Educare is a platform that is changing practice and policies about how early education programs are created and sustained in cities and states across the nation.
Despite growing scientific evidence, our society's current investment in children's education and care is lowest during the critical early years, when brain growth and development are occurring most rapidly. Comprehensive learning programs for very young children of low-income parents remain scarce even though they can help prevent more costly interventions later in life.
A Catalyst for Change
Educare Schools serve as "showrooms" that demonstrate what high-quality, well-implemented early programs can look like and help to convince policy makers, business leaders and others that investments in early learning make a difference in the life outcomes for even the most at-risk children.
Educare Schools also help create new champions for early learning by demonstrating, in real early learning classrooms, what is possible. Educare partners and families have become powerful voices for change. Here are just a few examples:
- Educare 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-3 services.
- The State of Illinois increased funding of early childhood investments by over $172 million after Educare Chicago opened in 2000, and it is moving toward full funding of preschool services.
- Educare Tulsa helped to inspire a $25 million pilot program to promote school readiness of at-risk children. After visiting Educare Omaha, the Kansas governor supported the establishment of an $11 million early childhood block grant with a set-aside for infants and toddler
- Even before Educare Central Maine opened its doors in 2010, it helped promote expansion of state pre-kindergarten programs, the redirection of funds to early education and prevention programs, and improvements to the state's child care quality standards.