The Children’s Equity Project Unveils Groundbreaking Report on Equity in Arizona’s Early Care and Learning Systems

The Children’s Equity Project at Arizona State University, in collaboration with Southwest Human Development, Arizona Early Childhood Alliance (AZECA), and Children’s Action Alliance, is hosting an in-person presentation and launch event for the new, groundbreaking report, “Start with Equity Arizona: Increasing Access, Improving Quality, and Advancing Equity in Arizona’s Early Care and Learning Systems.”

The event will take place on November 30, 2023, at Educare Arizona, 1300 N 48th St, Phoenix, AZ 85008, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

The report examines Arizona’s early care and education (ECE) system through a lens of equity and provides an actionable child policy agenda that addresses historical and contemporary shortfalls in the way it serves children, especially those from marginalized communities including Black, Latine(o/a), and Indigenous children; dual language learners; and children with disabilities.

Shantel Meek, Ph.D., Founding Executive Director the ASU Children’s Equity Project, shared her perspective on the importance of this report, saying “This report sheds light on the critical issues within Arizona’s early care and education system and how we stack up against other states.  It provides a roadmap for a more fair, healthy, prosperous future for our state, starting with our youngest.  It is a call to action for all of us to work collaboratively to ensure that every child, including and especially those from communities that have been under-resourced and marginalized, has access to high-quality early learning experiences.” 

The presentation will provide attendees with an overview of the report’s major findings and policy recommendations, offering valuable insights into the various facets of Arizona’s ECE system and how it can be improved.

The panel discussion will offer diverse perspectives on key priorities to address access to, quality of, and equity in early learning programs, as well touch on how investments and policies can be shaped as the state moves into the 2024 legislative session and beyond.

Following the presentation and panel discussion, attendees will have the opportunity to network with state officials, legislative representatives, and early childhood leaders during a lunch reception.

“We are delighted to be part of this event and to provide families, educators, policymakers, and community leaders the opportunity to come together to discuss tangible steps that will drive positive changes in Arizona’s ECE landscape and improve the well-being of our children, said Ginger Ward, Chief Executive Officer of Southwest Human Development.