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Transformation zones: An early learning improvement strategy

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Ten RTT-ELC States are investing in transformation zones as an innovative strategy to improve the quality of early learning and development programs and to close educational gaps for children with high needs by improving the communities where these children live. Key tenets of transformation zone initiatives are local support, capacity building, and accountability for outcomes. States chose specific transformation zones based on both the existence of significant risk factors in those communities that jeopardize children's healthy development and learning and the expectation that the local implementation teams were capable of making systems-level changes. States provide State-level leadership and a variety of services, including technical assistance and incentives to support these local implementers. While RTT-ELC States have made substantial progress in implementing transformation zone initiatives, many have described challenges associated with this work. These States are learning lessons about selecting communities, relying on local implementation teams, supporting the transformation zone initiatives, and effective evaluation practices that will help other States invest resources and supports to transform the localities where children with high needs grow up. As future States approach this work, they can benefit from the experiences of these 10 States. (author abstract)

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