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Bipartisan Policy Center
By Linda Smith, Jason Sabo, Lisa Kerber
May 22, 2023
This blueprint tells the tale of two states and how each are defying expectations within the realm of early childhood policy. Policymakers and legislators from both sides of the aisle, advocates, community organizers, parents, and philanthropists can borrow from the work of New Mexico and Alabama to expand access to quality child care. New Mexico is on the road to making child care a public good, like public education, and working...

By Rachel M. Cohen
May 22, 2023
Action in Congress to support child care has been stalled for years. But in Vermont, lawmakers have just approved an ambitious plan that would pour tens of millions of new dollars into the state’s starved child care system. The bill authorizing $125 million in annual investment comes after nearly a decade of organizing. As in many states, thousands of Vermont kids lack access to any child care program, and among families that have been able to...

Cision PR Newswire
News Provided By The Saul Zaentz Early Education Initiative
May 1, 2023
BOSTON, May 1, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- The Saul Zaentz Early Education Initiative at the Harvard Graduate School of Education has announced the winners of its 2023 Zaentz Early Education Innovation Challenge. Now in its fourth year, the Challenge recognizes promising new ideas and strategic approaches that have the potential to transform early education. On April 27, 2023, 11 finalists pitched their ideas to a panel of judges and a...

MIT News
By Peter Dizikesarchive
April 25, 2023
Children who attend preschool at age four are significantly more likely to go to college, according to an empirical study led by MIT economist Parag Pathak. To conduct the study, Pathak and his colleagues followed more than 4,000 students who took part from 1997 to 2003 in a lottery the Boston public school system conducted to allocate a limited number of preschool slots. The lottery created a natural experiment, allowing the researchers to track the educational outcomes...

By Juliana Kaplan and Madison Hoff
April 23, 2023
At childcare centers and schools, workers have been quitting for better pay and because of burnout, among other reasons. It's adding to to the childcare industry's ongoing cycle of workers leaving over hard conditions, squeezing centers and parents even more, as the whole operation struggles to stay afloat. Workers are begging for help. "We really need help. We need government to step in," Cynthia Dahl, the head of Lighthouse Montessori School in Seattle, told Insider. "It...

Chalkbeat Chicago
By Samantha Smylie
March 31, 2023
Chicago’s youngest residents cannot vote for the city’s next mayor, but their parents can. As Brandon Johnson and Paul Vallas face off in an April 4 runoff election to become the city’s next mayor, both have promised to support early childhood education and provide families with accessible and affordable options for high-quality child care. Johnson said he would focus on affordable child care and increasing wages for staff, while Vallas’ plan would support children from birth...

Early Learning Nation
By Bruno J. Navarro
March 29, 2023
The number of investor-backed, for-profit child care chains in the United States has been growing in recent years, creating additional strains on the industry—and families—that go beyond the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new research brief. If it continues unabated, the trend would make it more difficult for families to access affordable child care across the country, writes Elliot Haspel, author of the book “Crawling Behind: America’s Child Care Crisis...

The Washington Post
By Tara Bahrampour
March 30, 2023
Alicia Morales Escobar had taught infants and toddlers for years before the District passed a law requiring her to earn a college degree to continue doing her job. “I was thinking it would be impossible for me,” said Morales Escobar, 44, who works at Briya Public Charter School in Adams Morgan. With two of her own children to raise, the strain compounded by a pandemic and the death of her brother from a stroke, she...

The New York Times
By Emma G. Fitzsimmons
March 29, 2023
When Eric Adams ran for mayor, one of his key policy proposals was to create a better website for New Yorkers to access government services. Concluding his 15th month in office, Mr. Adams has introduced the first phase of the website, which is called MyCity, calling the project “my baby” and “my dream.” Initially, it will allow people to apply for child-care assistance. Eventually, it will connect New Yorkers to additional programs. “It’s user-friendly,...

Chalkbeat Colorado
By Erica Meltzer
March 28, 2023
It will be another month before Colorado families know where they can send their children for preschool under the state’s new universal preschool program. Families were supposed to learn which programs they had matched with on Thursday. But on Tuesday, officials with Colorado’s Department of Early Childhood announced they plan to tell families on April 26. As reported by Chalkbeat, more than 20 education and early childhood groups had asked the state to push back initial...

Texas A&M Today
By Ruben Hidalgo
March 20, 2023
Texas A&M University is strengthening its commitment to supporting Texans’ education at all stages of life with the launch of the Texas A&M Institute for Early Childhood Development & Education. Housed in the School of Education and Human Development (SEHD), the institute will be the most comprehensive institute of its kind in the state, involving faculty, students, centers and clinics across the campus and state. Its multi-disciplinary approach leverages faculty across engineering, nutrition, health, policy,...

Boston Globe
By Samantha J. Gross
March 24, 2023
Federal grant money designed to help child care facilities weather the pandemic’s upheaval was a lifeline for Ellen Dietrick, who runs a child care center in Needham, where high housing costs made it difficult to attract and retain staffers. But now, she and similar child care providers, which care only for children whose parents can pay out of pocket, could be cut out of a state program designed to take over when the federal...

The Hill
By Kali Thorne Ladd
March 21, 2023
As businesses around the country struggle to hire the teams they need to grow, part of the solution lies in early childhood education.  What do child care and business growth have in common? Everything, as I told lawmakers I met on the Hill last week.  Even before the pandemic, an estimated half of all American families lived in “child care deserts,” communities where there simply is not enough child care to meet demands.  We lost thousands more child...

By Erica Gunderson
March 18, 2023
For the most part, free public education in the U.S. starts at the kindergarten level, when children are around age 5. But research continues to reveal just how critical the first few years after birth are to long-term outcomes. Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s proposed Smart Start program would allow an additional 5,000 kids to go to preschool next year, eventually adding a total of 20,000 slots. The plan would also add money to increase wages for...

NBC San Diego
By Amber Frias
March 18, 2023
Child care and early education programs are a crucial part of children’s well-being and necessary for many families who have to work. According to the most recent data from the Kids Count Data Center, around two-thirds of children under the age of six in the U.S. have both parents in the labor force. The people who care for children are one of the main factors in quality early education, yet they rarely feel acknowledged as such. Sandra...

The Wall Street Journal
By Harriet Torry
March 18, 2023
Many lower-income Americans who left the workforce when the pandemic began three years ago are staying on the sidelines because of a lack of child care, a factor contributing to worker shortages and historically low unemployment. An estimated 380,000 Americans in their prime working years, aged 25 to 54, held jobs before the pandemic but no longer did late last year, according to estimates from Bank of America. Bank economists said the lack of...

By Erica Gunderson
March 18, 2023
The Robert Taylor Homes in Bronzeville were at one point the largest public housing development in the country. As many as 27,000 families lived in the buildings, which were demolished in the late 1990s. But even amid the chaos that characterized the last decades of the Robert Taylor Homes, an ambitious early education program helped the children who lived there flourish. “We decided that we’re going to bring the services where the people are,” said Portia Kennel...

