Learning Starts At Birth


Building upon a century of hands-on experience and research in early childhood and educator preparation, Bank Street College of Education has conducted thorough research to uncover the greatest opportunities to reform birth to age three policy so all infants and toddlers have access to experiences that effectively support the long-term cognitive, social, and emotional development of our youngest learners.

Bank Street has identified opportunities for systems-level change that offers every baby the chance to grow. With the intention to develop models at scale, Bank Street is actively building partnerships to implement report recommendations in localities and states around the country to establish proof points across a range of contexts that demonstrate what is possible for infants, toddlers, and their families when we invest in educators through high-quality professional learning tied to increases in compensation.

Designing Early Childhood Educator Residency/Apprenticeship Programs: A Guide to Estimating Costs

This guide was created to support states, cities, and communities in understanding the design and cost considerations associated with establishing high-quality residency or apprenticeship programs for early childhood educators. The guide includes design recommendations and related cost considerations, including ways to offset ongoing costs; recommendations for phase-in and scaling; and an interactive cost calculator tool that generates per-educator cost estimates for both new-to-the-field and incumbent educators.

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Kids and teacher in nature

Realizing the Promise of Early Educator Apprenticeships

In response to the reintroduction of the Early Educator Apprenticeship Act in the Senate and a similar resolution introduced in the House, this positioning statement outlines recommendations for rebuilding the workforce at this critical moment with quality and equity at the center through apprenticeships, which have been effective in improving K-12 school systems. A national system of robust apprenticeship programs would support rebuilding our supply of care while also ensuring educators receive the high-quality clinical practice and coaching required for the complex task of supporting early brain development.

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Caregiver holding young child smiling

Equitable Compensation for the Child Care Workforce: Within Reach and Worth the Investment

To support the urgent action necessary to advance early educator compensation, Bank Street has composed a policy brief that identifies multiple potential mechanisms for advancing compensation reforms at the local, state, and federal levels, building from transition strategies to a call for bold, national reform. Our brief also includes testimony from leaders in the field, who we convened to engage in a discussion about the most promising paths forward for reform. We are seeking both State and national partners who wish to work with us to advance these ideas by putting them into action.

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Infant/toddler playing in grass

Rebuilding the Early Care & Education System With Equity at the Center

Bank Street believes quality child care and education is an expression of justice, a means towards a more equitable society, and should be the right of all children starting from birth. To center equity in our call for reforming the birth-to-three workforce, Bank Street has developed a set of five recommendations for states and policy leaders as they redesign our nation’s early care and education system in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. These are drawn from “Investing in the Birth-to-Three Workforce: A New Vision to Strengthen the Foundation of All Learning” and explored in a new essay published by Capita, a nonpartisan organization supporting public dialogue towards a future in which all children and families flourish.

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Teacher on floor with two young children

Investing in the Birth-to-Three Workforce:
A New Vision to Strengthen the Foundation for All Learning

During the first 1,000 days of life, we have the greatest opportunity to level the playing field. Lack of access to high-quality affordable child care, however, remains a crisis facing most American families, impacting the development of our youngest learners. In 2019, Bank Street conducted a comprehensive landscape analysis to collect field perspectives, supportive research, and bright spot examples of opportunities to achieve the outcomes we seek through deepening expertise, compensation reform, strengthening systems, and generating the political and public will for change. Building on this analysis, our January 2020 report serves as a roadmap to policy reform in these areas at scale. Our full list of recommendations includes the development of residency programs and improved compensation for the infant/toddler workforce.

Three young children and an adult