Early Learning Policy & Research

Children deserve to be born into a world where everyone — regardless of race, class, or region — has an equal opportunity to succeed. But the shadows of structural inequality and systemic racism start following too many California children before they ever set foot in a classroom.

Equitable access to early education is critical to improving long-term educational outcomes for students, especially those from under-resourced communities. And while California has made new investments in Pre-K education over the last several years, the state’s fragmented early learning system still leads to persistent learning gaps. In order to better support young children, there must also be equity in the workforce — this starts with valuing early educators and paying them a fair wage. Research has shown that students from low-income communities can arrive at elementary school as many as 24 months behind their peers from more adequately resourced communities. Rigorous and equitable early education is key to ensuring every student has an opportunity to succeed, and our school systems have to rise to meet this critical need. 

At Ed Trust–West, we work to uncover the layers of inequities in early learning, from inequitable access to high-quality preschools, to wage disparities for early learner educators, to disproportionate discipline for young Black children. We view early learning as a multi-faceted space within a child’s education journey, and advocate for strengthened connections between early learning, K-12, and higher education segments. We are committed to ensuring equitable access to high quality early learning opportunities, and strengthening the early learning workforce.”

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