What do state early childhood specialists think are the most important policy issues in the coming decade, looking to 2030?  What do they need to achieve these goals for children?

CEELO’s new Legacy 2030 project will capture the voices and experiences of state early education specialists and others who have influenced early education policy. We want to see where we’ve been, figure out what works and then set a course for where we should be headed.

To learn more, read the Legacy 2030 Project Description or to share ideas contact us at info@ceelo.org.

Pioneers in Early Childhood EducationAmplifying State Policy Specialists’ VoicesNational Advisory Group
Pioneers in Early Childhood Education – From left-to-right: Barbara Bowman, Sue Bredekamp, W. Steven Barnett, Marilou Hyson, Larry Schweinhart, Linda Espinosa, Evelyn Moore, Eugene Garcia, Valora Washington, Joan Lombardi, Sharon Lynn Kagan.

In February 2019, CEELO convened the above group of  Pioneers in Early Childhood Education (see bios below) for a round-table discussion and individual video interviews. This video series will capture the wisdom of leaders who have shaped the early childhood education field. Videos will be appropriate for a wide audience, providing another helpful resource for policy advocacy, professional development and public relations outreach.


What is the goal of the project? Legacy 2030 will capture the voices and experiences of those charged with developing, informing and/or implementing state early education policy — state early childhood specialists in state departments of education or state child-serving agencies; and those who have influenced development of state early education policy, such as long-time national leaders and researchers — pioneers of our field.

Legacy 2030 intends to document an early education legacy by looking back to understand the history and context of today’s policy initiatives and challenges, and looking ahead to develop strategies for continued progress. The project will identify the pressing policy issues that could make a significant difference in child outcomes and explore solutions from diverse viewpoints among leaders who have shaped the ECE field from the early 1980s to the present.

Why capture the voice of state early childhood specialists? Legacy 2030 seeks to inform policy decisions for children, birth to third grade, over the coming decade (2020–2030). Early childhood specialists have first-hand knowledge of state policies and administrative processes that are working (or not working) to support early learning and development; how context, policies, administrative structures, and communication channels impact the state agency’s work with districts and local communities implementing early childhood programs, and barriers to achieving state goals around transitioning to school.

Why is this project important, now? Too many children still lack access to high-quality early learning experiences, resulting in inequitable opportunities to succeed in school and life. State early childhood specialists are responsible for implementing policies and collaborating with other stakeholders to meet the needs of all young children in their state. Yet no one has adequately documented the voice, experience and perspectives of current and former state early childhood specialists. Sharing their deep understanding of the challenges and constraints of implementing state policy in a compelling and accessible format can lead to change in the design and implementation of policies to improve outcomes for all children.

What is our research approach? CEELO contracted with The Policy Equity Group to conduct focus groups and a national survey of state early childhood specialists. CEELO, together with our National Advisory Group, will produce a draft “report” from the findings.

A National Advisory Group guides our efforts to raise up the voices of state specialists and share their policy expertise. Focus groups and a groundbreaking national survey are identifying pressing policy issues and exploring solutions from diverse viewpoints.

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