Foundations for Learning

EdQuest Georgia


Policies must include supports from birth for families, schools, and communities as well as access to high quality early learning.

Research has demonstrated a direct link between early experiences and later success in life. The relationships, environments, early experiences, and supports that children receive have a profound impact on their development. From birth, there are multiple factors that together impact a child’s capacities for communication, self-regulation, learning, and social interaction. These factors include good heath; safe, stable, and nurturing relationships; appropriate learning environments; and supportive communities. A lack of high-quality early learning opportunities and responsive interactions puts children at risk for poor mental and physical health, behavior problems, and school failure.

Review of Georgia Landscape


KIDS COUNT Data Center, Annie E. Casey Foundation, 2017.


These are a collection of health indicators for the state of Georgia collected by the KIDS COUNT Data Center through the Annie E. Casey Foundation. These indicators reveal conditions on early care and the state’s youngest children.

Early Learning

These are a collection of indicators on the state of early learning for Georgia’s youngest children.



Georgia Head Start Association, 2017 | DECAL, Bright from the Start, 2017 | KIDS COUNT Data Center, 2017 | Natl. Institute for Early Ed. Research, 2017

Family and Community Supports


International / National Resources:

  • International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IAE), Early Childhood Policies – Early Childhood Policies and System in Eight Countries, Findings from IES’s Early Childhood Education Study
  • The Alliance for Early Success – Works to improve state policies for children birth through eight by bringing state, national, and funding partners together.
  • Annie E. Casey Foundation – A national thought leader on education issues, particularly on the importance of reading on grade level by the end of third grade.
  • The Build Initiative – Supports states around the nation, including Georgia, as they work to set policy, offer services, and advocate for children birth through age five.
  • Child Trends – Works to improve outcomes for children and youth by conducting high-quality research and sharing results with practitioners and policymakers.
  • Harvard Center on the Developing Child – GEEARS’ partner in our Frontiers of Innovation–Georgia efforts, works to drive science-based innovation that achieves breakthrough outcomes for young children facing adversity.
  • Institute for Child Success – A research and policy organization dedicated to the success of all young children.
  • Mission: Readiness – A nonpartisan organization led by senior retired military leaders who advocate for smart investments in our nation’s young children.
  • National Association for the Education of Young Children – A professional membership organization that works to promote high-quality early learning for all young children, birth through age 8, by connecting early childhood practice, policy, and research.
  • National Center for Children in Poverty – Uses research to inform policy and practice with the goal of ensuring positive outcomes for the next generation.
  • National Institute for Early Education Research – Conducts and shares research to support high-quality effective early education for all young children.
  • Ready Nation – Works to improve business competitiveness by helping children get a good start in life, educating policymakers and the public to advance better policies for children and youth.
  • The Ounce – Advocates for quality early learning for children birth to five and is a leader in developing innovative high-quality programs for young children.
  • Zero to Three – Works to ensure that all babies and toddlers have a strong start in life.
  • Urban Institute– Interactive tool shows 10 important characteristics of 3- to 5-year-olds. It displays the characteristics by whether the children are enrolled in early education, whether their families are low income, or whether their parents are immigrants.

Georgia Resources

  • Get Georgia Reading – The Campaign for Grade Level Reading
  • Talk with Me Baby – Collaboration of 6 leadership organizations, all working to bring the concept of language nutrition into public awareness and educate caregivers on the importance of talking with their baby every day, in an effort to close the word gap.
  • Georgia Early Education Alliance for Ready Students (GEEARS) – A nonprofit providing leadership for a statewide movement on quality early learning development for all children ages birth through five.
    • Framework for School Readiness: Convened by GEEARS, senior leadership from Georgia Departments of Early Care and Learning (DECAL), Education (GaDOE), and Public Health (DPH) worked with a committee of stakeholders representing early childhood, K-12, families, health, and higher education to develop and adopt a shared school readiness framework.
    • First 2000 Days Campaign: GEEARS is leading a statewide public awareness campaign to spread the message about the importance of a child’s first 2,000 days of life.
    • GEEARS Readiness Radar – A suite of tools that allow users to explore a range of data relevant to early childhood and school readiness in Georgia.
  • Georgia Family Connection Partnership (GaFCP) – The only statewide network in the country dedicated to the health and well-being of families and communities. Works in 159 counties to craft local solutions based on local decisions. Initiatives:
  • 2017 KIDS COUNT Profile – GA – A state and national database to track the well-being of children funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. GaFPC compiles 50 indicators of child well-being.
  • The Rollins Center for Language and Literacy at the Atlanta Speech School: Builds the capacity of educators of children, ages birth through third grade, to provide the instruction and rich language and deep social and emotional engagement required for the construction of the “reading brain” for every child.
  • Cox Campus: A free, universally accessible, interactive online community designed to provide a platform for translating its successful live training model into an equally successful online format.
  • Voices for Georgia’s Children – A nonprofit child policy and advocacy organization that envisions a Georgia where children are safe, healthy, educated, employable, and connected to their family and community. Serves as a voice for a public agenda that ensures the well-being of all of Georgia’s children.
    • Georgia Birth to Five Coalition
    • Georgia Children’s Advocacy Network (Ga-CAN)
    • JUSTGeorgia
  • Healthy Beginnings – United Way of Greater Atlanta

State Agency Work


Keep moving forward;
strong policies in place:

Continue to support statewide coalitions to align the work being done across all policy areas, including health, education, and family well-being.

Continue the support and expand the Georgia Pre-K Program.

Continue to support the work developed under the Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge Grant after the grant period ends.

Proceed with caution;
policies need some work:

Increase access to quality early learning programs, especially for low-income children, and continue to expand Quality Rated.

Implement recommendations for early learning made by Governor Deal’s Education Reform Commission.

Fully leverage the opportunities under the every student succeeds act (essa) to enable and encourage states, districts, and schools to strengthen and expand connections between early learning programs and elementary schools, improve instruction, and measure progress.

Alert! Policy missing
or needs immediate attention:

Georgia must increase access to health supports for young children and their families, including access to insurance and providers as well as mental an oral health support.

Increase access to family supports.