In cities and states across the nation, Educare is serving as a PLATFORM for raising awareness of the value and vital importance of learning during a child’s first five years of life. Educare Arizona is no exception. It is changing practice and policies about how early education programs are created and sustained.
Educare Arizona’s impact extends far beyond the walls at 1300 North 48th Street. Across the Educare Learning Network, Educare schools are participating in significant policy change efforts to increase the levels of private and public investment in the first five years, and encouraging government to look at early childhood funding in new and innovative ways.
Like other Educare Schools, Educare Arizona serves as a “showroom” that demonstrates what high-quality, well-implemented early learning programs can look like and help to convince policymakers, business leaders and others that investments in early learning make a difference in the life outcomes for even the most at-risk children.
Through our policy efforts, Educare Arizona is helping create new champions for early learning by demonstrating, in real early learning classrooms, what is possible. By partnering with families and advocates, Educare partners have become powerful voices for change.
Educare Arizona also serves as a training ground for early learning professionals. In addition to visiting our school, early learning professionals have opportunity to observe and receive coaching in the teaching methods and practices that have been developed across Educare Schools over the past decade. By bringing high quality approaches to the children they serve, Educare Arizona helps raise standards in teaching and in education outcomes. By building communities of learning and practice, Educare Arizona extends beyond the walls so that all children can share in the dream of equal opportunity for all.
Examples of policy wins from Educare states across the nation include:
- Educare of Omaha helped advocacy and philanthropic leaders make the case for Nebraska to dramatically increase its investments in early learning programs. The Nebraska state constitution now declares that learning begins at birth, and a $60 million public/private endowment is expanding quality birth-to-three services.
- Illinois increased funding of early childhood investments by over $172 million after Educare opened in 2000, and is moving toward full funding of preschool services.
- Educare of Tulsa helped to inspire a $25 million pilot program to promote the school readiness of at-risk children. After visiting Educare of Omaha, the Kansas governor supported the establishment of an $11 million early childhood block grant with a set-aside for infants and toddlers.
- Even before Educare of Central Maine opened its doors in 2010, it helped to promote expansion of state prekindergarten programs, the redirection of funds to early education and prevention programs and improvements to the state’s child care quality standards.