Half of all children entering kindergarten are under-resourced and half of under-resourced children aren’t fully ready for kindergarten when they enter. Which means one in four children entering kindergarten are both under-resourced and not ready to learn. That’s one finding of a new report from the Pritzker Children’s Initiative of the J.B. and M.K. Pritzker Family Foundation and the Bridgespan Group.
The report says that while there is overwhelming evidence that high-quality early childhood interventions lead to measurable lifelong social and economic improvement, we “vastly underinvest in early childhood education” in the U.S. It goes on to detail research around strategies that work, and outlines specific investment opportunities for private philanthropic and business-led groups that the reports’ authors say could meaningfully improve the quality of largely public programs and increase kindergarten readiness beginning at birth.
Their research surfaced 13 opportunities within five broad categories; here are the five categories:
1. Strengthen public systems of early care and education at state and local levels to ensure continuous quality improvements.
2. Scale health and developmental screenings to connect parents and families with resources to optimize their children’s holistic development.
3. Improve the training, continuing education, professional development, and compensation of early childhood educators.
4. Support greater access to high-quality evidence-based programs that help parents and families to foster their children’s development.
5. Promote ongoing program innovation and improvement, especially for those programs supporting parents and informal caregivers.
To see the research and opportunities detailed under each category, read the full report here. And let us know what you think in the comments!