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ECE Changes Everything

We know that high quality early childhood education (ECE) can change the trajectory of a child’s life. Yet, access is currently limited and quality is variable, especially for children in poverty who would benefit most. We want more children to experience great early educational environments, but creating more seats is not a simple solution. In fact, our analysis suggests that simply expanding seats in centers may lead to less children in high quality ECE over time. Why? The ECE system is interdependent and tenuously structured. Interventions in one part of the system can strain other areas, worsening access and quality over time.

This project describes two years of research and computer simulation modeling using system dynamics and radical listening with community members to understand how to intervene with the least negative unintended consequences.

Findings show that there are four interdependent feedback loops that drive access and quality in the system: accessibility for parents, the perception of ECE quality, workforce and the viability of the ECE business model. 

Learn with us through the voices of those involved to understand what’s needed for the region.