naeycAC Archives - Early Learning Nation
Among the National Association for the Education of Young Children’s (NAEYC) many roles: Bringing together a range of professions – and perspectives – to reach consensus on important issues affecting early childhood education. What are these position statements, and how do they get created? NAEYC Senior Advisor Barbara Willer explains.
The high costs of early learning presents one of the biggest obstacles to accessing childhood education. It’s a challenge Amy O’Leary is attacking, not only as NAEYC Governing Board president, but also as director of the Early Education For All campaign of Strategies for Children, which seeks to make publicly-funded, high-quality early education available for all Massachusetts three, four and five-year-olds.
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.
Edward Manuszak wears many hats, but the two most important are Superintendent of Dundee (MI) Community Schools and as the AASA Early Learning Cohort Co-Chair. In both roles, he works to deliver excellent learning opportunities. So why is Manuszak among the first to say that “Early Childhood Matters Most?”
If education is so central to American success, why – as a country – don’t we invest more in the ones doing the educating? Sue Russell is Executive Director of the T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood National Center, which, among other efforts, provides comprehensive scholarships to the incumbent early childhood workforce – a program that has delivered more than $540MM in grants to some 165,000 educators.
How can communities know the progress they’re making – or areas to grow – in becoming a true center for early learning? In Part Two of our conversation, Cailin O’Connor, Senior Associate at the Center for the Study of Social Policy, explains the metrics, inputs and outputs of the Digital Progress Rating Tool and the early childhood system performance assessment toolkit.
As the importance early childhood learning becomes more widely understood, so, too, does the importance of early learning educators. As she describes, that’s just part of what inspired Clinical Associate Professor Tonia R. Durden to help design and launch the inspiring Birth to Five Program at Georgia State University.

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