Mission

We are dedicated to finding solutions for enhancing the quality of young children’s learning and development.

The science is in.

Engaged parenting and high-quality, early education programs make a lifelong difference in the school outcomes and workforce readiness for young children.

connect

The architecture of the brain, or neural connections, is formed rapidly during these early years. The experiences of a child, especially those shared by a child and significant adults in his or her life, stimulate these neural connections.

influence

Research has shown that higher-quality early learning and development environments lead to better language, cognitive and social skills through early elementary school. Primary caregivers, early healthcare providers and early childhood professionals all contribute to the quality of these developmental influences.

We Must Act Now.

Only 1 in 5 will graduate

Only 1 and 5 children in our region are graduating from high school and completing some form of post-high school credential. However, Houston’s rapidly growing employers desperately need employees with post-high school education.

Limited public funding

Early education receives limited public funding, and the state standards for early education programs are far too low. As a result, few families are able to access high-quality early education.

A critical time for Houston

We must invest more heavily in the early stages of our children’s learning and development, a time in which we see the highest financial return on investment and the greatest impact on preparing children for a bright and successful future.

Our Vision

By 2025, all Greater Houston area students will be reading at or above grade level by the end of 3rd grade.

We envision a greater Houston region where young children are a part of supportive and nurturing families. Where they are able to participate in high-quality, early education, knowing that intentional, early investments significantly improve kindergarten readiness, 3rd grade reading mastery, high school graduation rates, post-high school education/credentialing, and workforce readiness.

Steps to Achieve Our Vision

Parents should have access to a range of resources to become the best parents they can be for their growing child.

Child Care Programs should maintain high-quality standards and be accessible to working families.

Pre-K Programs must be equitable with respect to access and high quailty.

K-3rd Grade Programs should continue the trajectory to literacy.

The Challenges

In the last 30 years, dramatic changes have occurred that leave our children and our community at risk.

A new job market

A high school degree used to be enough to find well-paying jobs. Now people need some form of post-high school training or education to secure a job that pays a living wage.

Not enough children are making it through the educational pipeline.

Only 1 in 5 students in Texas completes a degree or certificate within six years of high school graduation.

More children are arriving at Kindergarten unprepared for school.

60% of Houston-area Kindergartners entered the 2012-13 school year lacking requisite reading-readiness skills.

The Goals

Improve the quality and access to early childhood education and improve school readiness.

1. Community Support

Strengthen community support for high-quality, accessible early childhood education among families, elected officials, educators, and business and civic leaders.

2. Quality Standards

Apply research and evidence-based standards in guiding family and educator interactions with young children and in measuring the quality and impact of early learning and development programs and services.

3. Family Support

Ensure that parents and other caregivers have access to evidence-based and culturally appropriate parent support programs and resources.

4. Healthcare Engagement

Utilize health care providers and settings for medical care as access points for providing families with resources and support to enhance their children’s early development.

5. Professional Development

Ensure that early childhood education program staff have access to evidence-based instructional resources and opportunities to develop the knowledge, skills, confidence, and support systems to help children reach their full potential.

6. Financing and Governance

Develop a financing and governance structure that provides a sustainable community investment in an early learning and development system and measures the impact of the system on school readiness.

7. Statewide system

Build partnerships across Texas to strengthen state infrastructure and financial resources for early learning and development.

Interested in learning more?
Take Action