Our Approach

Educare Learning Network

In 2000, Start Early (formerly known as the Ounce) developed the first Educare school to serve the children and families rebuilding their community after the demolition of the Robert Taylor Homes, one of the largest public housing developments in Chicago.

Since then, we’ve partnered with diverse communities and early childhood champions across the country to build a national network of 25 birth-through-age 5 schools and improve access to high-quality early education across the country. We build strong public-private partnerships to create strong schools and longtime champions who will amplify our call for change. Together, we elevate the quality of early childhood education in America.

Continually Learning

The Educare Learning Network national team, housed at our backbone organization, Start Early helps guide strategy, amplify innovation, share best practices, advance policy and supports school-level implementation of Educare’s core features.

Positive Field Impact

Our mission drives us to serve not only the children and families who attend our 25 Educare schools, but also the broader early childhood field. We partner with educators, researchers and policymakers to strengthen communities across the country. Our professional development series, the Essential Practices of Educare, provides practical instruction to center-based and school-based programs on how to improve program practice and ultimately deliver stronger outcomes for children and families. Our policy and advocacy initiatives include expansive work with the federal Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships grants, and our ongoing commitment to research and evaluation has provided extensive opportunities to share our findings with the field, including our Educare Insights series. 


Interested in joining the Educare Learning Network?

Explore our career opportunities.