Early Childhood Education

Investing in Early Learning Systems to Improve Outcomes for Young Children

Access to high-quality early learning and skills development generates long-term economic growth and allows for upward social mobility by improving health, education, and workforce outcomes while preventing costly interventions later in life. Early childhood education is also a growing industry that employs millions of people, including many women and minorities. In 2016, Early Childhood Education Working Group attendees will develop cross-sector partnerships and scale approaches to improve the lives of young children, families, businesses, and communities.

2016 Subtopics

Multi-Generational and Community-Based Models

Cities nationwide are developing innovative solutions to improve early learning access and quality, support dual-language learners, and address funding changes, among other issues. Attendees will share best practices and common challenges among community-level early childhood systems.

Child Development and Health

Healthy children are thriving learners. Attendees will analyze how wraparound services, trauma-informed care, and other efforts can proactively address the mental health and physical well-being of young children and their families, especially for those living in poverty.

The Early Learning Workforce

High-quality early learning outcomes require training and retaining early childhood educators. Attendees will explore opportunities for providing this disaggregated workforce with meaningful professional development, including through digital badging and other approaches that identify and improve core competencies.

Military Families with Young Children

Many military families and veteran families face specific stresses posed by military service, including parent-child separation during deployment and access to appropriate services in civilian settings. Attendees will discuss interventions that successfully serve these families.

Innovative Commitments

Strengthening ECE Teacher Practice in Native Communities

Commitment by: American Indian College Fund
Commitment Partner: Brazelton Touchpoints Center

In 2015, the American Indian College Fund committed to partner with Brazelton Touchpoints Center to deliver culturally relevant professional development for Native early childhood educators. The goal of the Commitment to Action is to foster a long-term, sustainable improvement in the quality of early childhood education programs that target specific Native community challenges. Through the commitment, 150 early childhood teachers will be trained, ultimately impacting 662 Native families and children across six tribal nations.

Pediatricians Promote Reading to Children from Day One

Commitment by: Scholastic Inc.; American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP); Reach Out and Read; Clinton Foundation
In 2014, the AAP, Reach Out and Read, Scholastic, and Too Small to Fail committed to create and distribute an early literacy toolkit to the AAP’s 62,000 members. The tool kit includes information pediatricians share with parents to promote talking, reading, and singing to children. Scholastic has shipped the first half of the 500,000 books it committed to donate to Reach Out and Read.

The I-Score: Facilitating Investment in Family Initiative

Commitment by: Family Independence Initiative (FII)
Commitment Partners: InvestCloud; New Profit Inc.

In 2014, the FII and its partners committed to expand the use of their ‘I-Score’ (Initiative Score), an alternative credit score that links hard-working families with the financial resources they need. FII has streamlined the data input process and launched a Spanish version of its resources. To date, $100,000 in zero-interest loans have been issued, and $132,000 exchanged via Lending Circles is being tracked.

Museums for All

Commitment by: Association of Children’s Museums
Commitment Partner: Institute of Museum and Library Services

In 2014, the Association of Children’s Museums and its partner committed to launch Museums for All, a program that encourages lifelong interest in museums by enabling low-income families to visit any participating museum year-round for a minimal fee. To date, 20 children’s museums offer Museums for All benefits and intensive recruitment efforts will engage 130 children’s museums across the United States in the pilot.

Featured Past Participants

American Academy of Pediatrics
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
The Campaign for Grade Level Reading
Kaiser Permanente
Kaplan Early Learning Co.
LEGO Foundation
McKinsey & Company
National Head Start Association
New Profit Inc.
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Scholastic Inc.
Sesame Workshop
U.S. Department of Education
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
The Walton Family Foundation