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studentsThe ECS early learning staff strives to keep policymakers on the leading edge of what's happening with state early learning systems by gathering, analyzing and disseminating information about current and emerging issues, trends and innovations in state educational early learning policy and system designs.

Purpose and scope
To increase understanding of PreK-3.

Goals and Objectives
To raise awareness of critical PreK-3 issues, identify innovative ideas and policies, and provide practical advice on best practices.


Raised awareness of critical PreK-3 issues

  • With funding from Pew Charitable Trusts’ Pre-K Now, ECS increased understanding of PreK-3. Key policymakers and leaders were invited to a pre-conference session on PreK-3 at the ECS National Forum in July. The first presentation, Reaping the Rewards from Readiness, described Colorado’s early childhood work over the last two decades; Lilian Katz from the University of Illinois presented a second session, Building the Foundation. In addition, a session titled Principal Leadership:  P-3 Depends on It was presented at the December commissioners’ meeting.
  • Key publications to enhance knowledge about early education included The Progress of Education Reform: Math in the Early Years, October 2013; and Inequalities at the Starting Line: State Kindergarten Policies, March 2013.
  • Assembled and disseminated a monthly electronic newsletter to update the field on state PreK-3 activity and the latest research with funding from Pew Charitable Trusts/PreK-Now.

Disseminated best practices, innovative ideas and policies

  • To make the ECS database on state kindergarten statutes and the Early Learning section of more accessible and informative, staff reorganized the site structure and updated resources on a broad scale.  
  • Loaded PreK-Now archives onto the ECS website to assure accessibility on an on-going basis. 
  • Co-sponsored a webinar with PreK-Now on teacher effectiveness, attended by stakeholders from across the country.
  • Facilitated a session on PreK-3 at the PreK-Now National Partners meetings.
  • Worked with the Colorado Early Childhood Leadership Commission on governance and facilitated a session to consider options.
  • Provided consultation and technical assistance to the Colorado Office of Lt. Governor Joe Garcia on development of an early learning plan. Developed recommendations and offered comments on Colorado’s technology and literacy effort spearheaded by Governor John Hickenlooper.


2013 Legislative Session - P-3 Policies
This scan of enacted policies captures lawmakers' efforts to strengthen their P-3 systems. The report provides summaries of 38 bills from 25 states.

The Progress of Education Reform: Math in the Early Years
This October 2013 issue reveals five surprising findings about the strong relationship between early math instruction and later student achievement.

School Attendance Age Limits
Most states have laws regarding the minimum and maximum ages when a person must be admitted to a public school by law without charge, according to this April 2013 report.

State Pre-K Funding: 2012-13 School Year
Findings indicate that while 26 states cut K-12 funding in 2012-13, state funding for pre-K programs serving 4-year-olds increased.

A monthly dissemination of research and policy updates about developments in the Pre-K-3 field.

Staff Contact:
Bruce Atchison
Related Issue Pages
P-3 Early Learning & the Early Grades


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