“This is your feeder system,” says Robert Pianta, the Dean of the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia. “The kinds of experiences that are accruing in these early settings matter. Even if you look to age 16 in those kids, there are still significant effects from those early experiences.”
From local, network and state examples, from practitioners and researchers, we continue to learn about the importance of early learning experiences and find there to be great promise in existing and emerging practices. Early childhood care and education (ECCE), as defined by UNESCO, is the “holistic development of a child’s social, emotional, cognitive and physical needs in order to build a solid and broad foundation for lifelong learning and wellbeing.” We know these experiences shape young learners minds, attitudes and often behaviors. For the purposes of this post (to provide a broad scan of the field and predict what may be on the early childhood horizon), we mention early childhood care programs but chose to focus specifically on exploring pre-kindergarten educational experiences.