With the extreme partisanship we see in government and politics today, one area recently emerged where policymakers came together to find common ground: Early childhood learning.
The conferences were hosted by New America, which characterizes itself as “a new kind of think and action tank: a civic platform that connects a research institute, technology lab, solutions network, media hub and public forum.” They took place over the last two years where “more than 30 individuals from top-level research organizations, early learning programs, and advocacy organizations came together at New America to distill years of research on what it takes to provide a quality pre-K experience for three- and four-year-old children.”
Now the outcomes from those conferences have been published, which New America outlines in an overview titled “3 Practices and 3 Policies Indispensable for Quality Pre-K.” These practices and policies are meant “to assist policymakers and political candidates interested in promoting the importance of quality in pre-K, as well as for state education leaders who aim to improve their early learning systems.”
These statements — which were nicknamed 3+3 Indispensables — include:
Engage in positive interactions with children and their families, recognizing the strengths and diversity of their backgrounds.
Use learning trajectories in subject areas and domains, supported by effective curricula, to help children meet goals in learning and development.
Promote children’s social development and self-regulation in ways that reflect an understanding of the multiple biological and environmental factors that affect behavior.
Allocate increased, predictable, and sustainable funding to establish the conditions necessary for high-quality teaching and learning.
Provide educators with professional learning (pre-service and in-service) based at a minimum on the 3 Indispensable Practices and on in-service opportunities aligned with the definition of professional development in the Every Student Succeeds Act.
Use high-quality data to promote continuous quality improvement and better continuity from ages 0–3 to pre-K and pre-K to grades K–3.
For more context and background, “the Alliance for Early Success published Indispensables for Quality Pre-K, a website and downloadable two-pager designed to assist policymakers and political candidates interested in promoting the importance of quality in pre-K, as well as for state education leaders who aim to improve their early learning systems.”