New OTL Policy Guide on Early Care and Education
New OTL State Policy Guide:
High Quality Early Education Systems for Children & Families
The first years of a child’s life are the most formative. From the Oval Office to the halls of Congress to state capitols and city halls nationwide, policymakers are recognizing that learning and achievement gaps start long before kindergarten – and advocates are using that knowledge to spur public interest in giving all children and their families a strong start in life.
A new guide from the Broader Bolder Approach to Education, the National Opportunity to Learn Campaign and Opportunity Action gives both state policymakers as well as advocates a blueprint for developing better-coordinated, early support systems.
“Building High Quality Early Childhood Education Support Systems for Children and Families” helps lawmakers take a fresh look at the delivery of early care and education in their states using a whole-child and whole-family approach. It provides lawmakers with concrete action steps for adapting the document's highlighted strategies to meet states’ various needs. The guide focuses on four areas for state policy: ensuring comprehensive pre- and post-natal maternal and infant support; enhancing quality of and access to child care; building strong, high quality early education systems; and cultivating cohesive early support systems.
As children grow, disparities in their early experiences can set them behind their peers by up to two years even before they begin kindergarten. This “opportunity gap” is particularly evident for children of color and children from communities of concentrate poverty.
When policymakers assert that the United States is “falling behind” or “failing to compete,” rarely do they acknowledge our related failure to provide fundamental supports for children and their families. There is no better time than now to leverage state efforts and national attention to create better-integrated systems of early supports for all families so that all children can have the same early opportunities for a healthy, happy life.
Download the new guide here!
And download the two-page summary of the guide here.
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