All Children Learn and Thrive: Building First 10 Schools and Communities
Author: David Jacobson, EDC
Funder: The Heising-Simons Foundation
This study examines First 10 Schools and Communities—coordinated efforts taking place around the country to improve teaching, learning, and care during the first decade of children’s lives.
First 10 Schools and Communities bring together school districts, elementary schools, and early childhood programs to improve the quality of education and care for young children and their families. They work to improve teaching and learning, deepen partnerships with families, and provide comprehensive services for children and families.
First 10 initiatives take two basic forms: First 10 School Hubs are anchored by a single elementary school, which provides direct support to families and collaborates with nearby early childhood providers. First 10 Community Partnerships bring together multiple elementary schools, school district leaders, and early childhood programs to improve the quality and coordination of early childhood education and care throughout a geographic area or community.
- First 10 Schools and Communities are aligning prekindergarten and elementary school education and reworking curricula, assessments, and instruction.
- First 10 School Hubs are providing influential supports to families and other caregivers of children ages 0–4 and then continuing those supports throughout elementary school.
- First 10 Community Partnerships demonstrate that communities can develop and implement ambitious plans to improve the quality and coordination of education and care for young children and their families.
- First 10 School Hubs and First 10 Community Partnerships operate on different levels and have complementary strengths and weaknesses; together they suggest a combined model that has great potential as a further innovation.
- First 10 Schools and Communities present an alternative approach to improving children’s experiences in the early years, one that contrasts with the way many communities are attempting to improve early childhood and elementary school education.
- First 10 Schools and Communities encounter common challenges, including structural barriers, lack of capacity and/or commitment, and sustainability.
- States play a critical role in supporting First 10 Schools and Communities by creating a conducive policy environment and providing financial support, technical assistance, and networking opportunities.