Calls for Improving Access to High Quality Early Learning Opportunities Through Strengthening the Early Education Workforce
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 31, 2017 (BOSTON) – This month, millions of children around the U.S. will walk into kindergarten classrooms for the first time. Whether or not they have the baseline skills to thrive in those classrooms depends largely on the income and education levels of their parents, and the zip codes in which they live: Children from low-income communities start kindergarten 61% behind their more affluent peers.
Since 1993, the education nonprofit Jumpstart has served young children in low-income communities to help eliminate opportunity gaps before children start kindergarten. But there are many other factors that affect access to high-quality early learning and, through today’s publication of Breaking the Cycle of Poverty Through Kindergarten Preparedness: Jumpstart’s Policy Principles, Jumpstart has set out to address these issues through a heightened commitment to advocacy and leadership around early childhood education policies, including those that aim to improve resources for early educators.
“In our 25 years of direct service, we have seen firsthand the national and local policies that make a difference in students’ lives,” says Naila Bolus, CEO & President of Jumpstart. “In addition to continuing to serve children around the country, it is also our responsibility to share what we have learned: That preparing children for school and breaking the cycle of poverty requires supporting both the child and the early educators and volunteers with whom the child interacts in the classroom, a task that requires the support of policymakers at the local, state, and federal levels.”
Breaking the Cycle of Poverty Through Kindergarten Preparedness outlines Jumpstart’s support for policies that promote:
- Accessible, high-quality early childhood education
- A professional, stable, and well-compensated early education workforce
- Affordable higher education that incorporates valuable workforce training opportunities
- A commitment to national service
In order for our youngest children to grow and thrive throughout this school year and the years to come, federal, state, and local governments must enact substantial policy changes and dedicate significantly more resources to our youngest learners, college students, and early educators.
Jumpstart is a national early education organization working toward the day every child in America enters kindergarten prepared to succeed. Jumpstart delivers a research-based and cost-effective program by training college students and community members to serve preschool-age children in low-income neighborhoods. Through a research-driven curriculum, Jumpstart children develop the language, literacy, and social-emotional skills they need to be ready for kindergarten, setting them on a path for lifelong success. Jumpstart is also a proud member of the AmeriCorps national service network. Learn more at jstart.org and follow us on Twitter at @Jumpstartkids.