Assessing Community Need and Capacity
Strong Foundations For Our Youngest Children


Assessing Community Need and Capacity

These resources and tools will support the collection of data to define and outline problems, resources, and readiness within a geographic area to address needs and gaps. 

Additional resources are included to support the ongoing assessment of community needs, resources, opportunities and capacity.


  1. Community Assessment and Reassessment of Early Childhood Needs and Resources – This assessment tool supports partners to gain a better understanding of how young children and their families are faring and where assistance is needed. This assessment is separated into two main sections: I. Condition of Young Children and II. Condition of Our Community.
  2. The State of Your Community: Basic Needs, Assets and Gaps – This resource considers community demographic information alongside comparable data for your state and includes guiding questions to determine gaps and priorities.
  3. Community Assessment Checklist - The community assessment checklist is designed to assist in completing the community assessment process and serve as a self-monitoring tool.
  4. Community Assessment Template – This template offers a suggested outline for the information to cover and design of a community assessment report.
  5. List of Data Elements and Resources - This is a resource list of data elements to consider when trying to understand how and where to improve access to early childhood experiences for high needs families, and a list of reliable data sources.
  6. Data Guide – This guide includes additional community assessment indicators to consider.
  7. Program Inventory – This tool includes variables such as target population and type of services provided by a program with sub-tools designed to consider the best evidence based programs to match need. Current version uses home visiting as example of inventory.
  8. Strategies for Collaboration: Programming Inventory – This tool allows you to complete a resource map of programs/services, by listing barriers, needs, and challenges.
  9. Adapting Interventions for Culture and Diversity – This series of questions, covering different culture and diversity factors, supports conversation on ensuring planning and programming is responsive to the diversity of the community.
  10. Early Childhood Iowa Area Board’s Fiscal Assessment - This tool supports collaborations in assessing services present in the community, relating this to the source of funding and assessing the level of collaboration of the program/organization.