Learning Loss and Equity
Rosemarie Allen, Associate Professor in the School of Education at Metropolitan State University of Denver; President and CEO, Center for Equity and Excellence
Cemeré James, Interim President & CEO at National Black Child Development Institute
Dr. Devonya Govan-Hunt, BCDI Charlotte Affiliate President
Shantel Meek, Founding Director, Children’s Equity Project
Ralph Smith, Managing Director, Grade Level Reading Campaign
On June 3rd, ECFC hosted a discussion on learning loss we anticipate as a result of child care, early education and school closures, but also began to consider what children have learned while being with their families during the closures. Especially for dual language learners, what did young children learn during that time spent with parents and family speaking their first language, vs. spending a majority of their days in programs that speak primarily English?
Considerations for Funders
We discussed where we might look for lessons and strategies to inform and support children and families as they transition back to early care and education, and from early education to K-12, such as:
- Family Engagement models (Head Start parent, family and community engagement model; full service community schools; NBCDI Family Empowerment Program)
- Mentoring partnerships between K-12 and early childcare facilities
- Indigenous early childhood education models – linguistic and culturally responsive, with deep family engagement recognizing families as the first and best educators of their children.
- Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation
- Inclusion Specialists – coaches that work with kids with disabilities (co-teaching strategies, para-professionals, inclusion coaches that specialize in transition)
- Parent Maps and Dual Capacity-Building Frameworks for Family School Partnerships, while generally seen as a K-12 tool, the parent map provides guidelines and milestones for developing relationships between parents and teachers.
- Playful Learning Landscapes, examples across the country of cities creating public spaces as playful learning opportunities for all learners.
- Strategies for helping kids and families deal with loss – not only loss of loved ones due to COVID, but loss of all things coming out of the pandemic (Culturally responsive healing practices which resonate more with BIPOC communities; addressing childhood trauma).
We also discussed the need for increasing professional development opportunities and raising salaries for family and home based child care, and small child care providers. They have deep relationships with and are helping families transition kids back to education settings. We can’t assume they are trained in early education or transitioning to K-12, we need to pay them a living wage and support their professional development.
- National Black Child Development Institute – Family Engagement programs
- Start with Equity: 14 Priorities to Dismantle Systemic Racism in Early Care and Education. Published by the Children’s Equity Project, funded by the Heising Simons Foundation, and in partnership with national early childhood leaders and advocates*, this work builds on a comprehensive report released by the Children’s Equity Project and the Bipartisan Policy Center in July 2020: Start with Equity: From the Early Years to the Early Grades.
- Grade Level Reading Campaign – 10 minute video describes GLRC’s analysis of grade level reading and learning loss we can expect in the fall (excerpted from a recent GLCR webinar hosted by EdWeek on challenges and opportunities for the Fall K-3 Classroom – access the full webinar recording here)
- Grade-Level Reading’s Learning Loss Recovery Challenge – messaging and mobilization strategy to encourage and support communities to take urgent action to: slow and stop the learning loss, jumpstart a recovery planning process, and launch and lead Learning Happens Everywhere, with local initiatives to transform formal and informal places and spaces into learning-rich opportunities and inspire a community-wide shared commitment to children learning.