Learning from Starting Points: Findings from the Starting Points Assessment Project: Executive Summary

Knitzer, Jane; Adely, Fida J.

In 1994, the Carnegie Corporation of New York issued a report titled Starting Points: Meeting the Needs of Our Youngest Children. Calling its findings "a quiet crisis," the report urged the federal government, states, community leaders, educators, health care decision-makers, service providers, business, leaders, parents, and the philanthropic community to actively work toward four broad goals: promoting responsible parenthood, guaranteeing child care choices, ensuring good health and protection, and mobilizing communities to support young children and their families. Heeding its own call, in January 1996, the Carnegie Corporation made the first awards for the Starting Points States and Communities Partnership for Young Children Grants, a four-and-a-half year, $7 million initiative. Focusing on program improvement, policy development, and public engagement and awareness, the aim was to serve as a catalyst to seed activities to spur both short and long-term systems change within selected states and communities. In 1999, the National Center for Children in Poverty (NCCP) was asked to undertake an assessment of Starting Points to document the variations in context, structure, activities, and accomplishments across the 11 sites that were funded throughout the initiative, including four city sites: Baltimore, Boston, Pittsburgh, and San Francisco; and seven states: Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Vermont, and West Virginia.


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National Center for Children in Poverty
National Center for Children in Poverty, Columbia University
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July 9, 2010