NHSA’s recent webinar, Head Start and Universal Pre-K: What We Know and What We Need, featured a diverse group of national experts who came together to discuss how to nurture and grow opportunities for all children. They shared their insights and common goals around:
- The urgency for Congress to enact bold, new investments in early childhood, prenatal to age five
- The opportunity to scale Head Start’s model in a way that is responsible and inclusive, including through partnerships with child care and schools
- The long-overdue need to invest in higher compensation for the early childhood workforce, greater career opportunities, and linguistic and cultural diversity
We are grateful to present this webinar with Dr. Shantel Meek, founding director of the Children’s Equity Project. Dr. Meek is a long-time partner and friend of NHSA and—in her role at the helm of the Children’s Equity Project—recently a report with the Century Foundation arguing for making Head Start the anchor of a new universal system.
The report focuses on one element of the Build Back Better—universal preschool plan—and describes how it can bridge opportunity gaps and promote healthy, positive outcomes for young learners. The report unpacks the argument for making Head Start the anchor of the new universal system to ensure an equitable, mixed delivery, high-quality, and comprehensive system.
As NHSA Executive Director Yasmina Vinci shared in her introductory remarks, the proposal to scale early learning opportunities for all children has the potential to transform society. The event recording is the first of many conversations and dialogues we will need to expand access and opportunity to all of our youngest learners and their families.