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Early Childhood

An assistant teacher reads to students.

Underpaid and Unequal

book_alt2 icon Report The early childhood workforce as a whole is grossly underpaid. New CAP analyses suggest that female African American teachers who work full time earn even less than their white counterparts.


Black Families Work More, Earn Less, and Face Difficult Child Care Choices

While the child care crisis means all families have poor choices, African American families have even fewer options.

Children climb in a playground.

Early Learning in the United States

article icon Fact Sheet Because high-quality child care and preschool prepare children for school and enable parents to work, they are necessities for children, families, and the economy, and state and federal policymakers must work to improve the U.S. early learning landscape.

Dropping Out of the Workforce to Care for a Child Is Astonishingly Expensive

play_alt icon Video Watch this video from ThinkProgress to see how the child care crisis is affecting parents and learn how to calculate the hidden cost of a failed child care system for yourself.

Preschool chalkboard

State Examples of the Hidden Cost of a Failing Child Care System

article icon Fact Sheet This fact sheet provides state-by-state examples of the financial cost of choosing between a career and full-time caregiving.

Peter Yabadi, 2, stands next to his mother

Calculating the Hidden Cost of Interrupting a Career for Child Care

article icon Issue Brief The how and why behind CAP’s child care cost calculator, which helps determine the financial cost of choosing between full-time work and full-time care.

A pre-K student does paper mache.

Jumping Through Hoops and Set Up to Fail

book_alt2 icon Report Our child care assistance system is due for major reform. In this report, parents and providers make the case for rules and regulations that put children first and respect the real-life struggles of working parents.

Two preschoolers play

How Much Can High-Quality Universal Pre-K Reduce Achievement Gaps?

book_alt2 icon Report Achievement gaps based on race/ethnicity and income start early and persist over time. A national high-quality universal pre-K program could help ensure that all children start kindergarten on equal footing.

Infographic: Out of Reach: The Child Care Crisis in the United States

The high cost and potentially low quality of child care have made it out of reach for most families.

Teacher works with kindergarten student.

Examining Quality Across the Preschool-to-Third-Grade Continuum

book_alt2 icon Report High-quality early childhood and elementary education form an important foundation for young children to be successful throughout school, but evidence suggests that children lack consistent access between preschool and third grade.

A preschool teacher works with students.

Examining Teacher Effectiveness Between Preschool and Third Grade

book_alt2 icon Report Teachers play a crucial role in fostering children’s success in school. Policymakers must consider ways to support and prepare high-quality teachers while aligning expectation and opportunities for teachers between preschool and third grade.

Pre-K students

A Different Way of Doing Business

article icon Issue Brief States and districts across the country are making an effort to align policy and practice from pre-kindergarten to third grade, with the hope of closing achievement gaps and ensuring success for all children.

Teacher leading preschoolers in drill

Developing a High-Quality Early Learning Continuum

article icon Issue Brief As the 18-month grace period for formal monitoring of Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships comes to an end, it is important to consider next steps that will allow them to continue to effectively collaborate and coordinate programs.

kindergarten student

Creating Effective Transitions

article icon Issue Brief As the need for program alignment between preschool and kindergarten becomes more of a priority, federal, state, and local policymakers can look to Head Start’s current transition partnerships as a guide.

It’s Time to Put High-Quality Child Care and Pre-K Within Reach

play_alt icon Video Early education prepares children for school and strengthens the economy. But low quality and skyrocketing costs are putting child care and preschool out of reach for millions of hard-working Americans.

More on Early Childhood