To provide commentary on the original research article, “Early Lessons Learned from Building Local Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems in Texas” by Cynthia Osborne (University of Texas at Austin), Kaeley C. Bobbitt (University of Texas at Austin), Jill M. Boelter (University of Texas at Austin), Tracy K. Ayrhart(Women's Health & Family Planning Association of Texas). Research emphasizes the importance of early childhood comprehensive systems (ECCS) that are tailored to respond to and meet the needs of the families living in low income communities and its impact on preparing children for success. Children who have positive early childhood experiences are set on a positive trajectory for learning and development.

Key Take Away Points

  • Their work reveals that the data gathered in year one would prematurely define which approaches or strategies lead to the success or failure of an ECCS.
  • An effective structure and process for coordination and collaboration would allow local communities the opportunity to leverage their common interests around young children and their families.
  • The technical assistance provided by Transforming Early Childhood Community Systems (TECCS) proved to have a significant impact on communities with less coalition building.

Author Biography

LaShonda Y. Brown is Director for the Texas Head Start State Collaboration Office (THSSCO), housed within the Children’s Learning Institute (CLI). In this role, she is responsible for facilitating and enhancing coordination and collaboration between Head Start agencies and other state and local entities that provide comprehensive services designed to benefit low-income children from birth to age five and their families, as well as pregnant women. Concurrently she serves as the director of Texas Early Childhood Professional Development System (TECPDS), a project whose purpose is to ensure that high quality professional development opportunities are available statewide to individuals working in early care and education. In November 2009, Ms. Brown was appointed by Governor Rick Perry to serve on the Texas Early Learning Council and in August 2012 she was appointed chair of this Council. Prior to joining CLI, Ms. Brown served in the field of early care and education in a variety of capacities. Those include a teacher of young children, director of an early childhood program, Executive Director for the Texas Association for the Education of Young Children and Project Manager for the Healthy Child Care Texas Project. Additionally, she has served on various statewide committees to support children, families and professionals including Healthy Child Care Texas Advisory Council, Texas Infant Mental Health Association Advisory Board, Texas Early Childhood Education Coalition Executive Committee, Raising Texas Steering Committee, Early Childhood Intervention Advisory Council, Children’s Commission Supreme Court of Texas Permanent Judicial Commission for Children, Youth and Families – Education – Subcommittee School Readiness and the Texas Home Visiting State Leadership Team. Ms. Brown received her Bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from Dallas Baptist University and is pursuing a Master’s degree in Organizational and Human Resource Development.



A Response To:

Early Lessons Learned from Building Local Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems in Texas by Cynthia Osborne, Kaeley C. Bobbitt, Jill M. Boelter, and Tracy K. Ayrhart.