The first five years of a child’s life are incomparably formative. These years account for 90 percent of brain development and have a significant impact on a child’s future. That’s why the Arizona Early Childhood Funders Collaborative—an initiative of Arizona Grantmakers Forum—created Born to Learn AZ. The videos, toolkit and other resources will help inform the public, as well as key decision makers, about the importance of high-quality early education.
Born to Learn AZ presents information in an easily understood, nonpartisan way. Its data-driven messages help policymakers understand why quality early learning is a key component of a child’s educational trajectory and contributes to success in school and beyond. Visitors to the site can request tours of early childhood programs, where they can see firsthand what high-quality learning environments look like in action.
The collaborative decided to link Born to Learn AZ to the Arizona Education Progress Meter because there is widespread acceptance of the vision across the state and it includes key metrics for early childhood learning. Since so many groups were already referencing and aligning work to the Progress Meter, it made sense to join the movement. Beyond the Progress Meter’s universal buy-in, the goals attached to each indicator provide lawmakers with a roadmap to success.
Collaborative members – including the Arizona Community Foundation, First Things First, Helios Education Foundation, The Bob and Renee Parsons Foundation and Vitalyst Health Foundation – pooled resources to align communication efforts and boost awareness about why high-quality early education is essential for children to gain the foundational skills they need to succeed when they enter kindergarten and/or first grade.
So far, Born to Learn AZ has netted strong positive feedback. Nearly 1,000 stakeholders have signed up for update emails and now have access to a variety of tools and resources they can use to spread the word that high-quality early childhood education makes the difference.