Early Learning Links

The Heckman Equation: Return on Investments in Early Childhood from Nobel Laureate James J. Heckman:

James J. Heckman is the Henry Schultz Distinguished Service Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago. This Nobel Memorial Prize winner is an expert in the field of the economics of human development; and conducts groundbreaking work showing how quality early childhood development significantly affects health, economic and social outcomes both for individuals and society at large. This site shows how to invest in, support, develop and sustain early development and effective education, with the end goal of a more productive workforce.

Center on the Developing Child:

The stated mission of the Center on the Developing Child is to drive science-based innovation that achieves breakthrough outcomes for children facing adversity. The Center believes that advances in science provide a compelling source of original ideas focused on the early years of life and education. The site provides emphasis on Brain Architecture, Toxic Stress, Executive Function, Self-Regulation, Resilience and more.

First Thousand Days 

The First 1,000 Days is the leading not-for-profit organization focused on improving the earliest stages of a child’s life, including a focus on the health and well-being of the mother from pregnancy through the first two years. 1,000 Days originated as a partnership to improve nutrition for women and young children throughout the world and have since added the most vulnerable mothers and babies in the United States. Their work and advocacy have become a leading voice on the issues that affect babies, toddlers and their parents.  

Build Initiative: The Strongest Foundation for Our Youngest Children

The BUILD Initiative works with state leaders from the private and public sectors to help form policy, provide services, and encourage advocacy that will help children to succeed. Focusing on the needs of children from birth to age 5, the Initiative assists in developing systems, programs, services and policies on a state level. This includes the reform or strengthening of current programs as well as the development of innovative models and pilot programs. The goal is to connect programs and services which operate independently, reducing redundancy and allowing resources for critical needs to be best utilized.  The BUILD Initiative is committed to embracing diversity, equity, and cultural and linguistic inclusion while providing high quality early learning programs, family support, early intervention, and comprehensive health services. 

ChildCare Aware: 

Child Care Aware® of America works with more than 400 state and local Child Care Resource and Referral agencies nationwide. As America’s most trusted childcare resource, the organization’s vision that high quality, affordable childcare will be available to everyone.  They are driven by the belief that a positive and effective childcare system supports children’s growth, development and educational advancement and creates positive economic impact for families and communities. The organization’s work is strengthened by a diverse national network of Child Care Resource and Referral agencies, members and partners which allow families to find and utilize the best childcare resources in their local community.  Innovative special projects are designed to increase the quality and availability of childcare, conduct research, and advocate for public policies to positively impact the lives of young children and families nationwide. 

Edutopia: The Lucas Foundation

Founded by legendary filmmaker George Lucas, Edutopia is committed to transforming K-12 education to better prepare students to become lifelong learners and develop the skills needed in the 21st century. The group works to infuse schools with rigorous, project-based learning and access to new technology; while not neglecting social and emotional learning skills. The work centers around the development of three identified fundamental skills: the ability to find fact-based information, the ability to discern the quality of that information, and use it strategically to achieve a goal. Through the efforts of the foundation, students, parents, early learning professionals, and policy makers are all empowered with a vision to change education for the betterment of all involved.