There is overwhelming evidence that high-quality early childhood education has considerable and lasting benefits on children, families and society, fueling efforts around the country to increase access to quality early learning. With Race to the Top, the subsequent growth of statewide quality ratings systems, and the movement towards universal pre-K, there is growing emphasis on strategic planning around early childhood education.
PolicyMap’s popular Mapchats series continued on June 15th with a panel of leaders in early childhood education. Panelists shared their stories about using data and mapping to improve access, target resources and make better early childcare investments in cities around the country. Their work is widely relevant to other government agencies, foundations or organizations working to advance quality early childhood education in their communities.
Carlise King, Executive Director, Early Childhood Data Collaborative, Child Trends
As Executive Director of the Early Childhood Data Collaborative, Carlise King is responsible for leading a national survey of states’ early care and education data systems and providing research, policy analysis and technical assistance across Child Trends’ early childhood development projects to support the development, implementation, and use of early childhood data systems. Prior to working at Child Trends, Carlise served as the Research Director for the California Child Care Resource & Referral Network. She has over 12 years of experience conducting research on early childhood issues and examining the impact of state and federal policies on parents’ access to child care services, licensed child care supply, child care costs, and the child care workforce.
Elliot Weinbaum, Program Director, William Penn Foundation
As Program Director for the William Penn Foundation’s Great Learning team, Elliot’s work focuses on improving educational opportunities and outcomes for students in Philadelphia. He works with a team that supports efforts to improve teaching and learning from early childhood through high school. Prior to joining the Foundation in 2013, Elliot was an Associate Commissioner at the U.S. Department of Education, and he spent more than a decade as a researcher and faculty member at the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education.
Michelle Connavino, Operations and Outreach Specialist, PRE4CLE
Michelle Connavino serves as the Operations and Outreach Specialist for PRE4CLE, a plan to ensure all 3- and 4-year-old children in the city of Cleveland have access to high-quality preschool, where she coordinates the organization’s communication plan and supports its advocacy efforts. Previously, Michelle was the Liaison for the Center for Educational Leadership at Cleveland State University, managing program and assessment design and implementation for a number of school leadership licensure and professional development programs. Michelle is also a former middle school teacher in the Cleveland Metropolitan and North Olmsted City School Districts, and has teaching experience in rural and international settings.