Program completes a self-assessment of cultural competence using a tool, such as the National Association for the Education of Young Children Pathways to Cultural Competence Checklist, the Self-Assessment Checklist for Personnel Providing Services and Supports In Early Intervention and Early Childhood Settings from the National Center on Cultural Competence, or other tool. The results are used for program improvement.

[ Points: 3 ]

  • Completed NAEYC Pathways self-assessment checklist


  • Completed NCCC self-assessment checklist


  • Completed improvement plan based on assessment results

Program is actively working to improve its cultural and linguistic competency so that it can support and work with diverse families.

Understanding FIS-8

Why is it important for my program to complete a self-assessment on our cultural competence?

The culture of children and families should be represented in all early childhood program programs as part of high-quality early care and education (Gonzales-Mena, 2012; Grant & Ray, 2013).  Assessing attitudes, practices, structures and policies of programs and staff is important.  This can be a way to plan for and incorporate cultural and linguistic competency within organizations. When conducted thoughtfully and intentionally, program self-assessments can help identify areas of strength.  Programs can build on those areas of strength to make sure the needs of all children and families are met.

To be truly meaningful, self-assessment must be an ongoing process. Conducting self-assessments on a regular basis is important. This is important because staff members and enrolled families change over time.  


What steps should my program take to carry out a self-assessment of Cultural Competence?

Make sure you have buy-in from staff, families, and stakeholders. Speak with everybody about the importance of being a culturally responsive program.

Decide what tool is right for your program. Your Quality Improvement Specialist can help you select the one that best fits your needs.

Bring together a small group that will be responsible for the self-assessment process. Ideally, this group will include administration, staff, and families. It should also reflect the diversity of the organization and the community.

Decide on a timeline with your group.  Your timeline/calendar should include a schedule of activities involved in the self-assessment process.

Plan for next steps. Use the information gathered during the self-assessment to identify areas of strength and develop a strategic plan. This plan should have goals to maintain strengths. It can also address areas for growth.  Share the plan with staff and families.