Giving Compass' Take:

• The Prenatal-to-Three Policy Impact Center is an early childhood research-to-policy initiative based in the University of Texas at Austin that will review state policies that impact infants and toddlers. 

• The review of these policies will help guide what programs and laws are effectively promoting the well-being of early learners. How can donors help to build understanding of the impact of policies on children and families? 

• Read about the power of education data for early childhood learning.

A new early childhood research-to-policy initiative, based at the University of Texas at Austin, will focus on informing state-level decisions that affect families with infants and toddlers.

And by fall 2020, the Prenatal-to-Three Policy Impact Center will produce a “roadmap” that identifies the extent to which states have adopted policies that focus on young children’s health and well-being, similar to the way the National Institute for Early Education Research ranks state-funded pre-K programs.

For K-12 educators, the center will provide insight on how policies in their states support family stability and young children’s access to the opportunities shown to support learning and development in the years before they enter school.

By the end of this year, the center will announce the list of key policies that research has shown support positive outcomes. Such policies might focus on home visiting programs, Medicaid expansion, child care quality rating systems or paid family leave.

“This new initiative will help us better understand what are the effective policies that we should be promoting at the state and local level to make a serious difference in the lives of young children and families. Focusing on the earliest years of life is a core education strategy, which is long overdue.”

Read the full article about how a new center will study most effective pre-k policies by Linda Jacobson at Education Dive.