Using data to advocate for a better future for our kids
Data is a powerful tool for improving equity of opportunity for our youngest learners. That was the key message on Sept. 18 when hundreds of education and community leaders gathered in Long Beach to learn about the groundbreaking Early Development Instrument (EDI), a comprehensive measure of school readiness and child well-being. First 5 LA and First 5 Orange County co-hosted the 2019 Learners Today, Leaders Tomorrow Summit, where Giannina Perez, Governor Newsom’s Senior Policy Advisor for Early Childhood, began the day by elevating the important role that the first five years has in shaping a child’s readiness for school and future well-being and economic success. School districts who have collected EDI have been able to use the data to advocate for stronger policies and investments in early childhood services and programs. Los Angeles County could benefit from having a countywide, population level measure of school readiness and child well-being. The data could be used to help us strengthen the coordination of early childhood services in the county and improve alignment between early education and the K-12 system. Following the summit, Senator Lena Gonzalez of Senate District 33 hosted a reception for local business and community leaders to learn more about how investing in early childhood can boost a business’ bottom line.