By Adam Yahya Rayes and Sydney Dauphinais
March 17, 2023
Families across Indiana lack access to child care. Several bills were introduced this legislative session that aim to make child care more affordable and widespread. Yet all seven bills failed to advance in the Statehouse despite broad support from employer and welfare groups as well as lawmakers of both parties. The latest state data available, from Early Learning Indiana in 2019, shows Indiana only has the capacity to serve around 44 percent...

Chalkbeat Philadelphia
By Carly Sitrin
March 16, 2023
Citing “inadequate” wages and warning of an impending mass exodus from the field, early childhood education advocates in Philadelphia and statewide say their sector is “on the brink of a breakdown.” Those advocates are urging state lawmakers and Gov. Josh Shapiro to add more funding for childcare and early childhood education in the state budget this year. Without more money, they say employees will leave, programs will close, and children, families, and businesses in Pennsylvania will...

By Madina Toure
March 15, 2023
The New York City Department of Education has received more than 40,000 applications for 3K — early childhood education for three-year-olds — amid parent demand for the program, the agency told the City Council on Wednesday. There were 42,000 3K applications, compared to 33,000 in 2021 — a 27 percent increase, according to Kara Ahmed, the DOE’s deputy chancellor of early childhood education. Pre-K applications are also up, approximately 54,000 applications, compared to 50,000 last year. Schools...

Early Learning Nation
By Mark Swartz
March 15, 2023
Early education advocates cheered when President Biden’s State of the Union address noted that children who attend preschool are nearly 50% more likely to finish high school and go on to earn a two- or four-year degree, no matter their background. Shortly after the speech, Early Learning Nation magazine (ELN) spoke to Nonie K. Lesaux, co-director of the Saul Zaentz Early Education Initiative at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, about seizing this momentum and informing policy through research....

Business Insider
By Juliana Kaplan and Ayelet Sheffey
March 9, 2023
Right now, the US is one of just six countries without paid leave. President Joe Biden wants to change that with his next budget through mandating time off — and making childcare cheaper across the country. In his budget for fiscal year 2024, Biden is proposing establishing a national paid family and medical leave program, which would give workers up to 12 weeks off to tend for a newborn, recover, or care for a family...

Education Week
By Libby Stanford
March 9, 2023
President Joe Biden hopes to expand funding for high-need schools, early childhood education, and students with disabilities in the next fiscal year. The president released his 2024 budget proposal Thursday, requesting $90 billion to fund education, a $10.8 billion increase from the Education Department’s budget for fiscal 2023, which started last fall. In a March 9 speech about his spending priorities, Biden focused on preschool, including a proposed program that aims to provide all 4-year-olds with...

Ed Source
By Karen D'Souza
March 9, 2023
President Biden’s 2024 budget plan aims to boost childcare and early childhood education funding by billions of dollars, as Reuters reported. The proposal, which Biden will deliver to Congress today, revisits key items from the president’s 2023 budget proposal that were later removed during negotiations with Congress. However, prospects may well be even slimmer this year, as Reuters noted, given the Republican majority in the House of Representatives. The White House argues that lack of access to childcare is...

By Sydney Dauphinais
March 8, 2023
Early Learning Indiana announced a new initiative Wednesday to expand early childhood education across the state. The Early Years Initiative is a grant program for organizations that serve children from ages zero to three. The program makes $50 million available for eligible social service providers, child care providers, and nonprofits across the state that serve young children’s developmental needs. “We have a real opportunity to help children get started on the right foundation,” said Maureen Weber, CEO...

By Karen D'Souza
March 8, 2023
Toddlers are famous for throwing tantrums, stomping their feet and screaming as tears roll down their chubby cheeks. It’s par for the course of life as a preschool teacher, child care worker or parent that you will have to cope with your fair share of developmentally-appropriate misbehavior, including hitting and biting. And yet not all small children get the benefit of the doubt when they act up in class or on the playground. Some of them...

By Karen D'Souza
March 8, 2023
Toddlers are famous for throwing tantrums, stomping their feet and screaming as tears roll down their chubby cheeks. It’s par for the course of life as a preschool teacher, child care worker or parent that you will have to cope with your fair share of developmentally-appropriate misbehavior, including hitting and biting. And yet not all small children get the benefit of the doubt when they act up in class or on the playground. Some of them...

New America
By Aaron Loewenberg
February 27, 2023
While child care and early learning have been underfunded in this country for decades, the pandemic took a major problem and turned it into a full-blown crisis. Even prior to the pandemic, parents were paying more than they could afford for child care and early educators were earning poverty-level wages. The pandemic only worsened many of these trends: According to Child Care Aware of America, about 9,000 child care centers and 7,000 family child care programs...

World Health Organization
Department News
February 27, 2023
The World Health Organization (WHO) has launched a new package of measures, the Global Scales for Early Development (GSED), to monitor the development of young children at population level up to three years of age. The new GSED methodology allows for a comprehensive assessment of the development of young children up to 36 months of age, capturing cognitive, socio-emotional, language and motor skills. The GSED provides a developmental score (D-score), a new common unit to measure...

The New York Times
By Jim Tankersley
February 27, 2023
WASHINGTON — The Biden administration plans to leverage the federal government’s expansive investment in the semiconductor industry to make progress on another goal: affordable child care. On Tuesday, the Commerce Department will announce that any semiconductor manufacturer seeking a slice of nearly $40 billion in new federal subsidies will need to essentially guarantee affordable, high-quality child care for workers who build or operate a plant. Last year, a bipartisan group of lawmakers passed the CHIPS...

By Amber Wallin, MPA
February 23, 2023
The year was 1940. As the U.S. was entering World War II, women were being recruited to fill factory jobs that men were leaving so they could enlist. “Rosie the Riveter” was born and Congress passed the Lanham Act, which took care of an issue that was central to getting women into the workforce: providing care for their children. That was the first time – and the last – the federal government made a concerted...

Ed Surge By Emily Tate Sullivan
February 21, 2023
While the national labor force has long since rebounded from the pandemic, the child care sector has lagged behind, experiencing a slow recovery that continues to this day. In the three years since the arrival of COVID-19, families have struggled to find high-quality, affordable child care for their children. Child care providers have been hard-pressed to find qualified workers to fill their open positions, often because retail and service industry employers have emerged as better-paying competitors. And...

The Colorado Sun
By Erica Breunlin
February 20, 2023
Colorado’s rollout of expanded preschool has community-based providers across the state fearful they will lose critical revenue and struggle to keep their doors open as more children shift to free school-based programs. Operators of community-based preschools worry that 3-year-olds who leave their centers to attend a school district program won’t come back once they turn 4 to continue preschool before they enter kindergarten. Colorado currently has 3,405 providers licensed to educate preschoolers, and they need...

Mass Live
By Carolyn Robbins
February 19, 2023
After a decade of planning, the Springfield Public Schools have achieved the goal of making free universal pre-kindergarten education available to every 3 and 4 year old in the city - becoming the sole school district in commonwealth to do so. The city believes providing early education opportunities to urban students – many of whom are disadvantaged compared to their suburban counterparts - is a proven way to help level the academic playing field, says Patrick...

