“As the state agency responsible for serving the child care and early education needs of Georgia’s children and families, DECAL values our partnership with the Get Georgia Reading 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 M. Jacobs, Commissioner

“The Get Georgia Reading Campaign and the Head Start State Collaboration Office share a 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 Office

“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 an early childhood education researcher, I recognize the significant impact early language and literacy has on long-term academic development. For this reason I am excited to partner with Get Georgia Reading to align research, activities, and support that increases access to high-quality early childhood education.”

Bentley Ponder, Senior Director of Research and Policy

As the state agency responsible for 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: Georgia 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 incorporates Language Nutrition throughout their family engagement work and  professional learning programs for early childhood educators focused on responsivity and building positive classroom interactions.

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

With 32 Georgia entities providing Head Start and Early Head Start services to more than 24,000 children ages birth to 5, DECAL’s Head Start State Collaboration Office encourages and supports partnerships among 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. Based on a rigorous process, Quality Rates awards child care programs with a 1-, 2-, or 3-star rating. Georgia’s tiered quality rating and improvement systems help families find child care programs that have gone above and beyond state licensing standards to focus on quality. DECAL also supports Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports (PBIS) in early learning programs to help ensure young children benefit from learning climates that support their growth and development.

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

Early Education Community Partnership Coordinators coordinate the delivery of state and local services for young children and families, encourage local conversations about access to high-quality child care, work with community stakeholders to align early childhood systems for children from birth through age 8, and serve as a resource for and referral to all DECAL programs.

To learn more about DECAL, visit their website.