BUILD Initiative Blog | What We're Reading This Week - October 2
Strong Foundations For Our Youngest Children

BUILDing Strong Foundations

BUILD Initiative Blog



Quality Rating Information Systems 

Far too many children in the United States lack access to excellent early childhood education and care opportunities. The challenge is acute for young children from linguistically, racially, and economically marginalized communities. While disparities in children’s development emerge well before kindergarten entry, high-quality early learning can ameliorate these disparities. A Quality Rating Improvement System (QRIS) can be part of the solution, as it serves as a process of incremental steps for programs to move up the quality continuum. A well-designed QRIS, the framework for an ECE system, has all the elements of a high-functioning standards-based system.

Impact of Immigration on Young Children

Large numbers of immigrant children and their families are experiencing serious problems - inadequate education, poor physical and mental health, and poverty. Although participation in early childhood education programs can offset some of these problems, immigrant children attend such programs at lower rates than children of U.S.-born citizens. These factors have contributed to significant achievement disparities between immigrant children and non-immigrant children.

  • National Research Center on Hispanic Children and Families: One Quarter of Hispanic Children in the United States Have an Unauthorized Immigrant Parent  An overwhelming majority (94 percent) of Latino children were born in the United States. However, that is not the case for their parents. In fact, about half of Latino children have at least one parent who was born in another country, some of whom are not authorized to live in the United States. As the nation continues to engage in crucial discourse over the future of immigration policy, it is important to acknowledge the extent to which these policies will affect the well-being of the vast number of children whose parents may be at risk of deportation.
  • New York Times Race/Related: How the rollback of the DACA program disrupts immigrants’ lives  With the news that roughly 800,000 people across the country would begin losing their protected status under DACA, which offered work permits and temporary reprieves from deportation to young undocumented immigrants, the program’s beneficiaries are now scrambling to prepare for the various ways the decision could upend their lives.
Systems Building
BUILD’s work with states places special emphasis on equity, quality and the connections between systems. To achieve these ends, BUILD helps state leaders coordinate policies, programs and services; create infrastructure; improve integration and achieve scale in four areas: early learning, family support and parenting programs, services for children with special needs, and children’s health, mental health and nutrition. No one system can support the whole child and his or her family. Only together can the many systems’ leaders reshape the interdependent but very different factors that shape child well-being. And, only collective leadership that includes family and community voice and that represents the racial and ethnic diversity of the young child population can create an early childhood system that meets the needs of its intended beneficiaries to ensure that all children, from birth to age five, are safe, healthy, eager to learn, and ready to succeed in school and in life.

Early Learning 
Children must reach critical health and well-being benchmarks in order to thrive, be ready for kindergarten, and read at grade level by third grade. BUILD knows that families and communities are the primary source of this foundational support for children. We help state leaders create safe, healthy, nurturing early learning experiences for all children – to better support families and communities. This “whole-systems” approach includes an emphasis on: primary and preventive health care, early intervention, and quality early care and education. That is why BUILD Initiative assists states in focusing on standards and assessment, including kindergarten entry assessmentearly care and education, with a focus on infant/toddler and pre-K services, programs and policies; and family, friend and neighbor care.

  • Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute for Bright from the Start: Children’s Outcomes through First Grade: Findings from Year 3 of Georgia’s Pre-K Longitudinal Study  This study examines longitudinal outcomes for children who attended Georgia’s Pre-K related to key academic skills as well as the quality of their classrooms from pre-k through first grade.
  • Illinois Research Council: Advancing the Illinois Early Childhood Education Workforce: A Model College and Career Pathway  This policy brief proposes a postsecondary education and career pathway model for Illinois early childhood educators. It delineates the proposed pathway within the Illinois context, describes the underlying rationale for its development, and concludes with recommendations for Illinois policymakers, state agencies, and institutions of higher education.
  • Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics: America's Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being, 2017  This report is a compendium of indicators about America’s young people. It presents 41 key indicators in seven domains (family and social environment, economic circumstances, health care, physical environment and safety, behavior, education, and health) on important aspects of children's lives.
  • American Academy of Pediatrics News and Journals: Quality Early Education and Child Care From Birth to Kindergarten  High-quality early education and child care for young children improves physical and cognitive outcomes for the children and can result in enhanced school readiness. Preschool education can be viewed as an investment (especially for at-risk children), and studies show a positive return on that investment. Barriers to high-quality early childhood education include inadequate funding and staff education as well as variable regulation and enforcement.
  • Center for American Progress: 2 Million Parents Forced to Make Career Sacrifices Due to Problems with Child Care  The exorbitant cost of child care has become a significant burden for parents who need it to support their families. Millions of parents must make an impossible choice between paying more than they can afford for child care; settling for cheaper, lower-quality care; and leaving the workforce altogether. Parents who decide to leave the workforce to become full-time caregivers stand to lose much more than just their salaries, earning less in benefits and retirement savings over the long run.
  • Child Care Aware: Building Inclusive State Child Care Systems  This resource includes practical examples that are helpful to states striving to expand opportunities for high-quality child care to all young children with disabilities.


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