In late 2015, Congress approved and President Obama signed the bipartisan Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which replaced the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) of 2001. ESSA prioritizes equal access to education and closing opportunity gaps, and now for the first time, Congress incorporated early learning across the law and established an important new initiative, the Preschool Development Grants program.
The early learning provisions were designed to encourage and enable states, school districts, and schools to strengthen and expand connections between early childhood programs and elementary school.
FFYF has developed this resource to serve as a helpful tool for states writing innovative ESSA early learning plans. This shareable, downloadable resource highlights the law’s express early learning provisions, as well as others that could strengthen and expand early childhood initiatives at the state and local level.