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NEA Resources on Early Childhood Education


Address Achievement Gaps
NEA believes that early childhood education and full-day kindergarten can both help to close achievement gaps. These policy briefs support NEA's vision for creating Great Public Schools for every child:


Taking Steps Toward PK-3 Success
This report examines state policies and practices regarding critical PK-3 working conditions and identifies strategies to influence teacher job quality through collective bargaining and other collaborative processes. The document is designed to support efforts to change or implement policies that will improve the teaching and learning environments at the PK-3 levels. The document emphasizes that "it is not critical what methods are used to create, influence and change policy. It is important that the teachers and children are supported in their work."

Advocacy Guide

Full-Day Kindergarten: An Advocacy Guide offers tools, resources, and research that will help Association leaders and staff and other early childhood education advocates secure full-day kindergarten programs in their states. It contains research, organizing tools, policy recommendations, model legislation, and case studies from states that have enacted full-day kindergarten.

Professional Library Book

Full-Day Kindergarten: Making the Most of It provides evidence-based strategies to help teachers implement high-quality full-day kindergarten programs. It features articles and resources from prominent researchers, teacher educators, and practitioners on topics a variety of topics, and it includes reproducible parent guides that teachers can disseminate.

Policy Roadmap for Early Childhood Education

Full-day kindergarten. Universal preschool. Well-trained teachers and teaching assistants.  These recommendations are front and center in the National Education Association (NEA) policy on educating the nation's youngest students.

  • NEA on Prekindergarten and Kindergarten (2004) (PDF, 748 KB, 16pp) - This publication reflects the NEA policy on prekindergarten and kindergarten, with the express purpose of a better start for all children. 

NEA believes that all children ages three and four should have access to prekindergarten programs that are high quality, universal, and publicly funded. Research shows that a child exposed to good preschool programs before age five will reap lifetime benefits. Quality preschool also increases the chances of a student doing better in early grades, closing the achievement gap and graduating from high school.