ELN Studio Archives - Early Learning Nation
As a Reporting Fellow at New America’s Better Life Lab, Rebecca Gale has covered many aspects of America’s approach to child care. And one thing she knows: it’s complicated. From economics to use cases to the delivery system to funding and beyond, the U.S. has no one-size-fits-all approach. That patchwork leaves too many gaps, and that’s just one reason Gale argues that one way to improve America’s child care system is to improve how journalists report about it.
By creating a community-wide coalition across Austin city and Travis County in 2011— encompassing the public, private and non-profit sectors—Austin/Travis County Success by 6 provides support for families from birth to five. With their new strategic plan—and 38 babies being born every day—the group is trying to improve school readiness overall.
One of the Kelly Allen Grey’s first actions as a Fort Worth (TX) City Councilmember was to secure a children’s library for her district. That success was just one part of her journey to help drive racial equity in education, starting with early learning. As Grey says: “It takes all of us, even in our uncomfortableness in talking about race and equity, to make sure that we're doing the right thing.”
From “helicoptering” to “snowplowing,” parents are often tempted to simply remove obstacles from children’s way, preventing them from learning how to deal with challenges themselves. Instead, as Ellen Galinsky, Bezos Family Foundation Chief Science Officer and Founder/Executive Director of Mind in the Making, explains, the better approach is to build “Autonomy Support” – helping children gain the independence skills they’ll need to become successful adults. Filmed for Early Learning Nation’s Mobile Studio at the Society for Research in Child Development’s biennial meeting in Baltimore, MD, on March 22, 2019. #SRCD19
As an NLC Youth Representative, North Carolina High School junior Ramie Mack has the opportunity to talk with adults, including mayors and city councilmembers. And as she advocates for learning, Ramie wants those leaders to understand that youth face challenges, too. That’s just one reason she advocates for making sure students are part of the conversation when learning is being discussed.
As President & CEO of the Smarter Learning Group, Ron Fairchild works directly with communities nationwide. He works with foundations, nonprofits and school districts across the country, all to expand educational opportunities for low-income kids and families. As Fairchild describes, getting to continual strong results takes work. But the ability to get there—and the responsibility to try to improve the next generation of outcomes—exists in every community.
What are the skills – the tools – children should learn to make it easier to learn to their personal ability, remember on purpose and pay attention? Deborah Leong, Co-founder & President of Tools of the Mind, explains the “Vygotskian tradition” and how young learners can extend their mental capacities the same way physical tools extend one’s physical capacities.
How and why do children become aggressive – or even violent? How can we understand the true causes – and recognize the signs – before they take hold? Kenneth A. Dodge, Pritzker Professor of Public Policy at Duke University explains the important research that can help children and families.  Filmed for Early Learning Nation’s Mobile Studio at the Society for Research in Child Development’s biennial meeting in Baltimore, MD, on March 22, 2019. #SRCD19
For years, Hartford (CT) has been recognized as a leading city in early childhood learning. As Mayor Luke Bronin describes, the results come from a committed community, dedicated civic resources, including a Department of Families, Children, Youth and Recreation, with a division specifically focused on early child development – and the willingness to accelerate good ideas no matter where they come from. It starts, he says, by “working closely with families.”

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