Cradle to pre-k is the most impactful age for human development, and we know that access to high-quality, affordable early childhood education and care is key to successful outcomes later in life. But what can cities do to support this stage of small children’s lives beyond early childhood care and education? Our Winter panel, “From Cradle to Preschool: Holistic Approaches to Promote Future Success” tackled this question in January.
Cradle to Pre-K
Jammie Alpert, with the National League of Cities, made a strong case for focusing on the youngest children and advocating the clear message: early childhood outcomes connect directly to issues that matter most to mayors. She highlighted NLC’s work in city cohorts to leverage resources for city-sponsored programming, focusing on locally-identified needs.
Through a coordinated, sustained effort, Somerville, MA has implemented a set of programs for this population–with the long-term aim to eliminate the achievement gap and wage disparities. Mayor Joseph Curtatone highlighted several programs that have successfully integrated resources across schools, the city and community partners, including the Somerville Children’s Cabinet and By All Means.
In Rochester, NY, Mayor Lovely Warren’s early commitment to ensuring that every child has an opportunity to thrive resulted in the Mayor’s Early Learning Council. Several impactful projects emerged from that effort, including 3-to-3, a targeted literacy project, and Grow Rochester, which supports early screening for physical or developmental issues.