Early Childhood Education

The early years are critical for building strong foundations — research shows that disparities in children’s learning are evident as early as nine months of age — and for creating a springboard to later development and academic success. States play a role in crafting policies and guidance that help to make the early years a cohesive, high-quality experience for children, regardless of their geographical location, race or income. These resources provide important context and legislative examples that aim to ensure such experiences for children in the early years.


50-State Comparisons

How all states approach policies affecting kindergarten through third grade.


Policy Reports

Relevant context and state policy examples on issues impacting early childhood education.

Blog Posts

Legislative trends and other news with implications for early childhood education.

The United States is experiencing a supply and demand mismatch in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields, with roughly 3 million more open jobs than there were trained professionals to fill them in 2016.

Last week, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis signed into statute H.B. 1262, which fully funds full-day kindergarten across the state, beginning this fall. With this new law, Colorado joins the majority of states that provide funding for full-day kindergarten.

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State Information Requests

Brief issue scans, typically provided within 48 hours, that provide top-level information on issues affecting early childhood education.

P-3 Literacy
Third Grade Literacy Policies and Assessments
Pre-K Effectiveness
Connections Between Early Childhood Education, Substance Abuse and Crime

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View all available early childhood education resources:

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Browse pending legislation on our State Education Policy Watchlist:

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