State and Fairfax County Seek Input to Determine Early Childhood Needs



Contact for News Media:
Angela Morlu, Communications Specialist II
Department of Family Services
703-324-7528, TTY 703-222-9452
Angela.Morlu@fairfaxcounty.gov

12011 Government Center Parkway, Suite 920
Fairfax, Virginia 22035-1102

November 15, 2012

News Highlights

  • Parents with children ages 0-5 years and early childhood educators are encouraged to take a short online survey to help the county and state identify needs related to early childhood education and services.
  • The survey results will help the state, county, public schools and community early care and education programs to more effectively coordinate and maximize resources to meet the needs of children and families.
  • Survey participants will be entered into a drawing for a digital video/still camera.

The Virginia Department of Social Services has contracted with James Madison University to conduct a statewide assessment of early childhood care and education needs. By filling out the Virginia Early Childhood Needs Assessment Survey parents can help the Virginia Department of Social Services find gaps in preschool and child care services so the state can coordinate resources to best respond to these areas of need.

Fairfax County Office for Children and Fairfax County Public Schools are working in partnership with JMU to make sure that the county is well represented in the Virginia Early Childhood Needs Assessment. As part of this effort hard copy surveys will be available through the schools, many county agencies and community groups. The family survey is also available online in English, Spanish and Arabic at http://www.jmu.edu/coe/eere/VECNeedsAssessment.shtml.

In addition to the surveys, the assessment includes focus groups at various programs across the state including Fairfax County. The Office for Children is working with JMU researchers to coordinate these meetings in Fairfax County.

"The information gathered through this assessment will be extremely valuable to us at the local level as we plan future services," said OFC Director Anne-Marie Twohie. "We encourage all parents of young children to take a few minutes to answer the survey, and appreciate their participation and support."

As an added incentive, survey participants will be entered into a JMU drawing for a digital video/still camera. One camera will be awarded for every 100 responses.

For more information about the survey, contact JMU professor Susan Barnes at barnessk@jmu.edu or 540-568-8114. For other information, call the Office for Children at 703-324-8100.

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