We would like to share the 2015 Early Childhood Policy Network Unified Agenda- Building the Path to Virginia’s Prosperity. (Download pdf of Agenda here-2015 Early Childhood Education Unified Agenda)
This agenda represents a comprehensive vision for ensuring the school readiness of Virginia’s future workforce and recommendations action items that are within the means of Virginia’s current financial forecast. For the last 5 years, organizations representing broad interests in policies related to young children and their families have come together, through the leadership of Voices for Virginia’s Children, to develop a Unified Policy Agenda. As a result there have been significant investments and improvements in early childhood programs and higher profile for the issue. The 2015 Unified Agenda seeks to build on previous years’ successes by making a call for the investment in the infrastructure to guarantee that young children have access to safe and high-quality early learning programs in every community in Virginia.
Our 2015 Unified Agenda looks to an early childhood system that is currently “under construction”. The work being done to construct this system right now should shape policies and infrastructure that will put Virginia on the path to building a high-quality early learning system that positions us to be economically competitive. The construction must include building the infrastructure, the rules and quality standards, for this system. We must build in avenues for collaboration, for transparent accountability and visionary leadership. And finally, we must build out this system so that every kid in Virginia has the opportunity to participate in high-quality early learning programs that prepare them for success in school.
Our Policy Priorities for 2015 include:
1. Continue investments in two-generation approaches to addressing poverty and school readiness.
– Maintain investments in comprehensive home visiting programs and early intervention programs.
2. Ensure safe child care environments for all children
– Implement basic health and safety protections for children and ensure accountability for non-relative caregivers.
3. Improve quality by improving the skills of early childhood educators.
– Review opportunities and barriers to aligning professional development across early learning settings and identify resources necessary to improve quality
4. Maximize the Virginia Preschool Initiative through a mixed-delivery approach
– Increase enrollment in the Virginia Preschool Initiative by reducing barriers to participation, including a mixed delivery approach.
5. Align existing resources across agencies to improve coordination and collaboration
– Develop a vision for an early childhood system that supports collaboration, alignment and coordination.
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