CBS News Chicago
By The Associated Press
February 15, 2023
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker called Wednesday for making preschool available to every 3- and 4-year-old in the state within four years, starting with a $440 million investment to bring 5,000 additional children into the program this fall. Details about the "Smart Start Illinois" program dominated the fifth annual State of the State and budget address by the Democratic governor, who easily won reelection in November and has hinted at an eventual...

Crain's Chicago Business
By Greg Hinz
February 15, 2023
Declaring that investing in the next generation is “the most important thing we can do,” Gov. J.B. Pritzker today will call for the state to spend another nearly half-billion dollars a year on much-expanded early childhood education, child care and related activities. The plan to do more will be the centerpiece of the proposed fiscal 2024 budget Pritzker is to introduce in a Springfield speech at noon today. It follows promises from the governor...

The Hill
By Lexi Lonas
February 7, 2023
President Biden in his State of the Union address on Tuesday made the case for universal preschool and teacher raises to help create the “best-educated workforce” in the world. During his speech before a joint session of Congress, Biden said universal K-12 education helped create “the best-educated, best-paid nation in the world” in the past century, “but the world has caught up.” Biden gave a node to his wife, Jill Biden, who teaches at a community college,...

We Are The Mighty
By Joel Searls
February 7, 2023
Saul Zaentz started out in the music industry post his service in the Army during World War II. He worked with the Jazz at the Philharmonic which included him managing tours for such musicians as Duke Ellington and Stan Getz. He joined Fantasy Records in the mid-1950s and stayed there through the 1960s having discovered Creedence Clearwater Revival. Although CCR and Zaentz didn’t end on the best terms they did find a lot...

CBS Colorado
By Karen Morfitt
February 7, 2023
When Colorado's Universal Preschool program starts in the fall, Monica Staffieri is hoping her son Miles will be among the first to take part.
"I would love for him to be in preschool. I know it's really important that they get that first taste, and that learning is really important especially pre-5, so I never understood why we didn't (always have it)," she said.
But until just a few days ago, she wasn't entirely sure her family...

NBC Connecticut
By Jane Caffrey
February 7, 2023
Advocates for early childhood education from Connecticut shared ideas on how to improve programs for young kids on the state and national level Tuesday.
A lack of affordable childcare is costing the country $122 billion a year, according to a new report from Readynation. The report indicates that figure has more than doubled since 2018. It states that policy inaction combined with the pandemic is costing businesses, parents and taxpayers billions of dollars in lost productivity,...

The Hechinger Report
By Jill Barshay
February 6, 2023
The research on early childhood education can seem as messy as a playground sandbox. Some studies show that preschool produces remarkable academic and social benefits for low-income children, and some don’t. One 2022 study found that children who went to preschool in Tennessee ended up worse off, on average, than those who stayed home. Even among success stories, the benefits of preschool can be fleeting. Children who didn’t go to preschool still learn their...

UMass Boston
Office of Communications
February 6, 2023
The Institute for Early Education Leadership and Innovation at UMass Boston is one of six core partners in a collaborative that was awarded $30 million over five years by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services through the Administration for Children and Families. The collaborative will launch and implement a new National Early Care and Education (ECE) Workforce Center that will coordinate and provide technical assistance and rigorous research to advance the recruitment and...

Five Thirty Eight
By Monica Potts
February 3, 2023
California is in the middle of implementing a plan that will create a free, universal pre-K program (known as transitional kindergarten) for every 4-year-old in the state by the 2025-2026 school year. It sounds like a big, blue state priority, but it’s also a red state one. California will join states like West Virginia, Alabama and Oklahoma in aiming to provide universal preschool programs that serve all of their states’ 4-year-olds.
Welcome to the weird,...

The Hill
By Alejandra O’Connell-Domenech
February 2 , 2023
A new bill introduced to the Vermont state legislature would give parents the option to send their young children to free, public prekindergarten classes for the full school year. Under current Vermont law, children between the ages of three and five years old are entitled to 10 hours of prekindergarten education a week for up to 35 weeks a year. The new bill would amend that law to grant three-, four-,...

Detroit Free Press
By Jennifer Brookland
January 28, 2023
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s announcement during Wednesday’s State of the State address that she was proposing free preschool for all 4-year-olds was cause for celebration for many parents and early childhood advocates — but a source of worry for private child care providers.
“There is much evidence that connection to quality, evidence-based programs have the power to permanently improve kids' lives,” Cindy Eggleton, co-founder and CEO of Brilliant Detroit, said in an email. “Universal pre-K is...

Business Insider
By Jacob Zinkula
January 27, 2023
America has a childcare crisis. New Mexico is trying to show the rest of the country a better way forward.
The state's legislature is set to approve plans in the coming weeks to allocate childcare providers more money per child, make more families eligible for free childcare, give the industry's workers permanent raises, and establish a wage floor of $15 per hour.
It's happening because last November, over 70% of New Mexico voters supported a constitutional amendment...

K-12 Dive
By Kara Arundel
January 26, 2023
Hawaii, California, Michigan and New Mexico are among states dedicating money toward large-scale expansion of preschool programs.
“Children who have attended high-quality preschool or child care programs are much better prepared for success in Kindergarten, but not every family has access to early learning programs,” said Hawaii Lt. Gov. Sylvia Luke in a statement. Luke is leading Hawaii’s preschool expansion efforts. “If we can provide enough classrooms at an affordable price, we can make sure...

CBS Colorado
By Dillon Thomas
January 20, 2023
Free Universal Pre-K education is rolling out this year in Colorado and the time to apply for your child is already open. An estimated 30,000 Colorado children are expected to be seeking free Pre-K education. However, some rural districts say they are still working out logistics on how they can best meet the demand.   "It is a very exciting time," said Michelle Spencer, Early Childhood Coordinator for Weld RE-4 School District.   Weld RE-4 serves Windsor,...

CBS Colorado
By Dillon Thomas
January 20, 2023
Free Universal Pre-K education is rolling out this year in Colorado and the time to apply for your child is already open. An estimated 30,000 Colorado children are expected to be seeking free Pre-K education. However, some rural districts say they are still working out logistics on how they can best meet the demand.   "It is a very exciting time," said Michelle Spencer, Early Childhood Coordinator for Weld RE-4 School District.   Weld RE-4 serves Windsor,...

The New Yorker
By Jessica Winter
January 20, 2023
The Red Balloon is part of the university’s progressive history, but it may not have a future.
For a half century, the Red Balloon has operated out of a-thousand-plus square feet on the lower level of 560 Riverside Drive, a Columbia University-owned residential building near the northern tip of Riverside Park. Despite the subterranean location, the space feels bright and airy, primary-colorful, and includes an indoor playground and a small library lined with a grass-green...

By Libby Stanford
January 25, 2023
Universal pre-kindergarten has become a buzz term lately, capturing the attention of federal and state politicians as evidence shows that students do better when they start school earlier.
But determining whether a state-funded preschool program is truly universal isn’t as simple as it seems, and states that have universal pre-K laws or programs don’t always achieve high enrollment.
“What constitutes universal preschool is fuzzy because people use the term differently,” said Steven Barnett, the director of the National...

