N5 A3987

About the Ready by Five Evaluation

How the Ready by Five Early Childhood Millage is impacting young children and families in Kent County is the focus of an independent evaluation. Beginning in 2021, First Steps Kent contracted with Basis Policy Research, a research and evaluation firm focused on education and human services. The researchers are using a mixed-methodology approach to assess the implementation of Ready by Five-funded programs and provide evidence of their impact across the lifecycle of the millage.

The Ready by Five evaluation will address the following questions:

  1. To what extent did Ready by Five providers implement services with fidelity?
  2. What types of Ready by Five services are related to improved health and academic outcomes?
  3. What is the impact of Ready by Five services on participants’ health and academic outcomes?
  4. How do the benefits of Ready by Five services compare to the financial investment of the Ready by Five Millage?

Beginning in 2021, First Steps Kent (FSK) has contracted with Basis Policy Research (Basis), a K-12 research, and evaluation firm headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan to evaluate the implementation and impact of the Ready by Five Millage.

The evaluation researchers will use a mixed-methodology approach to provide FSK with evidence of Ready by Five implementation and impact across the lifecycle of the millage. The Ready by Five evaluation will address the following questions:

  1. To what extent did Ready by Five providers implement services with fidelity?
  1. What types of Ready by Five services are related to improved health and academic outcomes?
  1. What is the impact of Ready by Five services on participants’ health and academic outcomes?
  1. How do the benefits of Ready by Five services compare to the financial investment of the Ready by Five millage?

First Steps Kent is committed to ensuring access to services for expecting parents and children 0-5, particularly for children and families from rural areas of the community and historically marginalized communities.

Parent voice will be included within a series of in-person, phone, or virtual interviews with participants associated with the service providers selected from a stratified random sample. The interviews will explore how families learned about the services, how accessible services were, how well the services were delivered, and how services could be improved to better meet individual or family needs.

Year One Findings

Key findings for the first year (2022) of the evaluation include:

  • Ready by Five services reached 12,184 young children and families.
  • Ready by Five service providers completed 14,521 encounters with young children and families
  • 57% of young children and families served were from populations that historically have been marginalized.
  • 45% of participants’ household incomes are less than $40,000 annually.
  • Approximately 17% of young children and families served speak a primary language other than English.
Read the Evaluation Overview
Read the 2022 Evaluation Report
Photo by Joice Kelly

Evaluation Successes

Throughout 2022, First Steps Kent and the researchers achieved the following to ensure a successful evaluation:

  • Data-sharing agreements with First Steps Kent, Kent County Health Department, Kent ISD, and 19 local school districts were executed.
  • Researchers completed a series of interviews with a random sample of service providers and semi-structured interviews with a random sample of families participating in Ready by Five-funded programs.
  • Researchers developed an implementation dashboard that visualizes service provider reach and implementation.
  • The evaluators and First Steps Kent hosted two Discover Day events for partners and stakeholders to discuss early findings and insights.
  • First Steps Kent hosted quarterly Quality Improvement Consortium meetings for all Ready by Five service providers to support quality data collection and learning from findings.
  • Researchers delivered a Year One Evaluation Report that provides analysis that answers to what extent Ready by Five providers implemented services with fidelity.
FAQs about the Evaluation
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