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The Early Learning Now Campaign is focused on delivering policy change and increased state investments to support equitable access to quality early learning for all Virginia children.

The Problem:

  • Pre-COVID, 44% of Virginia’s Children were NOT ready for kindergarten in literacy, math, social skills or self-regulation.
  • Post-COVID, the achievement, readiness and reading gaps will widen for all children across the income spectrum.
  • The health crisis wreaked havoc on an already fragile early education system that working families rely on every day.
  • Early education and learning programs are on the frontlines and need consistent and stable funding.

The Solution:

  • Create a dedicated funding stream to increase access for at-risk children.
  • Expand access to 3 and 4-year-olds through the Virginia Preschool Initiative (VPI).
  • Increase classroom quality by funding the Early Educator Teacher and Incentive Program to keep teachers in the classroom.
  • Fund the preschool version of the Virginia Kindergarten Readiness Program (VKRP).
  • Fund early education with a funding formula to improve quality.

Access

Improve access for all children.

  • Increase access to the Virginia Preschool Initiative (VPI).
  • Create a dedicated funding stream to expand access to at-risk 3’s and 4’s.
  • Serve more children through the mixed-delivery in partnership with private programs and school divisions.

Quality

Focus on high quality early education.

  • Increase per pupil amount.
  • Invest in the Early Educator Teacher Incentive program to keep teachers in the classroom.
  • Fund early education with a funding formula to improve quality for children.
  • Fund the G3 Initiative..
  • Utilize the Quality Rating System to measure quality in all state funded programs.

Equity

Work to address racial disparities. Close the opportunity gap.

  • Improve equitable access to high quality early learning.
  • Prioritize communities of color.
  • Give every child the opportunity to thrive and reach their full potential regardless of their zip code.
  • Ensure that demographics no longer predict children’s outcomes.

Impact

All children are ready for kindergarten academically and socially.

  • Fund the preschool version of the VKRP as a tool to understand children’s strengths and weaknesses and provide actionable data to parents, teachers, school divisions and early learning programs.
  • Use the VKRP to benchmark the impact of COVID on children’s kindergarten readiness skills.
  • Include a Deputy Superintendent of Early Childhood position in VDOE.