Accountability and Results

Accountability and Results

Accountability. What does that mean to you? Is it scary, exciting? Does it make you cringe or think about opportunities? 

Collaboration with Bright Beginnings and adopting the Collective Impact framework looks different than a regular collaboration when accountability comes up. Hopefully you’ve heard the saying, “Data as a flashlight, not a hammer.” Data is our friend. It helps us make informed decisions. It helps us learn from our successes and our mistakes so that we fall forward. Data helps us stay accountable to our vision of having bright beginnings for our children.

In this newsletter, you’ll read about how having a school board and staff champion for early childhood development from Monterey Peninsula Unified School District can do for our children and a summary of the February CAT Convening. You can also read the results from the most recent Bright Beginnings' evaluation and how we’re using these results to prioritize our next steps.

CAT Spotlight: Peninsula

Both Wendy Root Askew and Cresta McIntosh have a deep-rooted passion for early childhood education and development, and they each serve their community as members of the Bright Beginnings’ Peninsula Collaborative Action Team (CAT). Wendy works as an aide to Monterey County Supervisor Jane Parker and serves on Monterey Peninsula Unified School Board as a Board Member. Cresta is the Assistant Superintendent for Elementary Education for Monterey Peninsula Unified School District (MPUSD).  

Click here to read the full Peninsula CAT Spotlight.

Final Evaluation Report

Towards the end of 2016, Spark Policy Institute sent out a survey to assess Bright Beginning’s progress on core elements of Bright Beginnings Theory of Action. This illustrates the collective impact path the initiative is taking in order to see improvements for early childhood development in Monterey County. A total of 28 people responded, made up of CAT facilitators, CAT members, Backbone members, and MCCC members.

According to survey respondents involved in the initiative, Bright Beginnings has made significant progress over the past year in terms of increasing collaboration and action towards improving the early childhood system in Monterey County. Click here to view the full Bright Beginnings Survey Executive Summary 2017 of strengths, challenges, and priorities broken down by CAT members and MCCC members.

In order to continue improving, Spark will be reaching out to local Bright Beginnings members for interviews to dig deeper on local community needs and goal progression. Stay tuned!

CAT Convening

On Friday, February 24, 2017, 28 participants from both the Monterey County Children’s Council and representatives from the local Collaborative Action Teams (CATs) attended the 3rd Collaborative Action Team Convening at Harden Ranch Foundation. Below are a series of identified successes, challenges, and next steps.


  • Increased feelings of inclusiveness; attendees felt that they were part of an early childhood movement

  • Shared learning across CATs for strategies

  • Participant pride in sharing accomplishments

  • Recognition of overlap in goals and ways to augment activities

  • United Way Early Care Collaborative Action Grants: to bolster collaborative action to increase access to quality, affordable early care, and education open to Bright Beginnings CATs

Identified Challenges:

  • Ensure continued support for the initiative

  • Increase engagement between leadership with the CATs

  • Convey CAT successes to leadership

Potential Solutions:

  • Bring CAT members to Board of Supervisors individual meetings

  • CAT Spotlights: MCCC members interview CAT leaders for podcasts and articles

  • Invite CAT members to present to MCCC every other month

News + Updates

Spring Spruce Up

Our kids deserve to play and learn in SAFE, beautiful, well-designed spaces. Playful Spaces = Happy Faces!

United Way Monterey County will award day-long beautification projects on Saturday, May 20 to preschool providers. They will provide all project equipment, materials, and supplies (totaling $10,000!) as well as recruit and manage a team of volunteers to carry out the projects. In partnership with sites, Bright Beginnings will manage event logistics, planning, and implementation. The goal is to support one to three projects and The United Way expects to recruit 30-45 corporate, parent, student, and community volunteers to support these projects.

For more information on this beautification project, please click here to visit United Way Monterey County’s site.  

Policy and Advocacy

Early childhood is on the tip of everyone’s tongue. Most importantly, decision makers are looking at what can be done to improve the early care system to give children the best start in school and life. Be sure to read our latest Policy & Advocacy update where you can learn about the newest local Women’s Policy Institute Monterey County team, the Blue Ribbon Commission on Early Childhood Education, and read what California bills have the potential the help Monterey County families.

Click here to read Bright Beginnings’ latest Policy & Advocacy update.

April: Week of the Young Child

The Week of the Young Child™ is an annual celebration hosted by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) celebrating early learning, young children, their teachers and families. To learn more and access various resources, be sure to visit the NAEYC website by clicking here.

Google Calendar

Interested in learning about upcoming Bright Beginnings CAT and Network meetings? Events around the county to get involved with? Want to post what you are doing so Bright Beginnings can help promote your event through our various channels? 

Check out our Google Calendar and send an e-mail to


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