AOK Networks’ primary purpose is to create a cross-sector early childhood system that is more accessible, coordinated, equitable, and engages parents as partners in system improvement. Depending on their local initiatives, AOK Networks may be focused on one or more of the following general system outcomes.
- Access to Quality Services: More families have reasonable and affordable access to an array of quality services and resources that promotes their children’s development and meets their families’ needs.
- Coordination of Efforts: More families experience a coordinated cross-sector system of services and supports that is holistic, aligned, and easier to navigate.
- Equitable and Just System: More families experience an equitable system that assures all families have a fair opportunity to receive what they need to be successful.
- Parents as Partners in Making the System Work for Them: More parents are welcomed, respected, valued, and engaged as leaders in their families and in their communities.
These broad system outcomes are concepts. The actual work and measures of improvement for each system outcome focus on very specific system issues. The system issues that are addressed are prioritized locally based on their system assessment. Below are a few examples of specific system improvements related to each system outcome.
- Sufficient array of services to meet families’ needs
- Services are affordable
- Services are offered at locations and times that work for families
- Specific barriers to access are addressed
- Shared agenda and goals align partner efforts
- Collective understanding of system problems
- Information and data sharing among agencies and sectors
- Effective referral processes that connect families to appropriate services
- Combining resources towards the shared agenda
Equitable and Just System:
- Equitable eligibility policies
- Services benefit all families regardless of their circumstances
- Barriers are removed so that all families have opportunities to participate
- People who experience inequities have voice and power in decision making
Parents as Partners in Making the System Work for Them:
- Parents are honored as children’s first teachers
- Parent leaders have meaningful opportunities to develop their leadership potential
- Parent voice is amplified in decision making
- Parents are engaged as partners in planning, implementing, and evaluating AOK Network efforts