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Early Childhood Development

Early childhood opportunities are receiving increased attention from researchers, educators, and policymakers. They understand that a high-quality early educational experience can be a difference-maker in a child’s life. Children who start kindergarten ready to learn are better prepared for the challenges and opportunities ahead, and all children should have access to high-quality early childhood opportunities. Many school districts are starting to connect their early childhood education programs to their community school initiatives and vice versa. Places such as Tulsa, Evansville, Portland, Providence, Cincinnati, and Hartford are linking community school partnerships and supports with early childhood programs, at the most important time in a person’s development. They are providing a "linkage" between early childhood and school that ensures a continuity of support across a child’s experience in school. As a result, many community schools are seeing increased attendance, less mobility, and fewer behavioral problems amongst its kindergarteners. Children are coming to school ready to learn. Community schools are providing blueprints for sustainable and replicable 0-8 early childhood education systems.