ECFE Community Needs Assessment

Introduction

The purpose of this page is to provide guidance and resources to help districts complete their ECFE community needs assessment, as required by Minnesota Statutes, section 124D.13. By July 15 of each year, districts submit a report to the Minnesota Department of Education demonstrating their completion of the assessment. It is recommended that you tie your needs assessment to broader initiatives (e.g. World's Best Workforce requirements, PreK-3rd Grade initiative, ECFE 2019-24 Enhancement Areas, community initiatives, etc.). If you have a school or schools identified for comprehensive or targeted support and improvement (CSI or TSI), it is strongly encouraged that you connect your ECFE community needs assessment work with your comprehensive needs assessment (see ESSA tab below for more information).

This page is organized by three sets of tabs:
1: Introduction set of tabs to introduce the topic and provide general information.
2: Resources for Planning, Conducting and Reporting Your Needs Assessment set of tabs for accessing valuable resources aimed at conducting a needs assessment.
3: Strategies for Conducting Your Needs Assessment set of tabs helps explain each requirement of the needs assessment and provides some strategies to help you conduct your needs assessment so that it meets ECFE statutory requirements.

Resources for Planning, Conducting and Reporting Your Needs Assessment

2018-19

Each year, ECFE programs must submit data that shows their response to the community needs assessment requirements. Since there are no changes to the reporting requirements, the guidance for 2018-19 is similar to previous years.

Just like your work in your district and communities, we work every year to learn about your needs and make improvements to the community needs assessment process, including providing new resources and better guidance. For 2018-19, we have tried to provide more specific guidance to help with the process.

A needs assessment is an essential part of your program's quality and effectiveness and should be conducted every year. With that being said, it is important to note that your community needs assessment does not need to be the same every year (e.g., there is no need/requirement to conduct a survey every year). The focus, intensity, and other elements may be different year to year, especially if you have tied your needs assessment to things like program goals, program evaluation, district goals, and/or community initiatives. With this in mind, the state reporting of your community needs assessment may be just a part of your community needs assessment (depending on the goals and scope of your needs assessment).

Program Evaluation: The Five-Tiered Approach
At a minimum, a needs assessment should be tied to program goals or program activities. For example, needs assessment information guides your work in designing programming or focusing outreach efforts. A needs assessment can also be an element of broader program evaluation efforts. The resource below is an example of how a needs assessment and program evaluation tie together.
Click Here

Analysis of 2014-15 Community Needs Assessment Submissions
This is a valuable resource showing the scope of responses to the first needs assessment. It helps districts see a variety of methods used to gather data, a range of potential family risk factors that districts should be aware of and understand, and potential parent and family education needs.
Click Here

Strategies for Conducting Your Needs Assessment

Introduction

In this set of tabs, the focus is on strategies for conducting your needs assessment. In particular, tabs are designated for the three required components of the needs assessment