Early Learning Nation
Using the four Building Blocks for ELCs, communities across the country are putting their commitment to early childhood into action and achieving better outcomes for young children and their families.
We think holistically about the environment in which families are raising their children—the community commitment, the services and supports, the neighborhoods, and the policies that affect their lives—to understand how best to ensure that all children get what they need to thrive.
While communities vary greatly by history, culture, demographics, and geography, ELCs stand on four key “building blocks;” that is, community characteristics and actions that promote healthy child development and family well-being:
- Community leadership, commitment, and public will to make early childhood a priority;
- Quality services that work for all young children and their families;
- Neighborhoods where families can thrive; and
- Policies that support and are responsive to families.
Throughout the journey to becoming an ELC, all stakeholders must consider how to:
- Advance equity.
- Promote partnerships with families.
- Determine whether results are being achieved.
Early Learning Nation Outcomes
Early Learning Communities align their efforts toward three broad sets of results for young children and their families, the kind of results that every parent wants for their child:
- Pregnant women and young children are healthy.
- Children are ready to succeed in school.
- Children live in safe, stable, and nurturing families and communities.
We look forward to sharing results based on these metrics after the initiative has had some time to spread and scale, and we have collected and analyzed sufficient data.
Early Learning Nation Community Action Guide
CSSP and the National League of Cities (NLC) have developed an Early Learning Community Action Guide designed to help communities focus their efforts around four key building blocks.
Build Your Early Learning Community
Becoming an Early Learning Community is an ongoing process, where there are always opportunities to make progress.
Every Early Learning Community is unique. The building blocks describe common elements that are present across all Early Learning Communities but, like the elements of a playground, they can be assembled in many different ways. There is no one design that will fit every community. Each community will choose the actions that fit their community best. However, there are steps your community should take as you begin your journey that will give you a strong foundation and help sustain your efforts into the future. These are the steps to help you get started.
- Print the Build Your Early Learning Community infographic
- Watch and share a short, animated video about what it means to become an Early Learning Community
- Use this discussion guide to engage parents and other community members in a discussion about how well the community is supporting early learning
- Watch a webinar “orientation” to becoming an Early Learning Community