The Denver Gazette
By Nicole C. Brambila
January 9, 2023
The Polis Administration is reminding parents that enrollment for Universal Preschool starts next week.
Pre-K enrollment for the fall begins Jan. 17. Children will be matched with providers in mid-February.
More than 29,000 pre-K seats are available across the state from roughly 850 providers, according to the governor's office.
“We are bringing high-quality preschool to Colorado kids, saving families thousands of dollars, and making sure Colorado students get a strong start in school,” Polis said in...

By Megan Leonhardt
January 3, 2023
Breanna Dietrich was on the wait list at a day care before her daughter was even born. Nearly two years later, a slot has yet to open up. Even if there was an opening at a childcare center in her hometown of Wheeling, W.Va., Dietrich isn’t sure she’d be able to afford it. “I have no idea what I can afford. The thought of that makes my chest hurt,” she tells Fortune. Dietrich, 36, is now...

The Center Square
By Steve Bittenbender January 2, 2023
The Beshear Administration announced Kentucky will receive nearly $12 million a year in federal funding over the next three years to help prepare more children for kindergarten. The money will come from a grant program administered by the U.S. Department for Health and Human Services. Its Preschool Development Grant Birth through Five initiative had $266 million available, which it said would fund initiatives in about 35 states. Gov. Andy Beshear said in a statement Kentucky will...

The Hill
By Lisa Dodson and Amanda Freeman
December 23, 2022
Current spikes in RSV, flu and COVID are drawing attention to the shortcomings of the childcare system in America. With many parents being forced to take their sick children to work or risk being fired, the need for reliable child care has never been more evident. And this glaring need is serving as a catalyst for local action. In the midterm elections, for the first time in history, the residents of one...

By Madina Touré
December 23, 2022
NEW YORK — Six years ago, New York City hosted leaders from a dozen cities across the U.S. to share lessons learned from its free early childhood education program for over 70,000 4-year-olds. The immensely popular universal prekindergarten program was the brainchild of former Mayor Bill de Blasio in 2014. Three years later, he began expanding it to 3-year-olds. The pioneering education policy remains the single biggest achievement from de Blasio’s two terms in office. It was...

Early Learning Nation
By Mark Swartz
December 22, 2022
Last year at this time, early childhood advocates and experts were cautiously optimistic about massive federal relief in the form of the Build Back Better Act, and last year’s Big Wins for Little Kids webinar reflected those high hopes. Although the optimism gave way to disappointment soon thereafter, 2022 nevertheless produced an impressive number of big wins, which the Hunt Institute and Alliance for Early Success explored December 5 in this year’s edition. Hunt’s...

The Hill
By Javaid Siddiqi
December 2, 2022
In November, New Mexico voters approved a constitutional amendment that will create a dedicated funding stream for early childhood education. The measure, which will increase distributions from the state’s Land Grant Permanent Fund, is projected to infuse $150 million annually into programs for young children....

November 27, 2022
Childcare advocates are calling for investments in children and families to be a part of president Biden’s agenda in 2023. Reshma Saujani, CEO and founder of The Marshall Plan for Moms, joined Alicia Menendez on American Voices to discuss the importance of investing in children and families....

Early Learning Nation
By Mark Swartz
November 22, 2022
The new Stanford Center on Early Childhood (an initiative of the Stanford Accelerator for Learning) held a launch event November 3. Members of its interdisciplinary leadership council spoke, as did Linda Darling-Hammond—emeritus professor at Stanford, founding president of the Learning Policy Institute and president of the California State Board of Education. The event also featured local schools with Stanford connections, including the Primary School and Synapse School....

By Alison Griffin
November 21, 2022
As a single, working mom, I know firsthand how the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated instability across the childcare industry. I also know that the last two years have required families — particularly those who are resource constrained — to make unimaginable sacrifices. I experienced these challenges from a place of privilege and resource, and even I had days that felt insurmountable....

By Dana Suskind
November 18, 2022
Compared with other wealthy nations, the United States is a uniquely difficult place to raise children. One in four mothers returns to work within two weeks of giving birth, and we’re the only rich country that doesn’t have federally mandated paid leave for new parents. While other wealthy countries invest an average of $14,000 a year for every toddler’s care, America spends $500. The pandemic sharpened our awareness of these problems—parents left the workforce in droves, child-care...

K-12 Dive
By Kara Arundel
November 17, 2022
WASHINGTON – Being attentive to early childhood educators’ well-being is critical not only to retaining teachers but to helping them be better classroom leaders, said speakers at a Wednesday session at the annual conference of the National Association for the Education of Young Children.  During a two-month pilot program last summer with eight early childhood educators in the Washington, D.C. area, the speakers said they explored how wellness coaching could reduce teachers’ stress and increase their self-confidence and optimism. ...

November 10, 2022
Alliance for Early Success allies across the country are sharing election results that impact children and families. We’ve compiled their summaries in an initial overview of where the country stands two days after the election.
While we don’t yet know the extent of the changes we’ll see on the national level, there is lots to report on state political landscapes — where the bulk of early childhood policy rises and falls....

New America
By Lydia Mackie
Oct. 27, 2022
Tiny monarch caterpillars arrived at the school, not floating through the air, but with the thud of a package on concrete.
Our postal carrier had no idea how many lessons were going to emerge from that box for the prekindergartners at our public school in Washington, DC. First, we created a mesh net habitat and placed it in the tiny side yard of our concrete school building, which is just a few feet from a busy...

The Reform Alliance
Oct. 18, 2022
The Reform Alliance says Focusing on education dialogue with students and families, not buildings, is step in right direction.
Little Rock, AR – The Reform Alliance is encouraged to see the unveiling of Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ education agenda. Her plan, Arkansas LEARNS, is a step in the right direction – focusing the education dialogue on students and families, not buildings.
“With third-grade reading levels at an abysmal 35 percent statewide, it is comforting to know that if she is...

The Washington Post
By The Editorial Board
October 11, 2022
Many sectors are reeling from massive labor shortages — but few affect families more intimately than what is happening with child care. With lengthy waiting lists and soaring costs, the scale of the crisis is obvious. Less clear is how the country can quickly fix it. First, the problem: Like other caregiver industries, child care was hit hard by covid-19. There are nearly 90,000 fewer child-care workers today than in February 2020 — an...

K-12 Dive
By Naaz Modan
October 10, 2022
Almost half of early childhood educators are experiencing high levels of burnout and stress, according to a nationwide survey of 2,300 educators. The survey, published by early childhood education resource provider Teaching Strategies, shows 45% of early child educators are battling mental health challenges and burnout. Almost the same percentage, 43%, say staffing shortages are affecting their stress level. Mental health challenges are also partly why early childhood educators are considering a career change, according...

By Karen D'Souza
September 30, 2022
Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill Friday that will streamline access to the state’s subsidized early childhood education system. Introduced by Sen. Monique Limón, D-Santa Barbara, Senate Bill 1047, formerly SB 50, makes it easier for low-income families to access the state-funded California State Preschool Program and subsidized child care system by automatically granting eligibility to families who are already enrolled in CalFresh, Medi-Cal, WIC or Head Start, cutting a layer of red tape....

