Today, parents and family members, policymakers, business leaders, education and health experts, and philanthropists are involved in shifting the odds for young children so they can start kindergarten ready to succeed. The Alliance is building the capacity of key stakeholders who can improve state policies for at-risk children. Stakeholders include state policy leaders, state advocates, child development experts, and new champions such as business leaders and law enforcement officials. Alliance organizations are leading these efforts. Here are some practical tools:

For Policy Makers

  • Read the first of 3 joint reports from the National Governors Association, the National Conference of State Legislatures and the Center on the Developing Child and learn more about early brain development
  • View NCSL’s “Five Ideas for Children Five Years and Younger” to learn what states are doing to build the foundation for learning in young children.
  • Learn about ZERO TO THREE’s recommendations for states in creating or updating early learning guidelines specifcally for infants and toddlers.
  • Read the joint report from Pre-k Now and ZERO TO THREE, and learn how states are building comprehensive, coordinated systems for children.
  • Read school readiness recommendations for governors from the NGA Center for Best Practices.
  • Stay informed about the latest research and state activities through NCSL’s Child Care and Early Education Legislative Network.
  • for technical assistance in your state.
  • Get key reports from the Ounce of Prevention Fund:
    • Foundations: How States Can Plan and Fund Programs for Babies and Toddlers (pdf)
    • Ready for School: The Case for Including Babies and Toddlers As We Expand Preschool Opportunities (pdf)
    • Raising Young Children to the Top of the Policy Agenda: Lessons from Illinois (pdf)
  • Understand the science of early childhood development with this paper from the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child.
  • See resources from the Center for Law and Social Policy. View Starting Off Right, a menu of state strategies to improve early care and education. Read All Together Now: State Experiences in Using Community-Based Child Care to Provide Pre-Kindergarten. (pdf)
  • Learn about ZERO TO THREE’S state and community policy resources.

For Business and Community Leaders

  • The National Governors Association publication, Partnering with the Private and Philanthropic Sectors: A Governor’s Guide to Investing in Early Childhood, provides a roadmap for governors to leverage the resources and expertise of the private and philanthropic sectors in furthering early childhood programs and services in their states.
  • Find out about the Committee for Economic Development’s early education project.
  • For law enforcement: Learn about Fight Crime: Invest in Kids.
  • Find a United Way Born Learning campaign near you and sign up for the newsletter.
  • Be a voice for babies: Join the ZERO TO THREE Policy Network.
  • Tools from ZERO TO THREE: Birth to Five and Beyond report and Prenatal to PreK fact sheet.
  • Publications from Ounce of Prevention Fund: Invest in the Very Young, written by Nobel Laureate James Heckman, Ph.D. and the Educare: Catalyst for Change report.
  • Be a better advocate with these advocacy resources from ZERO TO THREE.
  • Learn about the National Council of La Raza’s report on early childhood education programs and how they can help even the playing field for Latino children.
  • Take advantage of the United Way of America’s Making the Business Case communication toolkit.

For Parents and Family Members

  • Help shape your child’s world with the United Way’s Born Learning materials.
  • Sign up to receive the Born Learning newsletter.
  • Learn more about the Ounce of Prevention Fund’s Birth to Five Project.
  • Practical information for parents from ZERO TO THREE.