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
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…
GDTFII Brief Earlychildhood
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. Compared to the rest of the country, California has about twice as many children ages 5 and under…
Over the past several years, there has been much attention and advocacy around “PreK-3 Alignment,” both in California and nationwide. The push for alignment comes in the face of a growing body of research documenting the benefits of attending high…
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In a PACE Working Paper, Co-Director Bruce Fuller and Joseph Wright offer policy and implementation lessons from two states – New Jersey and Texas – that have moved to advance preschool and K-12 finance reform in tandem. These states have assembled…