The Hechinger Report
By Ariel Gilreath
September 29, 2022
Many people might think the main benefit of a high-quality preschool program is the academic boost it gives young children when they enter elementary school. But the strongest positive effects may show up years, and even decades, later and have little to do with test scores and grades. Researchers at Georgetown University have been studying the impact of Tulsa, Oklahoma’s program for two decades. In a new set of working papers, the researchers found long-term...

The Atlantic
By Stephanie H. Murray
September 28, 2022
A child’s ability to succeed in the classroom is powerfully influenced by their home environment. Giving parents the support they need could be key to fixing American education. Many American schools are failing to provide all students with a quality education, and policy makers don’t seem to know what to do about it. Even before schools closed during the pandemic, 30 percent of graduating seniors failed to reach a basic level of competency in reading,...

By Dana Suskind
September 24, 2022
Resilience is the ability to face a challenge and come out the other side with some measure of growth and success, and there has never been a more important time for parents to help their kids build it. As a physician who studies early brain development, I’ve found one surprising factor that contributes to increased resilience at a young age: creating “nurturing routines.” Studies show that having structure and familiar rituals teaches kids how to constructively manage themselves...

By Ashley Hunte
September 12, 2022
Snoop Dogg's rap persona may be far from family friendly, but that doesn't mean he can't make time for the kids, apparently. The Grammy-nominated artist has decided to take on a new business venture. That's right, Snoop Dogg has co-founded and launched a YouTube channel. But you won't see any references to drugs or adult themes there. Instead, you'll see hip-hop-infused nursery rhymes....

SZCF's President Elliot Steinberg attended and spoke at The Hunt Institute's bipartisan Early Childhood Leadership Summit in Phoenix, AZ., along with Dr. Dana Suskind, author of Parent Nation, who was introduced by Steinberg as the event's keynote speaker. The event brought together 52 state teams, including Puerto Rico and Washington DC, comprised of senior elected officials, gubernatorial staff, and key early childhood system leaders....

By Alyssa Haywoode | Eye on Early Education
August 9, 2022
The Vital Role of Play in Early Childhood — and How to Explain this to More Adults
Play is important for children.
However, what’s missing from this important idea, a new report says, is a clear understanding of how play can be an effective learning strategy in early childhood settings – and how best to share this concept with the public.
The report – “The Role of Play in Designing Effective Early Learning Environments and...

By Catherine Lucey and Natalie Andrews
Aug. 17, 2022
WASHINGTON—Democrats made programs such as universal prekindergarten and paid family leave a central part of their agenda, and yet none of those policies were included in the legislative package signed into law Tuesday by President Biden.
The $700 billion bill, known as the Inflation Reduction Act, doesn’t include child-care subsidies, prekindergarten, paid leave or the child tax credit. All were part of the president’s early proposals and were included in the original $3.5 trillion...

Press Release | The Education Trust
August 17, 2022
A new report from The Education Trust and Generation Hope finds that there is no state in which a student parent can work 10 hours per week at the minimum wage and afford both tuition and child care at a public college or university
WASHINGTON – As student loan debt is now $1.7 trillion, cries to make college affordable are reaching a fever pitch. The Biden-Harris administration is currently deciding whether to cancel...

By Emily Tate Sullivan | Ed Surge
August 12, 2022
This week, the Aspen Institute announced its 2022 Ascend fellows, a cohort of 22 individuals hailing from a range of disciplines including medicine, research, entrepreneurship, government and policy, and nonprofit leadership and advocacy.
Their respective fields may vary widely, but what unites this particular group—on the 10-year anniversary since the fellowship was first launched—is their commitment to transforming early childhood education. The fellowship has always been about investing in leaders from various...

By Ann Schimke | Chalkbeat Colorado
August 12, 2022
Universal Preschool: Inside Colorado's Free Preschool Initiative
Child care providers, school district staff, and a pediatrician are among 15 people appointed to a new group that will advise Colorado’s early childhood chief on rules ranging from preschool funding rates to preschool teacher credentials.
Lisa Roy, executive director of the state’s new Department of Early Childhood, will have the final say over new rules, but state law requires her to consult with the newly formed Rules...

By Eden Stiffman | The Chronicle of Philanthropy
August 9, 2022
After spending her day in an Albuquerque classroom with 3-year-olds, teaching them how to hold a pencil and other skills to prepare them for kindergarten, Ivydel Natachu puts on her organizing hat. During the Covid-19 pandemic — as the lives of teachers and families changed exponentially — the 17-year veteran day care teacher got involved with Organizers in the Land of Enchantment, or OLÉ. The nonprofit advocacy group made up of working...

By Blake Jones | Politico
August 2, 2022
BRACING FOR A RAID: California’s long-awaited, longer-pursued rollout of universal pre-k finally began Monday as a handful of school districts kicked off the academic year. For the child care industry,the timing couldn’t have been worse. Like other states, California is spending part of a record budget surplus to offer free pre-K to tens of thousands more children. Families will be spared costly child care tuition. Up to 35,300 public school jobs will be created over four...

By Peter Bart | Deadline
July 14, 2022
Where do great movies come from? When Netflix started creating its own shows a decade ago, Ted Sarandos and his colleagues put that question to select creatives around town. It was a smart exercise – but most respondents insisted there was no answer. Coincidentally I’d been putting out that question at various times over the years with equally ambiguous results. Saul Zaentz, the feisty film and music producer, once offered this response: “Great movies come...

By Mark Swartz | Early Learning Nation
July 15, 2022
The Zaentz Early Education Initiative at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) emphasizes research that drives policy and practice, as well as collective action that sparks systemic change. Since 2016, 43 fellows have taken part in the initiative, going on to leadership roles throughout the country while remaining in touch with the burgeoning Zaentz community. I spoke to three of the nine most recent fellows about their experience and their plans....

By Carrie Jung and Max Larkin
June 17, 2022
"For the first time ever, I think lots of other actors in the system were entirely affected by people's lack of child care, and that was an unprecedented national scenario," explained Nonie Lesaux, chair of the Massachusetts Board of Early Education and Care....

By Linda Smith
June 13, 2022
President Biden and Congress can take a major step in the coming weeks to strengthen our economy and help workers and their children by fully funding the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG), the biggest federal funding source for child care.
Child care is not only a social program that lifts young families out of poverty. It’s also a vital economic program. Child care enables millions of parents, especially women, to be in the workforce. It...

By Yitzi Weiner
June 6, 2022
Why & How Filmmaker Annette Porter of Saul Zaentz Innovation Fund at Johns Hopkins Is Helping To Change Our World
Meaningful change isn’t always instant, large-scale, or permanent. Real impact can take months or years, and may mean starting very small. But the rewards for facilitating even small changes are enormous and you have no idea where that small change may lead for you, or anyone else....

By Elizabeth Bruenig
May 8, 2022
America is a much harder place to be a child than it has any excuse to be, and a much harder place to have and raise a child than it has any possible reason to be: It’s hard to find a politician who’ll disagree with either proposition, and harder yet to find one with any intention of doing anything about it. When it comes to the crucial business of caring for children and families, our country...

