A high-quality early childhood education (ECE) is an effective tool for intergenerational empowerment and social mobility for many students who are otherwise disadvantaged by the educational system. Unfortunately, early learning programs in Michigan too often fail to meet students’ needs – even as Michigan’s education advocates, state leaders, and policymakers have made great strides in advocating for improvements in early childhood education.

In The Education Trust Midwest’s recent report, we look into the early childhood landscape of Michigan and the foundational five recommendations for strengthening early childhood transitions into preschool and kindergarten. We discuss how state leaders should focus on strengthening the following areas to ensure that Michigan’s early childhood education system meets the needs of all students:

  1. Quality
  2. Access and Affordability
  3. Funding Structure Improvement
  4. Data
  5. Workforce Recruitment, Compensation, and Retention Strategies

Coordinating policies and programs across all five foundational elements, rather than a narrow focus on any single element, will foster progress and long-term benefits for students who are historically underserved. Together these five foundational elements provide the critical support needed to foster students’ seamless transitions from early childhood education to elementary school.

Read more about strategies to support a more robust early childhood education system in Michigan.