The Future of American Early Childhood: A Framework for Building High-Performing, Coherent Systems

Decades of research has shown that children, families, and state and local economies benefit in meaningful ways when families have access to high-quality and affordable early childhood options. Although there are hard-working and visionary leaders at every level of the early childhood system, those leaders are often situated in siloed, incongruent systems, equipped with insufficient funding and authority to strengthen those systems. As a result, early childhood systems often fail to achieve their full potential because they lack coherence and coordination across all the fragmented funding sources that serve children birth through five.

Now more than ever, states are uniquely positioned to change this. This framework lays out the key levers state leaders should focus on as they develop a coherent plan that drives toward an early childhood system that supports the needs of all children and families.

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