From local, network and state examples, from practitioners and researchers, we continue to learn about the importance of early learning experiences and find there to be great promise in existing and emerging practices. Early childhood care and education (ECCE), as defined by UNESCO, is the “holistic development of a child’s social, emotional, cognitive and physical needs in order to build a solid and broad foundation for lifelong learning and wellbeing.” We know these experiences shape young learners minds, attitudes and often behaviors.

We talked with ECCE experts and surveyed the field to compile a short list of what we know so far and share where there is still room to grow.

  1. ECCE promotes brain development and has positive long-term economic benefits.
  2. Developing 21st Century Skills in early learners helps prepare them for success in school and life.
  3. ECCE can make a positive difference in the lives of young children.
  4. Age-appropriate use of technology can enhance learning.
  5. Uneven access- A scan from The Hunt Institute of early childhood education across the country shows inconsistencies in offerings and quality of programs.

We know more progress is needed and that many educators and leaders are working hard to advance and enhance early learning experiences. When we look around the country, we continually see examples of excellence in early childhood education which reinforce the notion that high-quality experiences for young learners are 1) possible and 2) critical.

Read the full article about the importance of early childhood education by Emily Liebtag at Getting Smart.