Over the last decade, there has been increased attention on early education, but real progress for children and families has remained out of reach. We want America’s children to become lifelong learners who are able to think critically and inventively, manage their emotions and impulses, and make smart decisions by drawing upon a rich knowledge base about how the world works. To make this goal a reality for all children, New America makes eight recommendations, suggests specific actions, and pinpoints which actors—federal, state, and local policymakers, as well as educators and administrators—should help move the work forward.
Of the 12 million children under age 3 in the United States, nearly 25 percent live in a family with earnings below the poverty level, resultingly with little to no access to quality and affordable child care. To address this problem, Congress appropriated $500 million in 2014 to expand access to Early Head-Start programs, which included the creation of Early Head Start – Child Care Partnerships. In 2019 the Ounce conducted interviews with a variety of state leaders regarding Partnerships programs. Interviewees included those who administer a Partnerships grant, and some who supported implementation of Partnerships in their states but did not have a Partnerships grant. As a result of these interviews, the Ounce is proud to share our report on the lessons of implementation of the Partnerships across states.