Improving Quality in California’s Early Childhood Education System: New Research Briefs and Implications for Policy

On Feb. 29, 2016, researchers, early childhood education experts and practitioners, and program implementers convened to introduce and discuss new research briefs, putting the spotlight where it belongs: on making programs more effective for the children and families they serve. As policymakers consider early childhood budget and legislative proposals, our convening featured new research briefs and on-the-ground perspectives on what it means to support high-quality early education. We hope these fresh resources will inject quality into the policy conversation that is now under way in earnest in Sacramento.

Featured speakers from The Learning Policy Institute, The Opportunity Institute, New America, First 5 California, First 5 Santa Clara, The David & Lucile Packard Foundation, Educare California at Silicon ValleyEarly Learning Lab, LAUP, Fresno Unified School District, and San Francisco Unified School District examined the essential programmatic elements that contribute to meaningful teacher-child interactions; training and ongoing professional development; adequate and stable funding to ensure compensation that allows for recruiting and retaining talented professionals; and policies and systems needed to support educators and improve quality. View the full agenda and speaker biographies.

We look forward to the ongoing conversation on quality improvement. Add your voice using #QualityCalECE.

New research briefs on quality

Welcome and Opening Remarks

David Plank, Executive Director of PACE
Deborah Kong, President of Early Edge California
Meera Mani, Director of Children, Families and Communities Program of The David and Lucile Packard Foundation

Panel - Essential Quality Elements


Marjorie Wechsler, Principal and Research Manager of Learning Policy Institute
View the presentation: The Building Blocks of High-Quality Early Childhood Education Programs


Abbie Lieberman
, Policy Analyst of New America
View the presentation: From Crawling to Walking

Lisa Kaufman
, Executive Director of Educare Silicon Valley

Chris Sciarrino
, Director of Workforce and Professional Development of Early Learning Lab
View the presentation: Teacher Preparation and Training

Carla Bryant
, Chief of Early Education of San Francisco Unified School District

Panel - Quality Improvement in California

Sarah Crow, Vice President of Policy and Evaluation of The Opportunity Institute
View the presentation: How are Counties Using California State Preschool Block Grant Funding?

Jolene Smith
, Chief Executive Officer of First 5 Santa Clara County
View the presentation: Recommendations for Quality Early Learning Efforts in California

Celia C. Ayala
, Chief Executive Officer of LAUP
View the presentation: Championing Quality in the ECE Classroom and Workforce

Camille Maben
, Executive Director of First 5 California

Deanna Mathies
, Director of Early Learning of Fresno Unified School District

This policy convening was co-sponsored by Early Edge California and Policy Analysis for California Education (PACE). 


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