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New Report: Grantee NASEM on Closing the Opportunity Gap for Young Children

When it comes to investing in equitable education opportunities for young children, factors related to the opportunity gap cannot be overlooked. For young children, some of these structural and institutional forces that maintain and exacerbate inequality include poverty, food insecurity, exposure to violence, inadequate access to health care, well-funded quality schools, and mental health care.

“Closing the Opportunity Gap for Young Children,” a comprehensive new report by grantee partner National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM), identifies drivers of these gaps in three key domains—education, mental health, and physical health—and describes how they intertwine and compound to affect education, health, and social-emotional development in children birth through age 8.

The report argues that early learning is a civil and a human right of all young children, given the important role early learning plays in establishing a foundation for life, with outsized social and economic returns. Additionally, the report recommends for federal and state actors to codify that right into law to ensure accountability.

In addition to a detailed description of the state of the early childhood field, the report offers a far-reaching set of recommendations for policymakers, practitioners, community organizations, and philanthropic organizations to reduce these opportunity gaps. The report was supported by the Foundation’s Education program, among other funders.

Read the report here.

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