In a first for Calgary, local agencies, educators and parents will get an annual report card that tracks the overall development and well-being of youth.
The effort is aimed at ensuring all children have the social, emotional and intellectual skills they need to enter school and succeed.
UpStart, a United Way collective impact initiative that supports kids from cradle to career, will track eight indicators of child well-being such as early cognitive skills, student engagement levels and provincial test scores.
In the past these indicators have been tracked separately by different organizations. Now United Way will bring the data together, analyze it and report back to the community with an annual report card.
"For the first time, we'll have a comprehensive snapshot of how kids are faring in our city," says Lucy Miller, United Way's President and CEO.
The eight outcome indicators in the report card will be comparable from one year to the next, so trends can be identified and addressed. Service providers, educators, policymakers and others will then be able to use the report card in their planning.
"This report card will benefit our entire community," says Miller. "It will give people and organizations the information they need to make the best possible decisions for our children."
"Child development is the economic engine of our future," adds Miller. "Calgary's progress depends on our ability to prepare children to play a strong role in the future of our province. This report card will help us support children in the ways they need it most."
United Way takes a collective, coordinated approach to supporting youth in Calgary. More than 30 leaders from different community sectors — including education, business, law enforcement and human services — are members of UpStart's Council of Champions. These leaders share information and exercise their collective influence to create lasting change for Calgary's youth.
UpStart's 2012 report to the community contains the outcome indicators that will be tracked.