First 10 Blog

Successful Implementation of the First 10 Model: Insights from Rhode Island


Starting in 2021, the Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE) partnered with First 10 to improve the quality and coordination of the early childhood education and care in three communities: East Providence, Johnston, and Woonsocket.

This report evaluates this partnership’s work spanning from spring 2021 through December 2023.

Key findings from the evaluation include:

  1. All three First 10 community partnerships made significant strides in achieving their goals. The initiative successfully improved transition to kindergarten practices and strengthened partnerships with families through school-connected play and learn groups and community-wide parenting campaigns.
  2. Each community addressed the main three strategies outlined in the First 10 model. Over the course of EDC’s support, these communities implemented practices aligned with one or more of First 10’s core strategies, which gradually became institutionalized into ongoing community activities.
  3. Each community established robust cross-agency partnerships, both internally within their teams and externally with agencies in their communities. These partnerships played a crucial role in promoting the First 10 initiative and ensuring its success.
  4. The implemented practices not only aligned with First 10’s core strategies but also became integral to the community’s ongoing activities. This institutionalization reflects the sustained impact of the First 10 model on early childhood education and care.
  5. The biggest challenges that the First 10 teams faced include engaging community partners and finding time to meet and conduct the work.
  6. Key elements that contributed to the success of all three First 10 partnerships include administrator buy-in, cross-agency collaboration, and institutionalizing events and processes.

The report describes how the three communities used different First 10 strategies to meet their goals (Table 1) and offers a snapshot of First 10 strategies and practices within each community (see Table 2). The appendix outlines the First 10 successes in each community.

The First 10 work in RI was funded by Rhode Island’s Preschool Development Grant Birth through Grade 5 (PDG B-5) grant.

Read the full evaluation report.