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Initiatives

Start with Equity: From the Early Years to the Early Grades Data, Research, and an Actionable Child Equity Policy Agenda

Funded by the Heising Simons Foundation, the Children’s Equity Project (CEP) has released a new landmark report that reviews the state of equity in America's learning systems, from the early years to the early grades. The report provides a comprehensive review of the data to better understand how children from a variety of marginalized communities are faring; a review of the evidence base, with an emphasis on interventions that have proven successful in narrowing disparities in opportunity and outcomes; and a review of the national policy landscape. The report includes a comprehensive and concrete equity policy agenda aimed at making our learning systems more equitable.

Start with Equity: California

Funded by the Heising Simons Foundation, the CEP developed a follow-up report focusing on the state of equity in California’s early care and learning systems. The report specifically focuses on three key issues covered in the Start with Equity national report: harsh discipline and its disproportionate application, lack of inclusive learning opportunities for children with disabilities, and inequitable access to bilingual learning for dual language learners. The report includes a California-specific policy agenda to inform the state’s Master Plan for Early Care and Learning and to build more equitable systems for the state’s youngest learners.

Equity and COVID-19: Considering Equity in the Transition Back to School and Early Childhood Programs - Policy Recommendations

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the lives of nearly every American. But the effects of COVID-19 are not equally distributed. As states begin the reopening process, and as education and early childhood leaders are in the midst of transition planning, it is critical that they move forward with equity as an essential focal point. The Children’s Equity Project (CEP) has developed a set of recommendations to support equitable transition planning during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Expanding Access to Dual Language Immersion Approaches for Dual Language and English Learners

The CEP is conducting an analysis examining dual language learners' (DLLs) access to DLI programs. Preliminary evidence suggests that DLLs may not have equitable access to DLI programs, which are important for their long-term academic success. The CEP is working to investigate this phenomenon using publicly available enrollment data from six U.S. cities with robust DLI programming.

Exploring Greater Access to Quality Preschool

Funded by the Heising Simons Foundation, the CEP is undertaking a new project to explore a litigation strategy to expand rights and resources for our youngest learners, including and especially those from historically marginalized communities. Through this effort, the CEP aims to better understand the legal and constitutional landscapes of children’s rights in states across the country.

Family Voices

Families are children's first and most important lifelong teachers. Their voices should be front and center in any education equity agenda. Unfortunately, too often researchers and policymakers make decisions without listening to the people whose lives are most directly affected by inadequate education and learning systems. The CEP is working to conduct over 15 focus groups in the Phoenix, Denver, and Nashville to better understand families' experiences with inequities in the education system, from the early years to the early grades. This work will enable us to better understand families' experiences as well as what they need and want from the early childhood and education systems.

Harsh Discipline and its Disproportionate Application in the Early Years and Early Grades

The CEP works to examine data and policy related to harsh discipline and its disproportionate application in learning settings from the early years to the early grades. We analyze discipline data and policy implications nationally, as well as at the state and local levels. We specifically focus on identifying and closing disparities that Black children, other children of color, and children with disabilities face within learning systems across an array of harsh discipline types, including suspension, expulsion, corporal punishment, seclusion, and restraint.

Preschool Inclusion

The CEP is developing a series of analyses and briefs examining the state of inclusion in IDEA preschool programs (Part B section 619) nationally and across states. The CEP will compare states on access to inclusive preschool services and examine disparities - across race, gender, ethnicity, and disability category- in access to inclusive learning. The team will also examine state and district policies that support or inhibit inclusion for young children and provide recommendations to make greater progress in ensuring children with disabilities have equitable opportunities for high quality, inclusive learning.

The Center of Excellence for Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation (CoE)

The Center of Excellence for Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation (ECMHC) is a new technical assistance center that helps communities support the success of the next generation by increasing access to evidence-based ECMHC. The CoE is funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and is led by the Center for Child Health and Human Development at Georgetown University, in partnership with the CEP and the RAINE group. The CEP leads all of the equity-related work of the CoE, including ensuring that all materials, training and technical assistance are developed through an equity lens, and developing a unique set of materials that support greater equity in all of the settings where ECMHC is practiced.

The Child Migrant Project

The CEP is engaged in several projects to better understand the experiences and needs of immigrant children and families who are involved with federal immigration agencies, and the state and federal policies that influence those experiences. These analyses include a comprehensive policy review of federal and state licensing standards for the Office of Refugee Resettlement shelters that house unaccompanied and separated migrant children, as well as the Immigration and Customs Enforcement family residential centers that detain migrant families together.

Quality First Evaluation – First Things First

In addition to our national work, the CEP supports local initiatives aimed at improving the quality of early childhood education settings for children within the state of Arizona. The CEP works as partners with First Things First to evaluate the impact of their quality rating and improvement system in supporting preschoolers within the City of Tempe.