By Gal Tziperman Lotan
May 9, 2022
Child-care workers and advocates came out to about 90 playgrounds, T stops, and public squares across Massachusetts Monday to talk to parents and community members about the importance of their work and advocate for publicly funded universal early childhood education. The actions were part of a “Day Without Child Care,” a national day of action for child-care workers. Some providers closed their doors for the day or for a few hours, and others rallied, called elected...

By Elizabeth Bruenig
May 8, 2022
America is a much harder place to be a child than it has any excuse to be, and a much harder place to have and raise a child than it has any possible reason to be: It’s hard to find a politician who’ll disagree with either proposition, and harder yet to find one with any intention of doing anything about it. When it comes to the crucial business of caring for children and families, our country...

May 4, 2022
As the 2022 election season heats up, Americans will be inundated with reminders of our divisions, including differences in political party, demographics, and voting patterns. Yet, what far too often gets ignored in these conversations, or omitted in 30-second attack ads, is just how much we have in common as Americans. Ideology shouldn’t drive the way we think about what’s important in our country. Nor should party affiliation be considered a stand-in for patriotism. We share...

May 2, 2022
“The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.” The famous saying, adapted from the work of Scottish poet Robert Burns, reminds us that even our most thoughtful and well-intentioned efforts can sometimes yield unexpected results. The expansion of public pre-kindergarten is an excellent case in point. High-quality preschool programs have been shown to reap benefits to both students and taxpayers that can span across decades — which is why both...

By Valerie Strauss
April 26, 2022
Every year the National Institute for Early Education Research at Rutgers University’s Graduate School of Education releases data on the state of public preschool programs — and the 2021 is out on Tuesday with devastating news. According to the research, progress made in public preschool programs over the past decade was wiped out during the coronavirus pandemic that began in March 2020. Drastic declines in enrollment were reported during the 2020-21 school year, with 298,000 fewer children...

By Linda Jacobson
April 26, 2022
Enrollment in state pre-K programs fell for the first time in two decades after a period of steady growth, according to a new report focusing on the 2020-21 school year. Before the pandemic, states were serving 44% of 4-year-olds. Now they might not reach 40% over the next 10 years, the report found. “The pandemic erased an entire decade of progress in preschool enrollment,” said Steven Barnett, senior co-director of the National Institute for Early Education...

By Erica Meltzer
April 25, 2022
Starting next year, every Colorado 4-year-old will have a chance to attend preschool at no cost to their parents, under legislation signed Monday by Gov. Jared Polis. “With this bill, families in Colorado with 4-year-olds will have access to free preschool in the fall of 2023, saving them money and preparing kids for success,” said Polis, noting the benefits his own children experienced from preschool. ...

By Ann Schimke and Erica Meltzer
April 20, 2022
With just over a year until Colorado begins providing free preschool to 4-year-olds statewide, state lawmakers want to inject $100 million into efforts to beef up the early childhood workforce and create more slots for young children. During a press conference Wednesday afternoon, a group of lawmakers announced the legislation, which would be funded with federal COVID relief dollars. The money would go toward several existing grant programs, including one to help child care providers...

By Nico Franks
April 20, 2022
Sesame Workshop is teaming up with Discovery’s educational unit to launch an early learning channel for children aged between three and seven in the US. The Sesame Workshop-branded channel will be available in the fall on Discovery Education’s learning platform. It will include Sesame Street video content as well as lesson plans and educator resources alongside interactive games and activities for kids....

By Dale Mezzacappa
April 19, 2022
Pre-pandemic, Black children in Pennsylvania had less access to high-quality preschool than white children, according to a new report. Researchers at Pennsylvania State University found that this disparity was due primarily to the way the state funds its two main preschool programs, Child Care Works and Pre-K Counts, and the different standards policymakers have set for them. As overall enrollment in the program grew from 2014 to 2019, Black children’s enrollment in Pre-K Counts declined slightly, before...

By Amy Shoenthal
April 12, 2022
The cost of childcare has risen by 41% over the past few years. Many parents, mostly mothers, have been forced to completely exit the workforce because they simply can’t cover the cost of childcare. The economic impact of the childcare crisis is astronomical and the structure of care, as any parent will tell you, is unsustainable. NeighborSchools is working to fix that. Founder Bridget Garsh is on a mission to make childcare better for everybody, from parents...

By Christina Caron
April 12, 2022
A panel of experts says the latest research supports early intervention for younger kids. The worsening state of mental health among children has prompted an influential group of experts to recommend for the first time screening all children ages 8 to 18 for anxiety, one of the most common mental health disorders of childhood....

By Susan K. Livio and Brent Johnson
April 7, 2022
New Jersey needs to nurture the child care industry to help the state make a full economic recovery from the pandemic, according to state Senate Majority Leader Teresa Ruiz, who on Tuesday proposed a $350 million legislative package she said will get more parents back to work. The child care industry, long beset by low wages and high costs, took a beating during the pandemic, said Ruiz, D-Essex, in her first major legislative...

By Connie Matthiessen
April 6, 2022
Council for a Strong America: The name conjures images of tanks and bald eagles — not so much playgrounds and childcare centers. Nor is the organization’s membership — cops, military brass, and business executives — usually associated with issues impacting young children. Still, it’s a link that the Council for a Strong America has forged for several decades. And since the pandemic trained a spotlight on the U.S. child care crisis, the organization’s approach seems increasingly...

By Annette Porter | The Baltimore Sun
March 22, 2022
I was working on a movie not too long ago. We were in post-production, and we needed a voice-over. One of the executives of the film was adamant that the voice needed to be male. A male voice, he said, would add “gravitas” and “grandeur.” There was no discussion, no alternative. The guy wanted a male voice, and that was it. I’m not the first to say it, but Hollywood still has...

By Adobe Communications Team
March 21, 2022
As the past two years have shown, even throughout a pandemic and polarization, creativity can’t be held back. As we celebrate Women’s History Month, we shine our light on women creators who continue to make great strides even amidst our struggles.
Below are stories of hope and resilience, and sources of inspiration from 14 female creators — artists, filmmakers, organizers and entrepreneurs — that motivate us to raise our creative voices, to reflect on women's creative...

By Nick Rocco Scalia | Film Threat
March 16, 2022
"Rather miraculous . . . genuinely uplifting and inspiring in ways that even 'feel-good' fictional stories can’t often achieve. There’s compelling drama in the well-wrought contrasts between the harshness and of lower-income living in Chicago and the ambitions of Educare. Pulls at the heartstrings . . ."...

By Jason Whyte | Get Reel Movies
March 16, 2022
In TOMORROW’S HOPE you’ll get to know real people making a real difference on the South Side of Chicago. This is an experience that leads you heart-first into some of our most talked-about issues today, including systemic racism and the importance of providing access to education. It’s a journey with passionate educators and kids and their families who are finding a way to carve out the future, despite a sea of intense...

