Everything You Need to Know You Learned Before Kindergarten: Ready for Kindergarten/Ready for Life

Wednesday, October 26, 2011 -
2:30pm to 5:00pm EDT
Philanthropy New York, 79 Fifth Ave., 4th floor, NYC
Philanthropy New York, 79 Fifth Ave., 4th floor, NYC
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As school districts across the nation face increasing numbers of schools “in need of improvement,” many educators, advocates, policymakers, and funders are looking at early childhood education as an effective strategy for education reform. These proponents include leaders at the US Department of Education who have made early education a focus of a new Race to the Top initiative, called the Early Learning Challenge. Quality early childhood education can boost children’s cognitive, social-emotional, and physical readiness for school, preparing them for success in school and in life. Recent research shows that investments in early education provide a huge return on investment.
But, like so many school reforms, quality is key to early childhood education.  A wide and deep body of research shows that high quality programs develop children’s early literacy and math skills and their motivation to learn; attend to children’s physical and mental health needs; and inform and engage parents and whole families as teaching and learning partners.  Programs of lesser quality, in effect, babysit. 



  • Why is early childhood education so important?
  • How can parents, teachers, policymakers, and funders know if a program IS high quality – and achieving its desired benefits, including child health, and parental engagement?
  • What are NYC and NYS doing now to ensure that NY programs are high quality? (In particular, what is the status of the City’s Early Learn Initiative?  The NYSED’s Early Learning Challenge grant application? Statewide implementation of QualityStars NY?)
  • What are the day-to-day challenges – and rewards – of meeting New York’s high quality standards, especially amid the current funding environment?


Part of Philanthropy New York's Back to School Series. A Philanthropy Connects program, sponsored by the Child Care and Early Education Fund, the Donors' Education Collaborative, and NYC Youth Funders.


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