Using This Toolkit

Early and Often is designed to provide you with ideas and materials to help children and families develop strong attendance routines from the outset of schooling. A quick review of the toolkit will orient you to research and strategies that have worked for others. It is a problem-solving resource to be used “early and often” as you nurture a positive culture of attendance. When you invent a strategy that works well, we hope you’ll share the information. We’re happy to acknowledge your work as we all learn together.

Please keep in mind our emphasis on the use of this toolkit by programs that are simultaneously investing in the development of high quality learning experiences. Such an approach ensures children reap the full benefits of their investments in curriculum and teaching practice. Research shows, however, that more time in unsafe, poor quality programs is not associated with better outcomes.

Not sure where to begin? You may want to use our Self-Assessment Tool: Does Attendance Really Count in our Early Education Program? to help you prioritize your actions. We salute your commitment to this important work. Let us know how we can help.

How Preschools Promote a Culture of Attendance:
  • Welcoming and engaging children and families as they enter school. 

  • Providing high visibility for attendance through messaging and engagement.

  • Recognizing children and families weekly, monthly and at special events. 

  • Noticing when absences, particularly those for health reason, are adding up and addressing the issue in a supportive manner.