Early Learning Nation

The Gathering Place for #Brainbuilding Communities

April 2021, Issue #9
Our stellar content in April placed a laser focus through many lenses on the great and urgent needs of families: diapers, rural libraries, the child care crisis, policy and brain development. Let’s just dive in.
For Want of A Diaper
Who-ee! Who would have guessed that K.C. Compton’s terrific piece would plop us in the middle of the cloth/disposable diaper debate? Despite the fact that one in three moms struggle to afford diapers, and that day cares require 8-12 disposable diapers per child (they don't accept cloth diapers), many mothers on our Facebook page insist that if they could manage with cloth diapers back in the day, other moms should, too. Join the conversation!
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The Rural Library Network
Lots of us who grew up in small, rural towns depended on libraries to open the world to us. Check out Mark Swartz’s terrific article about this cool partnership between Partners in Education and Save the Children. Enjoy the video of actor Jennifer Gardner, trustee/ambassador for Save the Children, in which she shares being a lifelong lover of libraries.
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The Bridgeport Baby Bundle
A single stat made a community shudder and gave rise to the Baby Bundle: three-quarters of the Bridgeport’s three-year-olds were not hitting their developmental markers. Read what happened next. And listen to Joan Lombardi’s The New Neighborhood podcast as she explores the Baby Bundle. 
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Child Care is Infrastructure
Child care, writes Bryce Covert, is infrastructure in both a literal and metaphoric sense. Parents face a heck of a time when trying to simply squeeze their children into available spots. More than half live in child care deserts, where there are either no child care centers or so few of them that there are three times as many young children as available lots. That means the country desperately needs to increase capacity: We need to build more physical spaces.
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Researchers Connect Cardio Health and Cognition As Early as Preschool
While Pre-K kids might not fully appreciate the relationship between the playground and their future math scores, the good news is that they’ll welcome any old reason to go out and play. Check out the research in this article by K.C. Compton.
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Child Care Crisis
ELN contributors Elliot Haspel and Bryce Covert lay out the nuances of the American Rescue Plan, top challenges for the child-care industry, the exodus of child-care workers, how to transform the child-care industry and even the history of universal child care (it’s neither a new idea nor unprecedented). Grab your coffee or cocktail and take a deep dive.
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5 Questions for the Governor
This monthly column, a partnership with the Hunt Institute, explores what’s happening in Early Learning at the state level. Alternating between Democrats and Republicans is easy for this bipartisan issue.
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Fellowships and Apprenticeships
Organizations are getting creative in how they shape the Early Learning landscape. Mark Swartz writes about different approaches taken by the Zaentz Fellows and the Bank Street College Early Childhood Apprenticeships.
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Early Learning Nation is an independent, nonprofit magazine devoted to early learning. Original content—local + national news, features, interviews—focuses on brain building and community building with early learning professionals, parents, policymakers, scientists and community leaders.

Early Learning Nation is an initiative of the Bezos Family Foundation.
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