Since its beginnings, CEELO has been charged with helping states strengthen the alignment of birth through 3rd grade educational policies and increase the coordination of resources and policies across statewide systems.  The Center has engaged in multiple technical assistance partnerships and projects to achieve these goals. Below are descriptions of these initiatives, along with the CEELO resources and materials that have resulted.

ECS High Quality K-3 PartnershipP-3 LeadershipCEELO P-3 Resources

In partnership with the Education Commission of the States (ECS), CEELO provides expertise and technical assistance to multiple states, assisting them to identify priorities and actions for improving the P-3 continuum of policy and practice, as outlined in a State’s ESSA plan and other strategic plans and priorities of the state education agency. Targeted and individual state TA focuses on the principles and recommendations of ECS’s K-3 Policymaker’s Guide to Action. The guide assists state education leaders in the development of policies that strengthen principal leadership, licensure and endorsements in K-3, assessments in K-2, third grade reading laws, full day kindergarten, developmentally appropriate curriculum, and other domains in these critical years.

The importance of aligning early learning standards, assessments, and curricula are anchors in a P-3 approach.  For a number of years CEELO has collected information on each state pertaining to their early learning guidelines for infants and toddlers, PreK, and K-3. On CEELO’s State-by-State Map you will find links to state program standards for early childhood education, along with teacher and family guidance documents that relate to the standards. Each state page is headed up by links to the state’s office/s of early learning. In addition, CEELO produces a Directory of State Early Learning Contacts  for each state across programs and systems serving children from birth through third Grade and updates it twice yearly.


A Unified Foundation to Support a Highly Qualified Early Childhood Workforce  As a result of the recommendations from the report Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth Through Age 8: A Unifying Foundation (IOM and NRC, 2015), a group of representatives from national organizations, including CEELO, came together in a series of meetings in 2016 to discuss how to work as a unified foundation to support state efforts to improve the quality of the early childhood workforce serving children from birth through age 8 in an aligned and coordinated way. This paper is the result of this year-long process to identify a unified voice and a set of unified actions that if implemented could advance a highly qualified professional field of practice. With other national leaders, CEELO will continue to help steer this work.


The BUILD-CEELO Learning Table on Teaching and Learning was designed to identify and bolster the consistent supports and sensible accountability systems needed to drive teaching quality and the “powerful and few” core state policies that improve teaching quality and result in significant outcomes for children birth through third grade. After three cohorts of work, A Learning Table to Improve State Early Childhood Teaching and Learning Policy: Reflections and Recommendations After Three Years of Implementation summarizes the activities, processes and outcomes resulting from this intensive technical assistance project.


The B-3 Peer Exchange  was developed to provide professional learning to Preschool Development Expansion Grantees in September 2016. This peer exchange  focused on the state education agency (SEA) role in building effective birth through third grade systems, including: 1) aligning state policy from birth through third grade in areas such as standards, assessment, and workforce development; and, 2) supporting local birth through third grade efforts.


PreK-3rd Grade Systems: Lessons Learned from New York School Districts  Recognizing the ultimate goal of PreK-3rd grade systems is to improve child outcomes and close achievement gaps, the New York school districts highlighted in this report have selected a range of priorities and approaches that reflect the unique district context, initiatives, priorities, and stakeholder perspectives. Each district has made progress in the implementation of their PreK-3rd grade plans. The report provides an analysis of information collected from the PreK-3rd grade teams and reveals cross-cutting lessons learned. (August 2018)

P3 Overview and Panel Discussion  This presentation reviewed the findings of the recent report PreK-3rd Grade Systems: Lessons Learned from New York School Districts. Delivered at the New York State Department of Education Summer Institute (July 2018).

A Powerful Convergence: Community Schools and Early Childhood Education This Kappan article from EDC’s David Jacobson highlights a new approach to raising achievement for low-income children that combines Prenatal through Grade 3 (P-3) quality and alignment initiatives, family engagement, and child and family support services. Examples in Cincinnati, Omaha, and Multnomah County demonstrate effective, results-oriented partnerships among elementary schools, community-based preschools, and other early childhood organizations. (February 2018)

Building Capacity to Enact Change for Classroom Quality Improvement in New Jersey State Education Agencies (SEAs) across the country are working to directly impact early childhood teaching and learning in local education agencies (LEAs). To do this, the SEA must rely on local change agents to increase classroom quality across a state. The work presented in this paper set out to build the capacity of educators, teachers and leaders in New Jersey to spearhead change in LEAs with the support of the SEA. (January 2018)

Effective Components of Successful Early Learning-to-Kindergarten Transitions  This webinar features CEELO’s Shannon Riley-Ayers who presented on three components that support a child’s successful transition to school: leadership, effective instruction, and family and community engagement. She was joined by a principal and a superintendent from Oregon who shared successful family engagement and school readiness efforts and how to increase the readiness of entering kindergartners. (October 2016)

