There is a statue on the sunny streets of California’s state capitol, in front of the federal courthouse. The bronzed covered wagon memorializes the generations of families who came westward during the gold rush in search of opportunity.
Many found it. But in the Golden State, there is widespread concern among educators and advocates that if conditions continue, that opportunity may be a thing of the past.
Of the 1.5 million infants and toddlers in California, 53 percent are Latino, and 48 percent are low-income, according to the 2013 census. Nearly half of California’s children speak a language other than English. And New America’s report, Not Golden Yet: Building a Stronger Workforce for Young Children in California, found that California is falling down on the job of preparing its early childhood educators to adequately care for and educate.
New America is reporting on how communities in California are reforming the way early childhood systems work and the way teachers are trained. Our aim is to help the public and policymakers better understand how to improve teaching and learning so young children have a solid foundation for growth and development.
Our reporting has a special focus on Fresno, Oakland, and San Jose. At the buttons above, you will find information, articles, and videos on each of those communities. You will also find the full list of articles, videos, and reports we’ve published as part of our “Stronger Teaching and Caregiving for California’s Youngest” work.
New America is covering California in partnership with Sarah Jackson. If you live in California, let us know about ideas and issues affecting your community.
This ongoing reporting is made possible by a grant from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.