A Game-Changing Opportunity: Rethinking How Communities Serve Children and Families

Yale School of Medicine, June 2021

As we rebuild after the COVID-19 pandemic, we have an enormous opportunity to reinvent early education and care in the United States in ways that dramatically improve outcomes for children and families, strengthen communities, and advance equity for all. The White House and key senators have proposed major investments in prekindergarten and childcare. Front and center in these policy proposals are two fundamental priorities: increasing access to quality prekindergarten and childcare and improving compensation and support for early childhood educators and caregivers. There is a third critically important issue that receives less attention: how can elementary schools, early childhood programs, and health and social service agencies work together to improve quality and coordination across entire neighborhoods and communities and thus create the most positive overall environments possible for children and families?