Business Alliance for Early Learning

The Florida Gap Map is now available. This interactive tool helps visualize the intersection of third grade reading scores for every public school in Florida with childhood poverty rates.  Equity gaps exist in Florida and Florida’s global competitiveness depends on a quality education system. For the business community, a commitment to this education system must begin early. 

“We developed this interactive tool as the one source in Florida to show the correlations between school reading scores and poverty. The Florida Gap Map will help guide business leaders, non-profits, governments and philanthropists who are interested in helping improve
Florida’s public schools.”
                   –Dr. Jerry Parrish, Chief Economist, Florida Chamber Foundation

Visit www.TheFloridaGapMap.org  and share with businesses, educators, media and policymakers in your community to easily identify school level performance gaps, so business and community leaders can focus resources on helping close those gaps. 

To watch the webinar on the release of the new Florida Gap Map, click here.

In Case You Missed It ...

Business Alliance for Early Learning 2020 Webinars

If you were not able to participate in our webinars this year, or if you would like to watch them again, please click here. Copies of the presentations are also available to download. 

COVID-19 means more preschool-age kids won’t be ready for kindergarten

Cheryse Singleton-Nobles knows her 2-year-old son is regressing.

While the toddler is getting the hang of colors, numbers and shapes, she says, “he’s back to the stage of ‘me, me, me.’” He doesn’t want to share anymore. He struggles to follow a routine and gets distracted by all his toys.

Singleton-Nobles, 47, attributes this backtracking to the COVID-19 pandemic, which recently forced her son’s free Chicago preschool to close its campus.

That preschool, an early-learning center that belongs to a national network of Head Start-funded programs called Educare, shut its doors in the spring but managed to reopen at limited capacity in the fall. The center had to revert to distance learning again in mid-November amid a surge in COVID-19 infection rates.

Now, her son – like countless other young children across the country – is sliding in his social-emotional skills. And those losses could be devastating for these children’s long-term success. Preschool years are among the most formative of a child’s life. A student who starts kindergarten without preschool is more likely to repeat a grade, require special-education services or drop out.

To view the complete USA Today article, click here.

 

Early Learning and the Foundation for the Future

The Florida Chamber Foundation encourages business leaders like you to join our Business Alliance for Early Learning. Businesses from around the state will tackle a number of issues impacting children ages 0-8. Join us as we engage businesses, families, and community leaders in securing Florida’s future through quality early learning.

Florida’s future starts early. The foundation of many skills needed for 21st-century jobs is established in the earliest years. Eighty-five percent 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.

Preparing our youngest students to learn establishes a foundation for future success and helps them develop important skills such as self-discipline, persistence, and cooperation–skills that are essential to their future success and a quality workforce. Establishing this important foundation is why the Florida Chamber Foundation’s Florida 2030 Blueprint has identified Kindergarten Readiness as one of the goals we must meet to ensure Florida continues on a path to success. This goal states that by 2030, 100 percent of Florida children will be ready for kindergarten.

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Florida 2030 Blueprint Leader: The Children’s Movement of Florida

The Florida 2030 Blueprint established a goal that by 2030, 100 percent of children in Florida will be ready to enter kindergarten. As we strive to reach this important goal, we are pleased to have The Children’s Movement of Florida help lead this effort.

The Children’s Movement of Florida has created the Bosses for Babies initiative which brings together business leaders in Florida who are ready to take action in support of early childhood—understanding that this is an investment both in their bottom line and in community-level prosperity. The initiative highlights the many ways Florida businesses are taking action and enables more businesses to get involved. It allows businesses to support the goal of 100% Kindergarten-readiness by 2030 and drives engagement with the Business Alliance for Early Learning, leading to more business-led advocacy for greater investment in early care and education.

In this video, Representative Vance Aloupis, District 115; CEO of The Children’s Movement, and Chamber Foundation Trustee discusses how early learning creates lifelong opportunities during the 2019 Future of Florida Forum. 

How Does Early Learning Impact a Child's Future?

Children Who Receive Quality Adult Interaction and Early Learning in Their First Years Are:

Florida’s global competitiveness depends on a quality education system, and for us, this commitment must begin early. Investing in high quality early learning can result in significant benefits. Children who participate in quality early learning programs are 80 percent more likely to attend college and their employability is increased by 23 percent.

The Business Case for Early Learning

Increasingly, early learning is seen as a crucial investment in workforce development.

Life-long Impact of Early Learning

Young children who receive a high-quality education are less likely to drop out of high school, and quality early childhood education programs increase employability by 23 percent.

  • How early is early? Read this.
  • What skills are improved by quality early learning? Read this.
  • How does access to early learning influence a child’s future success? Review this study.
  • No Small Matter is a feature-length documentary film and national engagement campaign that brings public attention to this vital question by sharing powerful stories and stunning truths about the human capacity for early intelligence and the potential for quality early care and education to benefit America’s social and economic future

Early Learning and Prosperity

Studies show that 50% of children that grow up in low-income households are already behind by the time they reach Kindergarten.

  • How does access to quality early learning differ based on socioeconomic status? Watch this video.
  • What do poverty related issues impact Florida’s economy? Read this.
  • How can one year of high-quality early education improve outcomes for low-income infants and toddlers? Read this.

Talent Gap

Business surveys indicate that finding the talent they need to fill open jobs is one of their biggest concerns.

  • What does the future of Florida’s education look like? Watch this video.
  • What industries are growing in Florida and what talent is needed? Read this.
  • What type of skills are important? Read this.

Promising Practices