CARE New Website

The Center for Applied Research and Evaluation (CARE) at the Community Engagement Institute has developed a new website compiling data on risk and protective factors for school readiness. The website consists of a series of interactive maps of risk factors related to school readiness in Kansas, as well as an overview of the research on school readiness. The site was developed to provide the Kansas Children’s Cabinet and Trust Fund and early childhood programs throughout the state with data on risk factors affecting children in the programs they fund. CARE has been the statewide evaluator for the Kansas Children’s Cabinet Early Childhood Block Grant (ECBG) programs since 2013. As part of this project, CARE analyzes data from over 10,000 children and families served by early childhood programs across the state. The funding from the Children’s Cabinet targets children and families experiencing risk factors such as poverty, low parental education, military enlistment, and children at risk for developmental delays.

CARE developed the “School Ready Kansas” website to help the Children’s Cabinet document levels of risk across the state and to provide programs with up-to-date data about the children, families, and geographic areas they serve. The website combines census data and Kansas Department of Education data to present user-friendly information about how risk factors impact the school readiness of children in Kansas. Dr. Lynn Schrepferman, CARE Senior Research Scientist and coordinator of the Kansas Children’s Cabinet evaluations, considers the website “a tremendous tool to help programs better understand those they serve, and to highlight the need for the work they do to make sure Kansas children enter school ready to learn and thrive.” The website and research behind it exemplifies the focus of CARE researchers on not just collecting and analyzing data, but also on making it as useful as possible for program development.