Big Ideas, Little Learners: Early Childhood Trends Report 2019

Big Ideas, Little Learners: Early Childhood Trends Report 2019

While a new generation of parents, educators, and policy makers increasingly recognize the importance of early childhood education, underinvestment in the United States had until recently limited scalable solutions that would enable every young child to thrive, a report from the Omidyar Network argues. The report, Big Ideas, Little Learners: Early Childhood Trends Report (40 pages, PDF), found that early childhood education is at a tipping point, with demographic shifts leading to new gaps and opportunities for early childhood solutions — an increase in single-parent households and two-working-parent families is fueling growing demand for affordable quality child care; millennial and Gen Y parents are demanding quality solutions, digital tools and services, and parental resources; and birth trends have resulted in a new majority-minority generation of children under age 5 with diverse language and cultural needs. To meet the demand, nonprofit and for-profit entrepreneurship in early childhood education is on the rise, according to the study, with an encouraging number of founders who are more representative of the communities they serve. Funding in support of those innovators also is up across government, philanthropy, impact investing, and venture capital, and new solutions are emerging and attracting new talent with the potential to reach the most vulnerable children. The report also notes that with new supply comes greater responsibilities to ensure that innovation delivers on outcomes for all children and emphasizes the need for responsible, ethical, thoughtful, and transparent tech to protect their well-being.