Research Report
Research Report

Big Ideas, Little Learners: Early Childhood Trends Report

January 9, 2019
Download the full report Big Ideas, Little Learners: Early Childhood Trends. 

There is no question that the past 50 years have seen major progress in practices for young children and families. In addition, tremendous breakthroughs in brain science have clearly established why the early years are so critical in a young child’s development. 

The understanding of the importance of the early years is becoming mainstream. National, state, city, and local policymakers are starting to pay attention. Parents have also heard the message, and families are increasing how much they spend on early childhood, especially those who have the ability to do so.

Despite these upward trends, early childhood remains massively under-invested in the US relative to other nations and to other age groups. Early childhood educators and programs are underfunded relative to the needs, leaving too many children and families behind. 

How do we close the gap between the driving demand from a new generation of parents, educators, and policymakers who recognize the importance of early childhood education and the relative scarcity of scalable solutions that would allow each and every young child to thrive?

While we absolutely must increase public funding for evidence-based solutions, such as quality pre-K programs, Early Head Start and home visitation programs, and increase the compensation and stature of the early childhood workforce, we at Omidyar Network also believe that we need to attract entrepreneurial and leadership talent to the early childhood field along with innovation-focused capital to ultimately increase the supply of quality solutions.

With our release of Big Ideas, Little Learners: Early Childhood Trends Report, we hope to showcase megatrends driving new demand and supply in early childhood education with the hope that it will ignite even more conversations, ideas, actions, and energy into the space.

Read the full report here.