By Richard Propes
The Independent Critic
"A passionate and inspiring film . . . there is always hope, though sometimes it doesn't look like what we expect. 'Tomorrow's Hope' definitely tells the kind of feel-good, inspirational story that audiences love."...

By Stephanie Jones and Nonie K. Lesaux
March 15, 2022
To succeed in the classroom, children must be able to cooperate with other students and their teachers, focus their attention, control impulsive behaviors and manage their emotions so they can concentrate on the tasks at hand. They need to have a sense of belonging and purpose, be able to plan and set goals, and persevere through challenges....

Hosted by Lauren deLisa Coleman
March 12, 2022
Tomorrow's Hope follows the journeys of three graduates from the Educare School to their graduation and afterward. Told from their perspective, we see how vital good early education is. How big of a difference it can make in a person's life....

By Luke Y. Thompson | Films Gone Wild
March 11, 2022
Almost everyone says they want a better future and education for their children. But when it comes time to getting it done, other concerns often push the kids to the backburner, perhaps because children can’t lobby for themselves. Thankfully, they have advocates in companies like the Saul Zeantz Charitable Foundation, which funds documentaries focused on early childhood education. For their second feature, Tomorrow’s Hope, the foundation turned to producers Tamra Raven...

By Steve Kopian
MARCH 11, 2022
This is a hopeful tale of a program that gives kids enough of a leg up that they have a good shot at succeeding. I was so impressed that I found myself investigating the program right after I finished the film. The portrait this film paints such a good picture that you will wonder how the hell the program hasn't spread all across the county.
You need to see this film....

By Liz Whittemore
MARCH 11, 2022
In the SXSW22 short film Tomorrow’s Hope, filmmaker Thomas Morgan examines the effect of two foundations for early childhood education on its first-ever class. Educare and The Ounce of Prevention Fund are sound arguments for universal Pre-K. I’m a former preschool teacher who can attest to the impact these years have on the lives of children and their families. Working in a school in the River City Building in downtown Chicago, I taught predominantly Head Start...

By Carey
MARCH 8, 2022
Austin’s South by Southwest starts in just a couple of days on the 11th, but the SXSW Edu has already begun. A film that is part of it is Thomas Morgan’s documentary Tomorrow’s Hope. It is a short film at 44 minutes long but it says a lot. A film which follows the journeys of three graduates from the Educare School to their graduation and afterward....

This podcast originally aired on Lights Camera Austin on March 6, 2022
Interview by Robert Sims
The documentary Tomorrow's Hope: The Promise of Early Childhood Education celebrates the early childhood education program developed and taught at Start Early’s (formerly Ounce of Prevention Fund’s) Educare Chicago. The school opened in January 2000 to provide high-quality education to children from birth to age 5 from low-income families living on Chicago's South Side. The documentary spotlights three members of Educare Chicago's first-ever class as they...

By Nora Delaney
February 10, 2022
A new bipartisan report calls for "rewriting the generational contract" to increase investments in America’s children significantly by shifting funds from programs that now go toward supporting older, wealthier adults.
In the report, "Rebalancing: Children First," leading scholars convened by two of the country’s most respected think tanks propose directing more national funds to help children. Currently, more than 40% of the federal budget flows to Americans over the age of 65, compared to only 7.4% spent...

By Anya Kamenetz
February 10, 2022
Dale Farran has been studying early childhood education for half a century. Yet her most recent scientific publication has made her question everything she thought she knew. "It really has required a lot of soul-searching, a lot of reading of the literature to try to think of what were plausible reasons that might account for this."...

By Naomi Martin and Jenna Russell
January 17, 2022
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Leighton Harris, 4, sat with her classmates on a rug before a whiteboard. One of her two teachers praised the little girl’s calm, attentive posture: “I love how Leighton is sitting.’’ A year before the start of kindergarten, Leighton is well-prepared, having already practiced not just her letters and numbers, but also subtle skills key for school success, such as breathing through stress and the art of sitting quietly and...

January 11, 2022
As the Omicron variant surges and U.S. schools deal with a substitute teacher shortage and related pandemic fallout, don't be surprised if a return to remote or hybrid learning leads your kids to act out, a new study warns....

January 10, 2022
Emily C. Hanno, PhD
The COVID-19 pandemic has interrupted the education of more than 1 billion children worldwide, with many experiencing shifts between remote, hybrid, and in-person learning. As the COVID-19 pandemic and interruptions to learning continue, we need to understand their consequences for children’s behavioral health to inform response efforts. We used longitudinal data to examine how children’s behavioral well-being differed by learning format....

October 28, 2021
This fall, two apprentices at the Coleman Center for Early Learning will serve as a pilot group. Secretary Barbara Cooper of the Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education (ADECE) joined leaders from Troy University, Wallace Community College, and the Alabama Office of Apprenticeship to officially sign documents establishing Alabama’s first apprenticeship for Early Childhood Educators on Wednesday, October 27, 2021, at the Coleman Center for Early Learning on the Troy University Dothan Campus, 504 University Dr, Dothan, AL....

October 26, 2021
The Saul Zaentz Charitable Foundation documentaries Tomorrow's Hope and Kaotic Drumline: Drumming with a Difference screened (in person!) in Los Angeles at Regal LA Live Cinemas, at the 12th Annual Awareness Film Festival. The Panel ("The Next Gen") featured the filmmaking team conversing about the films' inspirational personalities and their remarkable creativity in the face of tremendous challenges, as well as discussing themes including systemic inequality and advancing hope of building a brighter future....

October 12, 2021
Many Americans pay more for child care than they do for their mortgages, even though the wages for those who provide the care are among the lowest in the United States. Democrats see the issue as a fundamental market failure and are pushing a plan to bridge the gap with federal subsidies. We went to Greensboro, N.C., to try to understand how big the problem is and to ask whether it is the job of the federal government...

October 12, 2021
Tonight at 10pm EST, PBS airs an hour-long documentary that takes an in-depth look at how the lack of affordable, quality child care is affecting American families, which has plagued families in the U.S. for more than a century....

Sep. 30, 2021
By Betsy Biemann & Keith Bisson
COVID-19 didn’t just reveal a broken child care system. A confluence of events dramatically worsened the frayed patchwork of child care programs in the US, after significant drops in center enrollment when parents lost jobs, shifts from in-school to at-home learning, and uncertainty about health and safety during a global pandemic. Since a lack of licensed child care options has long correlated with higher rates of unemployment, underemployment, and poverty, these problems only...

SZCF is pleased to announce that Starting at Zero is now available on Kanopy. Kanopy partners with public libraries and universities, providing ad-free films and series that can be enjoyed on all devices – TV, mobile phone, tablet and online. Kanopy is available to students/faculty/patrons at universities and libraries that offer the platform....

Start Early
August 10, 2021
Last month, families across the country began receiving the first payments under the Advance Child Tax Credit (ACTA), a part of the American Rescue Plan Act. For many families with young children, like Educare Chicago parent Cheryse Singleton-Nobles, the expanded Child Tax Credit offers integral support that increases their ability to provide a stable environment and experiences for their children to thrive.
“A lot of us are struggling. Even though the pandemic is ending, that doesn’t end the...

