Through the federal Preschool Development Grant, evaluators, typically involved in implementation and impact evaluations, embarked on a needs assessment to better understand issues within early childhood/preschool education to inform a state-level strategic plan and related evaluation measures. The needs assessment included a collaboration with four institutions of higher learning within the state to plan, administer, and analyze appropriate strategies and tools. Systematic, rigorous methods were used to gather information from differing regions and populations within the state. The results reflected input from more than 5,000 people including high percentages of underrepresented groups and allowed for the triangulation of results from various data collection strategies. The needs assessment work reaffirmed the commitment to fully understand needs from multiple viewpoints in program design, implementation, and evaluation.