Early Childhood

By improving access to high-quality child care and early education, cities can ensure that every child enters school ready to learn, support working parents with young children, reduce educational and economic disparities, and strengthen their city's future workforce.

Key city priorities such as economic development, public safety, civic engagement and the stability of families and neighborhoods are supported when all children have the opportunity to develop to their fullest potential. City policy and practice can support families with young children so that all children enter kindergarten ready to succeed, read at grade level and go on to graduate from high school prepared for postsecondary education and a career.  

Early childhood education

Grade Level Reading (GLR)
More than 80 percent of students from low-income families do not read proficiently by the end of third grade, putting them further behind with each passing year and at greater risk of dropping out of high school. As a major partner in the national Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, NLC is helping to mobilize city leaders to close the gap in reading achievement among low-income students and their peers, raise the bar for reading proficiency so that all students are assessed by world-class standards and ensure that all children have an equal opportunity to meet those  standards.

Educational Alignment for Young Children (EAYC)
NLC has launched the Educational Alignment for Young Children initiative, a 15-month technical assistance program to help city leaders promote the healthy development and education of children and increase the likelihood that they will achieve educational success by the end of third grade. To accomplish these goals, NLC focuses its technical assistance on educational alignment for children from birth to age eight.