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Advancing Racial Equity in Early Learning: A Racial Equity Theory of Change


May 2013

There is a new sense of urgency about ensuring that all children are ready for — and successful in — school. The Washington Early Learning Plan (ELP), adopted in 2010, has energized early learning stakeholders at the state and local levels, and driven increased investment to implement critical strategies and programs as part of the 10-year roadmap.

The plan describes what is necessary to support the healthy development of children and outlines a universal implementation approach, but it does not fully address the impact that race, culture and language have on child outcomes — particularly for children of color. Nor does the plan identify specific strategies to implement the ELP to intentionally remove and reduce these barriers keeping children from opportunity.

To address those gaps, a committed group of parents, professionals and policymakers developed this Racial Equity Theory of Change (RE-TOC) to identify steps to intentionally change policies, practices and systems to implement the ELP in a meaningful way that gives historically marginalized communities access to opportunity.