There is a powerful body of research highlighting the lasting impact of investing in high-quality early learning settings and experiences for young children. While research provides compelling evidence of the powerful impact of such programs, access to them continues to be a challenge.
Today, a coalition of local educators, community-based organizations, and civic leaders unveiled the “Sacramento County Early Learning Roadmap: Prenatal Through Age Eight.” The plan is the result of a 15-month planning process involving 60 community partners that represent a broad range of stakeholders. The unveiling took place at the Morey Avenue Early Childhood Development School (Twin Rivers U.S.D.).
“The Roadmap is a guide to help ensure that ALL children in Sacramento County have the same chance to live, learn, and lead healthy lives,” said David W. Gordon, Sacramento County Superintendent of Schools. “It is intended to build momentum and garner support for our youngest learners.”
The goal of the plan is to create a community where all children have the opportunity to get a strong, early start that sets the foundation for future success in school and in life. It focuses on five priority areas:
- Comprehensive Services and Support for Children and Families;
- Early Learning and Development for ALL Children;
- Family and Community Outreach and Engagement;
- Program Structures and Environment; and
- Early Learning Workforce Recruitment, Retention, and Professionalism.
“As an organization, the Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) strongly supports efforts to expand early learning partnerships countywide. We also need to recruit, retain, and support the best and brightest early learning teachers for our children,” said Brian M. Rivas, President of the Sacramento County Board of Education. “We believe that the Sacramento County Early Learning Roadmap can get us there.”
According to the American Institutes for Research, an independent, non-profit corporation, 59 percent of eligible three- and four-year-old children in Sacramento County are not currently served by state preschool, other Title 5 programs, Head Start, or transitional kindergarten.
The Choose Children 2018 advocacy group—led by the Silicon Valley Community Foundation’s Center for Early Learning—recently conducted a poll that found more than 87 percent of respondents agree that it’s important for California’s next governor to invest more money into programs for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers.