The Pew Charitable Trusts have awarded a grant of nearly $4 million to establish a new advocacy center that will work at the federal and state levels to promote effective early childhood education for three- and four-year-olds.
Based in Washington, D.C., the Trust for Early Education will be a supporting organization of the Education Trust, an advocacy organization that produces and uses hard data to inform policymakers and the public of the need for evidence-based state and federal education policy. The Trust for Early Education will work at the federal level to expand support for more effective early education for preschool children, while at the state level it will assist with existing campaigns for voluntary universal preschool. The grant is part of the Pew Trusts' larger effort to help the public and policymakers understand why improvements in early education quality and access are critical for children. Late last year, the Trusts provided $5.3 million to establish the National Institute for Early Education Research, which will provide significant information and data to the Trust for Early Education.
"Federal policymakers have begun to debate how best to provide education for three- and four-year-olds and how it should be designed to improve school readiness," said Sue Urahn, the Trusts' education program director. "No strong voice now exists to provide them with sound data grounded in cutting edge research. We hope Pew's investment in both a research center and an advocacy center — as well as giving support to states and other key partners — will fill these critical gaps."