The State Level Self-Assessment is a companion tool for a Guide to the Implementation Process: Stages, Steps & Activities. The Self-Assessment may be used by a State Leadership Team to guide and evaluate the systematic implementation, expansion and sustainability of new practices or innovations. By completing the Self-Assessment, the State Team can identify where they are in the implementation process (the Stage), as well rating as the steps and activities.
By reviewing all Stages, State Leadership Teams can develop plans for current and long-term implementation, expansion and sustainability work.
Both the Self-Assessment and the Guide follow a series of stages, steps and activities that are roughly sequential, but not linear. Some stages and steps may be worked on simultaneously. For example, a State Leadership Team may determine that many steps in a given stage are complete while some steps in a previous stage may need more work. The State Leadership Team may also determine that some steps or activities may not be relevant to a particular change initiative. Each State and the structure of its service systems is unique. Change efforts may target one early childhood service system (i.e., the IDEA infant and toddler program) or cross-age and cross-sector service systems (i.e., all early childhood services). A change initiative may also focus on adopting recommended practices, or building the service system capacity (for example, developing a data system or improving personnel development capacity). The Self-Assessment allows teams to assess the steps and activities within each stage that are relevant to their change initiative.
Despite differences in State structures, agency involvement and targeted practices or innovations, the Self-Assessment provides a useful way to systematically review progress and plan for the work ahead. Most change initiatives will take several years and plans will evolve. Rechecking progress with the Self-Assessment can help teams moving forward more intentionally. Through carefully planned implementation, the adoption of any new practices or innovation also builds the system’s capacity for the next change initiative.
The Guide and Self-Assessment are based on the literature of implementation science and the collective experiences of federally funded national centers in conducting state-wide system change initiatives. These centers include the National Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center (NECTAC, currently the ECTA Center); the Technical Assistance Center on Social Emotional Intervention for Young Children (TACSEI), the Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning (CSEFEL), the National Implementation Research Network (NIRN) and the State Implementation of Scaling-Up Evidence-based Practices (SISEP).
The Self-Assessment has two components: the Pre-Test and the Self-Assessment by stage. Instructions for both components are included below.
With this information, the State can make an excellent implementation plan for its program(s).