Access to high-quality early childhood education is linked to significant improvements in children’s long-term educational and economic outcomes. That’s why it’s good news that enrollment in early learning programs is growing, and to some extent so too is federal investment in these programs. The potential gains from federal early childhood investments can more readily be realized by improving how the federal government manages and supports its investment in these programs.
A new Center for American Progress report details the changes we need and provides suggestions for how to successfully implement them. These reforms include coordinating state standards for early learning programs, investing in learning assessment systems matched to those standards, improving opportunities for professional development among early learning instructors, and promoting strategies to boost early learning outcomes of children whose first language is not English, all with an eye to increasing the overall quality of our nation’s investments in early childhood. These and other changes proposed hold the potential to significantly increase the efficiency and efficacy of federal early childhood education programs and can help ensure that more American children receive the high-quality early interventions they need.
Cynthia Brown, Vice President for Education Policy, Center for American Progress
Cecilia Muñoz, Director, Domestic Policy Council
Carol Brunson Day, President, Brunson Phillips & Day Inc.; former President and CEO, National Black Child Development Institute
Harriet Dichter, Vice President, National Policy at Ounce of Prevention Fund
Sharon Lynn Kagan, Virginia and Leonard Marx Professor of Early Childhood and Family Policy, Columbia University
Phyllis Glink, Executive Director, Irving Harris Foundation
Donna Cooper, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress