TOPIC

Access, quality & alignment in early childhood education

Early Childhood Eduction

More than 24 million children ages 5 and younger live in the United States, and about one in eight of them—a little over 3 million—lives in California. Given the rapid brain development during a child’s first five years of life, which lays the foundation for all future learning, California has a compelling interest and responsibility to ensure that programs for young children provide a safe, socially supportive, and effective educational environment.

Considerable research shows that children attending high-quality preschool programs receive significant benefits. California has many good providers; but for a state that once led the nation in early childhood education, early childhood education today is marked by diminished investments in quality, low wages, and highly fractured oversight and implementation.

PACE’s work related to early childhood education is designed to help policymakers understand the challenges in current state policies and develop paths forward toward a high-quality, aligned early childhood system that benefits all California children.

Recent Topic Publications
What It Takes
Access to affordable preschool programs is a crucial issue for improving kindergarten readiness for 3- to 5-year-olds, but research shows that the quality of teaching and learning in those programs is just as essential. Across the country, states…
Evidence to Inform Policy
Governor Newsom’s first Budget Proposal increases funding for education in California. There are areas of substantive overlap in the Budget Proposal and research findings from the Getting Down to Facts II (GDTFII) research project, released in…
Views from the 2019 PACE/USC Rossier Poll
With a new Governor, State Superintendent, and Legislators in Sacramento and a diminished federal role in education, there is an opportunity for California’s leaders to take stock of recent educational reforms and make necessary improvements. This…
Challenges and Possibilities
In recent years, California has invested in improving early childhood education programs. Research shows the importance of high-quality early childhood education, but the disconnect from K–12 education threatens its long-term benefits. If the early…