school readiness in Texas requires a holistic view of child and family experiences prior to children’s first day of school. 

Texans Care for Children, with research support from the Prenatal-to-3 Policy Impact Center, launched the Dashboard in late 2022 to offer that holistic view. The Meadows Foundation has played a critical leadership role in supporting the development of the Dashboard. This project is also made possible by support from the Alliance for Early Success, the Episcopal Health Foundation, Methodist Healthcare Ministries of South Texas, Inc., the Shield-Ayres Foundation, and the Powell Foundation. Additionally, United Ways of Texas has served as an important partner through its community engagement efforts.

Visitors to the Dashboard can find the latest available data on key indicators of school readiness as well as policy recommendations to accelerate the state’s progress on these indicators. The Dashboard will be updated annually as new data become available.

Thank you to all the organizations that served as part of the Dashboard's Brain Trust!