Jumpstart is taking action
Every child has the potential to succeed. But the potential for that success can only be realized if children have access to the right tools early in life.
With 20 years of experience practicing our proven curriculum, Jumpstart has gained valuable insight into how to make high-quality early education programs more accessible for teachers, parents and children. We call upon policymakers to take action based on effective programs like ours. We urge government officials at all levels to work together toward creating a nation in which every child enters kindergarten prepared to succeed. We support preventative, long-term solutions that reflect the following recommendations:
1. High Quality Education & Care
Jumpstart believes systems and resources must be created to ensure and support high-quality programs known to meet children’s individual physical, social and cognitive needs. States must establish appropriate readiness standards and implementation of these standards must be supported with funding and oversight.
2. Support First Class Educators
Jumpstart believes that well-trained and prepared educators are the foundation of high-quality early education and care. Educators must be able to aptly deliver high-quality curricula and implement intentional practice. Educators and leaders must have on-going and well-designed continuing education and professional development opportunities. Indeed, future educators must engage in relevant coursework reflective of current research and developmentally, culturally and linguistically appropriate practice. They should also participate in rigorous contextualized field experiences that include training and classroom experience. It is important to attract and retain great educators and leaders, and thus compensation must be reflective of their training, education and experience, and incentives to enter and stay in the field must be available.
3. Provide Meaningful Access
Jumpstart believes families and children are better able to participate in high-quality programs when they are easily accessible and affordable. While policy should reflect a commitment to universal access, at a minimum, families with lower incomes should be able to receive financial assistance for their children to attend and benefit from such programs. The multiple services and resources that may be available to families must be coordinated and streamlined. Additionally, families should have high-quality options near their homes and workplaces from which to choose, and information about the various high-quality programs must be publicly available. Further funding is critical to expand and scale innovative programs known to provide high-quality programming that meets children’s needs.
4. Leverage Community-Based Solutions
Jumpstart believes that community-based organizations play a critical role in mobilizing local resources and can provide community members opportunities to serve in classrooms. Further support and funding for effective and evidence-based community partnerships is important, and programs such as Federal Work-Study, AmeriCorps and Foster Grandparents help the public and private sectors work together to close the kindergarten readiness gap. In addition, further coordination between the traditional K-12 school system and early education providers is important to create a coordinated continuum of educational opportunities to meet the needs of children, starting in their early years and extending throughout their schooling.
Click here for our complete Guiding Policy Principles.
You can take action, too!
There are numerous ways that you can join Jumpstart in taking action.*
1. Connect with Your Government Officials
Email, call or meet with your government officials and urge them to make investments to increase access to high-quality early education and care. Ask them to increase funding for Federal Work-Study so that more college students with financial needs can participate in meaningful programs that help them build important skills while benefiting the community. Request that they also increase funding for AmeriCorps and Foster Grandparents, two important programs operated by the Corporation for National and Community Service that support organizations like Jumpstart to engage community members in service. Find your Members of Congress here.
Government officials are important to engage, so please connect with your city council members, mayors, governors, state legislators and others as well.
2. Talk to Your Friends & Family
Spread the word! You can make an impact by educating friends and family about Jumpstart. Raising awareness is critical, and hopefully, they will join in supporting efforts to make high-quality early education programs accessible to teachers, families and children. They too can connect with their leaders to raise awareness of the importance of programs like Federal Work-Study, AmeriCorps and Foster Grandparents, which allow volunteers to continue working to make a difference for families in communities in need.
3. Participate in Jumpstart’s Read for the Record®
Get involved! Jumpstart’s Read for the Record® is a national campaign that provides the opportunity for millions to celebrate literacy and support Jumpstart in promoting high-quality early education for all children in America. On October 3, 2013, individuals from across the country will read Otis, a timeless story of a friendship between a lovable tractor and a calf that live on a farm, by New York Times bestselling author Loren Long. Participants will read the same book on the same day in support of Jumpstart’s mission: to work toward the day every child in America enters kindergarten prepared to succeed. Learn more and pledge to read.
* Jumpstart is a non-partisan, non-profit organization. To comply with the laws regarding 501(c)(3) organizations as well as AmeriCorps regulations, staff, Jumpstart Corps members and VISTAs may not participate in any partisan or seemingly partisan activities. Prohibited activities include, but are not limited to: Endorsing or opposing a candidate, either implicitly or explicitly; Coordinating activities with a candidate; Using federal funds for voter registration activities.
Jumpstart staff, Corps members and VISTAs are not to use any Jumpstart resources (e.g. email, computers, facilities, phones, money) to participate in any election-related activities or campaigns. In addition, as an AmeriCorps-funded program, Jumpstart staff funded by AmeriCorps and program participants (i.e. Corps members, VISTAs, Foster Grandparents) may not participate in political activities or try to influence legislation during time charged to AmeriCorps. Jumpstart staff who receive requests may participate in partisan activities and campaigns on their own time and with their own resources (e.g. personal computers, phones, and email accounts).
For more information and frequently asked questions, please click here to review a detailed memorandum recently issued by the Corporation for National and Community Service reminding programs of the various restrictions on legislative lobbying and partisan political activity.