Florida’s future starts early. The foundation of many skills needed for 21st-century jobs is established in the earliest years.
About the Florida Business Alliance for Early Learning Project
85% of brain growth occurs by the time a child is three, and early childhood education, particularly between ages 0-8, is essential for a child’s development of both cognitive and non-cognitive skills.
As we look beyond “The America Dream,” we must not only address the unique hurdles that Floridians face today, but also those that they will face tomorrow. The leaders of tomorrow are currently sitting in our state’s classrooms, and they stand as key indicators of Florida’s future economic success. Florida’s global competitiveness depends on a unified education system that prepares our children from cradle to career. This commitment must start early. By preparing our youngest learners today, we can establish a foundation for success by helping them develop the necessary self-discipline, persistence, and cooperation skills, all of which are essential to our future workforce.
To ensure that Florida’s children are set on a path to succeed in every community, the Florida Chamber Foundation created the Florida Business Alliance for Early Learning Project. This Project stands as an ever-growing collective of business and community leaders dedicated to securing the future of our youngest Floridians. The work of the Florida Business Alliance for Early Learning Project is deeply rooted in two Florida 2030 Blueprint goals, including:
100% Kindergarten Readiness by 2030
100% of 3rd Graders Reading at or Above Grade-Level by 2030
85% of brain growth occurs by the time a child turns three. To prepare our children as early as possible, the Florida 2030 Blueprint established a goal to achieve 100% kindergarten readiness by the year 2030. As we strive to reach this goal, we are pleased to have The Children’s Movement of Florida stand as this Florida 2030 Blueprint Goal Leader.
When the Florida Chamber Foundation set the bar for Florida to become the 10th largest economy in the world by 2030, our team of experts understood the future of Florida rests on the shoulders of those currently occupying our classrooms. Currently, only 58% of 3rd graders are reading at grade level. As a result, the Florida Business Alliance for Early Learning Project became the Florida 2030 Blueprint Goal Leader for this goal to align the business community’s expertise, knowledge, skillset and resources.
See what business leaders are saying about breaking the cycle of generational poverty:
Why 3rd Grade?
In choosing third grade, the Florida Business Alliance for Early Learning Project is focused on the most important stage of evolution in a child’s education, addressing the age when a child transitions from learning to read to reading to learn. Consistently, studies show that 3rd grade reading proficiency can be used as a leading indicator in predicting the educational and social outcomes of students. In fact, 88% of students who did not receive a high school diploma were reading below grade-level in 3rd grade.
Making sure Florida’s youngest learners are adequately prepared for future success can’t be done from the national or state level. In fact, counties can even be too large. To tackle this issue, we must identify the hurdles blocking one’s path to quality learning, understand each neighborhood’s unique identity and troubles, and work with business leaders within those neighborhoods to provide solutions tailored to each community. To facilitate this chain, the Florida Chamber Foundation has created an innovative set of tools that not only raise awareness to the issues in our state and its communities, but provide the insight and analysis needed to prescribe the remedies.
To give more context into where Florida’s 3rd graders currently stand and how their environment may affect their performance, the Florida Chamber Foundation created TheFloridaGapMap.org.
TheFloridaGapMap.org dives deeper into the issues each community faces by setting the stage for each zip code in Florida. This interactive tool illustrates the intersection of third grade reading scores for every public school in Florida with childhood poverty rates, combining the efforts of the Florida Prosperity Project and the Florida Business Alliance for Early Learning Project. With access to childhood poverty rates within each zip code and 3rd grade reading statistics for every school in Florida, TheFloridaGapMap.org brings the reality to your front door, framing the magnitude of the problems your neighborhood faces.
TheFloridaScorecard.org is a dynamic online tool that identifies and tracks the key factors impacting Florida’s future. The Florida Scorecard™ provides Florida leaders and local stakeholders with the metrics needed to measure progress within their own communities as we work toward meeting the goals outlined in the the Florida 2030 Blueprint.
Metrics tied to the Florida Business Alliance for Early Learning Project on TheFloridaScorecard.org include Kindergarten Readiness and 3rd Grade Reading Scores, information all found under the “Talent Supply & Education” tab. This information is available for every Florida county.
Join the Florida Business Alliance for Early Learning Project
Adequately preparing our youngest students to learn helps them develop important skills such as self-discipline, persistence, and cooperation–skills that are essential to their future success and a quality workforce.
The Florida Chamber Foundation is seeking business leaders to join the Florida Business Alliance for Early Learning Project. By engaging businesses, families, and community leaders in securing Florida’s future through quality early learning, a number of issues impacting children ages 0-8 can be collectively tackled. We are looking for businesses to join us in the following ways:
State Business Alliance for Early Learning Project Advisory Board
A small group of Florida’s business leaders dedicated to ensuring Florida’s youngest residents have access to quality learning. These advisory board members will financially support the efforts of the Florida Business Alliance for Early Learning Project and will provide guidance, collaboration and consultation as the leaders of this effort.
County-Level Business Alliance for Early Learning Project Leaders
County-level leaders will act as the lead partners in each one of Florida’s 67 counties. These organizations will be responsible for convening community-level champions and guiding county-specific needs.
Community-Level Business Alliance for Early Learning Project Champions
With a passion for tackling the issues in their individual communities, these champions are responsible for addressing the barriers to quality education opportunities within their own backyards.
Join us on the mission to prepare Florida's youngest learners for future success.
The Florida Department of Education recently released Florida’s 2020-2021 Kindergarten Readiness Scores, finding that only 57% of children in Florida are ready for kindergarten. While the 2020-2021 kindergarten readiness score has improved since last year’s 53%, we are beginning to see the COVID impact on education as more students have opted out of brick-and-mortar schools and the testing cohort dramatically dropped from 190K test takers to only 133K this year.
Please join us for the 2021 Learners to Earners Workforce Solution Summit where Florida’s education leaders, business advocates and elected officials will discuss the importance of investing in quality early learning. We need your help to make sure today’s learners have equal access to the resources that will ensure they are a valuable contribution to tomorrow’s workforce.