Using data to improve outcomes

Neighborhood-level data revealed segregated, centralized pockets of poverty in Norwalk, Conn., and provided valuable context in the development strategies and practices to improve outcomes for children beginning at birth.

Equipped with tools from StriveTogether’s Prenatal to 3 Impact and Improvement Network, Norwalk ACTS and local partners have empowered parents to support their children’s early development.

Impact and Improvement Networks offer communities special support to tackle common issues through opportunities to incubate ideas and build skills in StriveTogether’s continuous improvement methodology, called collaborative improvement.

Norwalk ACTS focused on the Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ), a screening tool that pinpoints developmental progress in children. Norwalk ACTS’ goal was to increase the use of ASQ to support early childhood development, including working alongside parents. The process included studying data to better understand the challenges parents of young children faced in completing developmental screenings and designing steps for intervention.

With a goal of ensuring that children enter kindergarten ready to learn, Norwalk has engaged 23 community partners at each developmental touchpoint to complete ASQ screenings with children and their parents. These partners provide tiered interventions to ensure that children are on track.

Norwalk ACTS’ data use, cross-sector collaboration and collaborative improvement strategies have been effective: The number of children in the community who started kindergarten ready to learn increased from 67% (2018-19) to 74% (2020-21).