Big news! We're excited to share that tonight and all this week, PBS NewsHour is examining the current state of the American child care system in a special five-part series, titled "Raising The Future." The feature kicks off this evening, Monday, July 12, with a segment that examines how America’s child care landscape has dramatically changed as the country emerges from the pandemic and what’s at stake in this critical moment....

Beginning July 12 and airing over the course of that week, PBS NewsHour will broadcast “Raising the Future: America’s Child Care Dilemma,” a five-part series that takes an extensive look at America’s child care crisis. The struggle to find affordable, quality child care has always been one of the biggest issues for American families and Covid-19 only exacerbated the problem. ...

New research from NORC at the University of Chicago, Start Early, and the University of Chicago Consortium on School Research finds that Chicago policies intended to increase access and enrollment to full-day, school-based pre-k were also related to higher kindergarten entry skills and ultimately better academic outcomes in second grade, particularly for high-priority students....

With help from SZCF, Mountainfilm for Students is offered at no cost to K-12 public schools in conjunction with Mountainfilm on Tour shows. These curated playlists are customized by grade level with informative and inspiring content. Classroom materials developed by teachers to align with College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards are available for select films....

The Science of Early Learning and Adversity: Leadership in Early Learning Settings in a Post-Pandemic Era
To be held virtually June 16-17.
Designed for early education leaders, this program will explore the latest science of early learning and what this means for the work ahead in cultivating strong, responsive, and supportive environments in the wake of the pandemic....

By Cody Uhing
May 10, 2021
This morning, the School Effectiveness and Inequality Initiative at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) released the findings of a new study on the long-term effects of Boston’s preschool program. Using admissions lotteries, the research found that participation in the preschool program led to significant long-term improvements in academic and behavioral outcomes in children. ...

Neely Swanson
May 17, 2021
“Tomorrow’s Hope” is a bright spot within the blight that is poverty, not just on the South Side of Chicago, but anywhere opportunities are as lacking as faith in a broken system. Subtitled “The Promise of Early Childhood Education,” director Thomas Morgan gives us an intimate view of Educare, a novel early education intervention program....

By Rebecca Rubin
April 14, 2021
“Tomorrow’s Hope,” a documentary about the importance of quality early childhood education, has sold North American rights to the independent distributor Abramorama. Following a virtual live premiere on May 20, the company plans to release the film nationwide on demand on May 21. “Tomorrow’s Hope” spotlights passionate educators and tenacious kids and their families, who transcend the limitations imposed on them as students growing up on the south side of Chicago. The documentary is told through three present-day...

APR 13, 2021
When TT the Artist started working on “Dark City Beneath the Beat” in 2011 ― an hourlong musical documentary highlighting the Baltimore club music and dance culture featuring city artists — there were times she didn’t think the project was going to happen because she didn’t have enough money. “There were years that went by where I couldn’t even figure out what the next step was, but through grants, I was able to pick up...

By Justin Criado
Telluride Daily Planet
Mar 25, 2021
With funding assistance from the Saul Zaentz Charitable Foundation the Pinhead Institute’s Telluride FIRST Lego League robotics team is heading to states for the first time ever, after the squad of seven local students qualified during a remote regional competition over the weekend. Team Brickbusters — Rider Abbott, Noah Baker, Lincoln Butson, Stella Coe, Andres Jacinto, Kaila Rebolledo Unda and Eleanor Rosen — wowed the judges with its life-sized “friz-fraz-frow” project, which is a more...

Saul Zaentz Early Education Initiative
Dec 17, 2020
The Saul Zaentz Early Education Initiative at the Harvard Graduate School of Education announced today that it is accepting submissions for the inaugural Family Child Care Innovation Networks Award. This new award is designed to spark, accelerate, and sustain community-based peer learning networks among family child care providers across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Family child care providers are an essential part of the early education and care ecosystem, in Massachusetts and across...

By Mark Swartz
September 10, 2020
The Founding Fathers built competition among the states into our system of government. With 50-plus laboratories for democracy, we’re bound to come up with powerful and efficient ideas for optimizing life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. At least that’s how it’s supposed to work....

By IndieWire Staff
August 24, 2020
The Saul Zaentz Charitable Foundation, The Hunt Institute, and The Ounce of Prevention have announced two special, free events to support Willa Kammerer’s upcoming documentary “Starting at Zero: Reimagining Education in America.” The film culminates with a call to governors to invest in high-quality early childhood education to support today’s workforce and the workforce of tomorrow....

By Cinemacy
August 2020
The debate about ways to enhance our system of education often lacks voices to represent our youngest learners. Our concern about increasing test scores for school-age children and similar standards of evaluation fails to shed light on the conversation we really should be having, and that is the attention to the earliest years. Starting at Zero: Reimagining Education in America director Willa Kammerer effectively highlights this too often neglected topic in a powerful way....

By Summer Evans
August 13, 2020
Kindergarten began in Germany and arrived in the United States in the mid-19th century. Since that time, kindergarten has been considered the beginning of formal education. For a long time, researchers have known that education really starts at birth and early education (pre-K) should be available to all. Willa Kammerer’s new documentary “Starting at Zero: Reimagining Education in America” showcases the importance and power of investing in high-quality early childhood education so that all children and families have...

Oregon Governor Kate Brown, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper, and Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer join Lt Governor Juliana Stratton and Former Secretary of Education John King in a discussion on the importance of early childhood education in advance of the Starting At Zero world premiere....

By Shayna Maci Warner and Tatiana McInnis
July 31, 2020
“Starting at Zero” explores the power of investing in high-quality early childhood education so that all children and families have the opportunity to attain the American Dream. The film brings together the voices of policymakers, educators, academics, business leaders, pediatricians, parents, and children. “Starting at Zero” culminates with a call to governors across America for collective action: to set our nation on the path to future success through significant investments in high-quality...

By Early Learning Nation
July 2020
On Tuesday, July 21, The Hunt Institute hosted three philanthropic leaders for a conversation about early childhood philanthropy amidst COVID-19. Dr. Dan Wuori, director of Early Learning, moderated the panel, which featured: • Elliot Haspel (an Early Learning Nation contributor) of the Robins Foundation • Eva Roberts of the Buffett Early Childhood Fund • Elliot Steinberg of the Saul Zaentz Charitable Foundation—which produced two upcoming documentaries on early childhood, Tomorrow’s Hope and Starting at Zero...

By Dave McNarry
July 27, 2020
Abramorama has bought the theatrical rights to the documentary film “Starting at Zero: Reimagining Education in America” and will release it in virtual cinemas starting on Aug. 14. The film is presented by the Saul Zaentz Charitable Foundation, The Hunt Institute and The Ounce of Prevention....

Mother Jones
By Kiera Butler
January/February 2019
How did Alabama, of all places, end up with some of the nation’s most effective preschools? It wasn’t by accident. Much of the credit goes to the program’s key architect, a quiet powerhouse named Jeana Ross. As a young teacher in a poor, rural part of the state during the 1970s, Ross noticed that her students learned better through play and experiences than from a teacher droning on. When she realized most of them had never been...