Birth to Eight Educational Alignment

The children and families we seek to reach through Great Expectations are part of a system that is largely fragmented and made up of multiple paths to kindergarten. Because children receive childcare in a variety of settings and access early childhood programs and services at different levels, there is great variability in the quality and amount of experiences children have in preparing them for success in school. Furthermore, the Early Childhood Service System Analysis identified the lack of alignment of efforts across available early childhood programming as a major concern.

There is movement at the national and state levels to align early childhood and elementary education systems, starting earlier in order to close later achievement gaps. The approach aims to combat the “fade out” effect that occurs when children enter an elementary school environment that isn’t well-aligned with the high quality early childhood settings where they have received care. This alignment effort focuses specifically on developmentally appropriate practices from birth into the early grades, developing systems that are high-quality and aligned, and investing in data and evaluation strategies to measure progress across those systems.

We intend to explore ways to foster system-wide alignment and emphasis on developmentally-appropriate practice. Effective alignment requires careful planning to be successful, and any future investments will result from deliberate planning and consultation with critical system partners.