As a member of the National Association of Elementary School Principals Foundation's Early Childhood Education Task Force, I was honored to participate recently in a very important meeting held in Washington, D.C. that will have nationwide implications.
Together with fellow Task Force members representing our nation's most innovative researchers, practitioners, policy makers and advocates, we began discussion of a topic that will have great ramification on our children's future.
During the next several months, we will examine how early childhood providers, families, community partners and schools can work together to build an aligned system of early learning that provides a seamless transition for children as they progress from preschool through third grade.
This is important, because children's early learning experiences focusing on cognitive, social, emotional and physical development form the foundation for their future success in school and in life.
Yet, it's a well-known fact that too often, children are denied access to high-quality and affordable early learning as a result of a fractured system that has unclear or conflicting goals.
Our objective as members of this Task Force is to recommend appropriate changes in the current Pre-K through Third Grade system, so that we can succeed in providing all of our nation's children with the opportunity to grow, learn and flourish in their early years of life.
Ultimately, we want to provide children with the necessary building blocks they can use to help them graduate from high school, prepared for the challenges of college, a career and life.
As a way to accomplish that, the Task Force will create a set of recommendations and action steps to help communities move an agenda toward an aligned system of early childhood education.
I look forward being part of that critical process as a representative of LAUP, and as an advocate of children, who are the ones who will greatly benefit from our commitment to find workable solutions.
Celia C. Ayala, Ph.D.
CEO, Los Angeles Universal Preschool