Walker County has joined a cohort of six communities across the nation working to improve outcomes for every child during the first five years of life. Launched by the Center for the Study of Social Policy (CCSP) and StriveTogether, this cohort is part of Early Learning Nation, an initiative committed to ensuring that babies are welcomed into families, neighborhoods and communities that are ready to nurture their early learning and healthy development.
Leaders in each of these communities are working together to assess their current efforts and develop an action plan, using the Early Learning Community Action Guide and Progress Rating Tool developed by CSSP and the National League of Cities (NLC).
The other participating communities in this cohort are: Austin, Minnesota. (Austin Aspires); Cincinnati and Covington, Ohio and Newport, Kentucky (StrivePartnership); Kenosha, Wisconsin (Building Our Future); Pocatello, Idaho (imPACT East Idaho); Stanislaus County, California (Stanislaus Cradle to Career Partnership).
“These communities have come together around the ambitious goal of transforming the systems that hold back children of color and those with low economic means,” said StriveTogether President and CEO Jennifer Blatz. “They are an amazing example of how we must continue to think bigger and work together – across city, county and state lines – to ensure every child has a strong start to life, no matter their race, ethnicity, zip code or circumstance.”
“We are very excited to bring the Early Learning Community approach to these communities and help them work toward improving school readiness and other well-being outcomes for young children and their families,” said CSSP President Judith Meltzer. “Communities in the StriveTogether Cradle to Career Network already do important results-focused work across sectors. These new tools help them apply that approach more intensively to early childhood as well as to be part of the Early Learning Nation movement.”
The goal of Early Learning Nation is to catalyze a shift in the way the U.S. approaches early learning. The Center for the Study of Social Policy, National League of Cities, StriveTogether and other partners are expanding the network of Early Learning Communities, connecting people and places working to improve opportunities and outcomes for young children. With leadership and generous support from the Bezos Family Foundation, this network will continue to grow, and the U.S. will become an Early Learning Nation.