There's a story in the most recent American Prospect about the rise of the early childhood machine in Illinois that is worth checking out, even though it feels frustratingly incomplete (Pre-K Politics in the States). Tracing the development of early childhood coalition-building in Illinois, the piece focuses on the state's Early Learning Council (Yo Elliot!) and its attention to quality and capacity issues that have hindered other states' UPK efforts. Local funders, the Ounce, and a savvy media campaign focused on economic benefits of ECE have all helped. But we've read all this before, and this story doesn't detail the real-world political and implementation issues with any specificity. Let's be clear. Expanding early childhood is a bear of a thing to do well. Getting the funding and politics right is a great accomplishment, but its' just the beginning.
Filed under: Foundation Follies