To increase student achievement, more states are pursuing reforms in both early care and education (ECE) programs and K-12, according to Governor’s Role in Aligning Early Education and K-12 Reforms: Challenges, Opportunities, and Benefits for Children, a new white paper released by the National Governors Association.

States engaging in reforms should consider six key issues and the related challenges and opportunities: 

  • Leadership and Governance—Redesign or create new governance structures to align ECE and early elementary policies and practices;
  • Learning Standards—Ensure early learning standards and early elementary standards are aligned;
  • Child Assessments—Develop assessments that help monitor children’s progress toward the academic and developmental goals that are reflected in states’ early learning standards and the CCSS;
  • Accountability—Incorporate promising practices from early learning into accountability policies that apply to the early elementary grades;
  • Teacher/Leader Preparation and Professional Development—Ensure ECE and K-12 educators and leaders have the capacity to prepare children for CCSS and are aligned in their approaches; and
  • Resource Allocation and Reallocation—Ensure resources support access to high-quality ECE programs.