In California, Supporting Adults to Support Children

Blog Post
Feb. 1, 2019

In California, the new governor is poised to significantly increase access to quality early care and education for all children in the state. His proposals include increasing access to full-day early childhood programs for families, investing in infrastructure, and improving training for early educators.

State leaders here should take inspiration from the local level where leaders and philanthropy have made important new investments to improve kindergarten readiness. Places like Oakland, Fresno, and San Jose are piloting innovative models of training and support for all community adults who work with young children from school principals to parents to home care providers. Their models include coaching, training for early childhood educators in social-emotional learning, trauma-informed practice, and support for dual language learners.

Today, we are releasing three community profiles of Fresno, Oakland and the Franklin-McKinley School District in San Jose. With the support of the Starting Smart and Strong Initiative from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, these communities are working to provide stronger teaching and caregiving by 2025. The profiles provide a snapshot of the children growing up in these communities and the work taking place there to improve systems of support for children’s development.

For the past four years, New America has been observing these communities as they improve teaching, engage parents, build the evidence base, and create a culture that supports early learning. Our reporting, analysis, and documentaries can be found at, along with a June 2018 policy report, Lessons from Three California Communities on Strengthening Early Education.

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