Building State P-3 Systems  This webinar focuses on the SEA role in supporting P-3 system building at the state and local levels, drawing on a recent study of three states that have devoted significant attention and resources to P-3 efforts: Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts. Each of these states has developed state-wide P-3 policy initiatives regarding standards, assessments, and instruction as well as targeted programs to support local P-3 community partnerships. After providing an overview of each state’s P-3 work, the webinar discusses nine recommendations that emerged from the case studies. (September 2016)

Building State P-3 Systems: Learning from Leading States  This policy report focuses on the state education agency (SEA) role in supporting P-3 system building at the state and local levels. Included in the report are case studies of three states that have devoted significant attention and resources to P-3 efforts: Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts. Each of these states has developed statewide P-3 policy initiatives regarding standards, assessments, and instruction as well as targeted programs to support local P-3 community partnerships. The paper presents a number of themes and patterns that emerged from the comparison of the three states and concludes with 9 recommendations to help guide P-3 system-building. (August 2016)

A P-3 Approach and its Effectiveness in Closing Achievement Gaps: Hawaii’s P-3 Initiative This presentation describes implementation of the Hawaii P-3 Initiative, along with findings from a five-year RAND evaluation of the Initiative which showed a statistically significant improvement in third grade reading scores in the five communities, narrowing the achievement gap. CEELO’s GG Weisenfeld presented with Karen Lee and Kim Guieb from Hawaii P-20. (July 2016)

Planning for the New Early Learning Model: Harnessing Potential in the Next School Improvement Grant Cycle  This webinar, hosted by CEELO and the Center on School Turnaround (CST), reviews the eight components of the new model and discusses key requirements, including school leadership and expanding high quality prekindergarten and full-day kindergarten. Charlie Geier, Director of Early Learning and Intervention in the Office of Early Learning and Intervention, Indiana Department of Education, shares what the new early learning model means for the state of Indiana and examples of how Indiana is working to support the key components of the SIG. (April 2015)

Kindergarten as a Critical Link  This presentation focuses on ways that school districts can develop kindergarten policies to both support alignment across the early grades and ensure effective transitions for children and families into elementary school. The session highlights ten policies that support, promote, and enhance the learning and joy of learning for all kindergarten children, leading to positive child outcomes for all. Panelists share how districts and school are enacting and implementing these policies, with a discussion of strategies, approaches, and outcomes. Melissa Dahlin and Shannon Riley-Ayers gave this presentation at the Ounce of Prevention’s Excellence in the Early Grades District Leadership Summit with Vincent Costanza (New Jersey Department of Education), Anne Arnold (Highline Public Schools, WA), and Rick Falkenstein (Kingwood Township School District, NJ). (March 2015)

Supporting Principal Leadership for Pre-K through Third Grade Learning Communities This webinar addresses ways to enhance SEA and LEA leadership capacity for building P -3 communities, cultivate standards of effective practice for P-3 principals and related leaders, develop practical implementation strategies as described by an elementary school principal and state education leaders, and consider implications for state and local policymakers, technical assistance and professional developmental providers, and higher education. The webinar was co-sponsored by the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP), and the National Association of Early Childhood Specialists in State Departments of Education. (March 2015)

Early Childhood Indistar® Indicators  This webinar introduces the audience to new Early Childhood Indistar® Indicators developed by CEELO in collaboration with the Center on Innovations (CIL) in Learning. Indistar® is a web-based system for use with district and/or school improvement teams to inform, coach, sustain, track, and report improvement activities. The new early childhood indicators provide an opportunity for stakeholders to use indicators and the associated research to align early childhood education with school improvement efforts. (August 2014)

Supporting State Education Agencies Implementing a Birth Through Third Grade Approach This webinar focuses on recent developments in birth through third grad approaches with an emphasis on the state education agency’s role and technical assistance support. CEELO held this webinar for state early childhood education specialists and regional comprehensive center staff. The webinar features Dr. Kristie Kauerz, Director of the National P – 3 Center at the University of Washington and David Jacobsen, Professional Excellence Director/Cambridge Education, who showcases work underway in communities across Massachusetts and the Massachusetts Birth through Grade Three Learning Hub. (August 2014)

Preparing Principals to Support Early Childhood Teachers  This document summarizes what is known about principal licensing requirements and professional development in early childhood pedagogy and best practice, and provides selected state examples of professional development models for principals. (July 2014)

What Do We Know About Principal Preparation, Licensure Requirements, and Professional Development for School Leaders?  This policy report describes findings from a CEELO review of data on 21 states’ principal licensure requirements, interviews with experts on principal preparation and professional development in seven states, and interviews with staff at the National Association of Elementary School Principals and the National Institute for School Leadership.  (July 2014)

State Early Learning Standards: Lessons from Applying Implementation Research This webinar provides an overview of New England and Islands Regional Education Laboratory (NEI-REL) and CEELO, highlights national trends and issues for consideration for implementation, shares best practices related to implementing statewide initiatives, and discusses implementing early learning and development standards in Connecticut. (April 2013)

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