Your state has goals for performance in English Language Arts (ELA) and Math. Do you know what they are? As an early childhood advocate you may well not, as all of the goals are based on standardized assessments given to children in third grade and up. But you should, because chances are those state goals are out of reach for your state unless it puts more focus on early learning.
Over the past 10 months, seven Alliance state partners embarked on a mission to increase public support for infants and toddlers by creating coalitions, identifying infant/toddler specific policy priorities, and developing advocacy strategies and communication plans. Each state approached its efforts in a slightly different way, but with the same goal in mind: to advance the well-being and school readiness of infants and toddlers in their state.
Last month, dozens of Alliance for Early Success partners convened in Denver, Colorado, for the 2018 Partner Summit, where policy experts, thought leaders and child advocates spent three days sharing best practices and connecting with counterparts from other states over their experiences, challenges, and solutions to improve state policies for children, birth through age eight. Shannon Jones, Groundwork Ohio executive director, shares her reflections from the event.