“As the state agency charged with serving the child care and early education needs of Georgia’s children and families, DECAL values our partnership with the Get Reading Georgia Campaign. DECAL’s work clearly aligns with and supports the Campaign’s goal that all Georgia children read on grade level by the end of third grade. Together we are laying a solid foundation for the future of Georgia’s children—and our state.”

Amy Jacobs, Commissioner

“The Get Georgia Reading Campaign and the Head Start State Collaboration Office have a shared focus on targeted outreach and access to services for children and families who are impacted by poverty, homelessness, abuse and neglect, and social determinants of health.”

Allison Setterlind, Director of Head Start State Collaboration Officer

“The Campaign is an exciting opportunity to connect the great work in birth-to-5 programs with the K-12 system. This alignment will ensure children are reading on grade level by the end of third grade.”

Susan Adams, Assistant Commissioner for Pre-K and Instructional Supports

As the state agency charged with serving the educational needs of young Georgians and their families before kindergarten, the four pillars are deeply embedded in the mission, vision, and work of Bright from the Start: Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL). By working to ensure all Georgians have access to high-quality early learning, regardless of income or location, DECAL ensures the four pillars are within the reach of all Georgia’s youngest learners.

In addition to playing a leadership role on the Campaign Cabinet, DECAL uses the concept of Language Nutrition throughout their family engagement work and numerous professional learning programs for early childhood educators focused on responsivity and building positive classroom interactions.

Their agency provides access for more than 80,000 4-year-olds to the state’s high-quality, universal pre-K program, and to child care for more than 40,000 children of low-income families through the state’s child care subsidy program.

With 32 Georgia agencies serving Head Start and Early Head Start families and their more than 24,000 children ages birth to 5, DECAL’s Head Start State Collaboration Office provides a structure for partnerships between federally funded Head Start programs, state-funded early childhood programs, and local communities. By facilitating stakeholder engagement and seamless coordination of services, the Head Start State Collaboration Office promotes continuity and sustainable outcomes for children in low-income families, children who are homeless or in foster care, and children with identified disabilities.

Positive learning climate is reflected in the standards of Quality Rated, their rating program designed to help families find child care programs that have gone above and beyond state licensing standards to focus on quality. And their support for Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports (PBIS) in early learning programs also helps to ensure young children benefit from learning climates that support their growth and development.

In addition, DECAL Scholars provides millions of dollars each year in completion bonuses, tuition, and retention supports for early childhood educators who go back to school to attain a higher credential, directly supporting the efficacy of the early childhood education workforce.

Their Early Education Empowerment Zones, or E3Zs, enable DECAL to promote the four pillars in communities across the state. The E3Zs are built upon the four pillars and bring together early childhood community leaders in four targeted geographic areas of the state to apply those pillars in the context of the assets and needs of their local communities.

To learn more about DECAL, visit their website.