Last week, The Century Foundation focused on early care and learning with the release of a new report, Together from the Start: Expanding Early Childhood Investments for Middle-Class and Low-Income Families, from TCF fellows Halley Potter and Julie Kashen, along with a film screening event. With the 2016 election edging closer, early childhood policy is poised to be a central campaign issue. What does the research tell us about the benefits of funding universal programs that provide access across the economic spectrum? How can we extend the progress of cities like New York that have made large new investments in early learning to make high-quality, universal pre-K a reality for all families?

The report details the benefits of early care and learning and provides extensive evidence that supports the case for expanding early childhood investments to not only low-income but also middle-class families.

Read the full report.

On October 13, The Century Foundation, together with the Broader, Bolder Approach to Education and Nebraska Loves Public Schools, hosted a screening of the film Ready for Kindergarten in the NYC office. The event was well attended by a group of passionate working family and early childhood advocates trying to expand access and affordability of early care and learning in NYC and nationwide.

In case you missed it, we’re sharing the event highlights. We encourage you to watch the video coverage from the event as well.

To kick off the evening, NYC Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives, Richard Buery spoke about the importance of investing in our kids. Under Deputy Mayor Buery’s leadership, every NYC family that wants a free-of-charge pre-K seat for their four-year-old now has access to one. He said:

“We believe that pre-K for all can help further the call for integration in our schools, by creating the opportunities for students of different socioeconomic backgrounds to play, learn, and grow together…”

“You should know that your work has impact for us, because we view it as a challenge. I view the report as a positive challenge to New York City, to say, ‘do not lose the opportunity with this initiative to help further the call to integration,’” said Deputy Mayor Buery talking about TCF’s report Lessons from New York City’s Universal Pre-K Expansion: How a Focus on Diversity Could Make It Even Better.

Watch the video of Deputy Mayor Buery’s remarks:

Deputy Mayor Buery’s opening remarks were followed by a film screening of Ready for Kindergarten. The film describes the importance of early learning in a child’s life, calling for better support for children from at-risk backgrounds that typically enter kindergarten already behind their middle-class or upper-class peers.

Watch the trailer of Ready for Kindergarten:

To watch the full length version of the film, visit the Nebraska Loves Public Schools website.

Following the film screening, a lively panel discussion was had by some of the nation’s strongest supporters of early education. Moderated by TCF fellow Halley Potter, the conversation revolved around what types of specific funding and policy decisions should be enacted to best support children.

Read more about the panelists’ biographies.

Watch the full video coverage of the discussion:

For more information on the report or to speak with the report’s authors, please feel free to reach out to TCF fellows Halley Potter and Julie Kashen.

We hope to see you at future TCF events!