By Matt Weyer
The NCSL State Policy and Research for Early Education Working Group, known as SPREE, has released a report highlighting its two years of study with early learning experts.
SPREE is a bipartisan group of eight state legislators, two legislative staff and six early learning experts from around the country.
SPREE members deliberated and prioritized the top five principles of effective early learning systems, focusing specifically on the preschool through 3rd grade years (P-3).
The SPREE report discusses the importance of supporting children’s early development and closing the school readiness gap, caused by lack of educational opportunity, so each child can reach their full potential.
The report also introduces the SPREE framework—the prioritized principles of early learning systems—including equity, high-quality P-3 education, governance, community and family engagement, and educator development. The report also provides policy strategies for each principle and legislative examples.
Overall, the SPREE report is designed to act as a touchstone in supporting state legislators to systematically discuss improvements to early learning systems in their states. Read the SPREE Executive Summary.
SPREE is sponsored by the Heising-Simons Foundation through 2020. Next steps for this group include:
- Supporting states with in-depth technical assistance relating to the report.
- Site visits across the country to learn about top-performing P-3 systems.
- Continuing to learn from top early learning experts.
- Hosting webinars and concluding in 2020 with a State of Early Learning Summit to gather state legislators, legislative staff and early learning experts to discuss the state of early learning and potential next steps to improve outcomes.
You can also visit the SPREE webpage and the Early Learning and Support webpage for more information.
Matt Weyer is a senior policy specialist in NCSL’s Education Program.