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Navigator Tool Announced By Saul Zaentz Early Education Initiative

The new tool will help policymakers and leaders improve early education through shared strategies and innovations
Navigation Points on a Map

The Saul Zaentz Early Education Initiative at the Harvard Graduate School of Education announced the launch of the Zaentz Navigator, an innovative tool to help policymakers and leaders learn how cities and states across the country are structuring, financing, and improving early education.

Aiming to support work of those committed to improving the lives of young children, families, and educators, the Zaentz Navigator shares early education policy strategies and innovations from all 50 states and some cities. To ensure connections to today’s research, the Navigator aims to better inform leaders about key approaches for positive change as they build their plans, linking the policy strategies and innovations to findings from the Early Learning Study at Harvard (ELS@H), a groundbreaking statewide study of early education and care.

"Policymakers and leaders are working tirelessly to improve conditions and outcomes for young children and their caregivers and educators, often on tight timelines, with many complex decisions to make and potential directions to go," said Professor Nonie Lesaux, co-director of the Zaentz Initiative. “We saw a need for a tool that could help decision makers learn from what others are doing.”

The Navigator identifies state and city policy strategies and innovations across five key categories that build a framework to drive equity and excellence in early education: Infrastructure and Systems, Dedicated Funding Streams, Cost Estimation for Subsidies, Expansion, and Workforce. Users can learn about the contexts in which these policy strategies and innovations have been implemented, such as state and city demographics, political landscapes, early education program information, workforce data, and funding sources and streams. The Navigator allows users to adjust their search based on the criteria that matters to them most and easily find, learn about, and compare how states and cities create early education strategies.

“Policymakers have important questions about how they can act on the lessons from today’s research,” said Professor Stephanie Jones, Zaentz co-director. "The Navigator makes clear connections between policy strategies and what we've learned from ELS@H at such a pivotal time for early education, children, and families"

Over time, the Zaentz Initiative plans to add capabilities to the Navigator, which will become part of a comprehensive toolkit that brings more technical assistance and other resources to policymakers and early education leaders.

For more information and to access the Zaentz Navigator visit its website


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