Cities Supporting a Strong Prenatal to age 8 Agenda

When supported during their earliest years, infants grow into healthy kids who are ready for school and life. The most rapid period of brain develop occurs within the first three years of life. Responsive relationships and positive experiences early in life build a sturdy brain architecture that becomes the foundation for core social emotional skills, early executive functioning and self-regulatory skills, and literacy skills—skills that are all critical for later health and success.

The National League of Cities (NLC) — through its Institute for Youth Education and Families (YEF Institute) with generous support from the Pritzker Children’s Initiative — leads the Cities Supporting a Strong Prenatal to Age 8 Agenda. The project offers city leaders guidance and support to establish and strengthen prenatal to age 8 strategies to achieve better outcomes for our nation’s children.

NLC and PCI seek to dramatically increase the number of children ready for kindergarten. Through Cities Supporting a Strong Prenatal to Age 8 Agenda, NLC’s goal is to establish a network of cities committed to supporting infants, toddlers, and their families and providing practical assistance to mayors, city councilmembers, senior city staff and their community partners to improve their capacity to implement effective PN-3 strategies and increase kindergarten readiness.

The first cohort of cities selected for this project included: Austin, Texas; Baltimore, Md.; Chattanooga, Tenn.; Cleveland, Ohio; Denver, Colo., and Minneapolis, Minn.