The Saul Zaentz Early Education Initiative at the Harvard Graduate School of Education today announced the inaugural Zaentz Early Education Innovation Challenge. The Challenge is calling for individuals or teams to submit new ideas, fresh thinking, and strategic approaches that drive lasting change in early education. The Zaentz Early Education Innovation Challenge will provide funding in recognition of promising new ideas that have the potential to transform the quality of early education.
"We are at a pivotal moment in early education," said Nonie Lesaux, Academic Dean and the Juliana W. and William Foss Thompson Professor of Education and Society at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. "There is tremendous interest in expanding access in early education, yet only two in 10 children are exposed to a high-quality experience. Preliminary findings from our own first-of-its-kind Early Learning Study at Harvard (ELS@H) indicates at least a third of parents cite education and academic skills as their biggest worry for their preschoolers' futures. Now is the time for creative, collaborative solutions that will increase early education opportunities and positive outcomes for all children."
Submissions to the Zaentz Early Education Innovation Challenge may target short-term or long-term change at multiple levels of the early education system, including the home, classroom, program, networks, and/or policy. To support innovation of all kinds, there are three tracks:
- The Idea Track is for new ideas or concepts that have not yet been put into action.
- The Pilot Track is for ideas or approaches that have been developed as a prototype.
- The Scaling Track is for products or services that have been launched, and are at a point where further sharpening or refining is needed to support scaling.
"The Saul Zaentz Early Education Initiative seeks to be a leading connector for innovation and entrepreneurship in the field of early education," said Stephanie Jones, Professor of Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. "We recognize that new ideas are needed in our field, and we want to use this Challenge to gather fresh thinking and strategic approaches that have the potential to drive sustainable, transformative change."
About The Saul Zaentz Early Education Initiative
The Saul Zaentz Early Education Initiative at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) is a major investment to drive transformation in U.S. early childhood education. The Initiative promotes the knowledge, professional learning and collective action necessary to cultivate optimal early learning environments and experiences. The Saul Zaentz Early Education Initiative is supported by a $35.5 million gift from the Saul Zaentz Charitable Foundation, one of the largest gifts ever given to a university for advancing early childhood education.
SOURCE Saul Zaentz Early Education Initiative