Nonprofit

Child360 (formerly Los Angeles Universal Preschool)

Child360 advances early learning from every angle through community advocacy, family engagement, program improvement and professional development of early educators.

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2 Submitted Ideas

  • CONNECT ·2018 Grants Challenge

    Community: Where strong families are made

    Through hands-on workshops and trainings, Child360 will empower parents and community members to advocate on behalf of their families to realize the changes they want to see in their community.

  • 2013 Grants Challenge

    LAUP/LA2050 Preschool Research Project

    LAUP will use the LA2050 Education Grant to initiate the first phase of a thorough research study on the impacts and outcomes of quality preschool for a test group of students. These outcomes will demonstrate how investing in early education now will make LA a better place in 2050 by dramatically improving our education system starting from the students up. Science has proven that 90% of a child’s brain development occurs by age five, but less than 4% of public investment in education occurs by that time. LA’s education system is in crisis, with a shameful lack of state funding making a bad situation worse, year after year. California is 47th in the nation in per-pupil expenditure and 49th in class size, with LA driving that statistic as the largest school district in the state. Leading education experts agree we must prioritize our investment in high quality preschool and early education programs to see the highest ROI and societal impact. James Heckman, University of Chicago Economics Professor and Nobel Laureate in Economics, has appeared before Congress with the assertion that “a large body of economic, health and social science data makes it clear that early childhood education is more than a social imperative; it is an economic one that has far reaching implications for our nation.” So if the experts agree, why isn’t anything being done about this crisis? LAUP recently contracted a third party to conduct dozens of focus groups whose findings substantiated the general misunderstanding about the long-term societal and economic benefits of quality preschool among various LA demographic groups. Without this basic understanding of what it really means for our city, state and nation to educate our population early and well, the type of funding that can only come about through voter approval of new legislation is unlikely to occur anytime soon. Therefore, LAUP will use the funds from LA250 to launch a research project of a scope that has not been attempted in Los Angeles to date. The standard for preschool outcomes research, the Perry Preschool Project of 1962, is still used today as the primary reference of early education investigators. Using leading expertise in the field, we will conduct updated research, using modern metrics and assessments that take into consideration the differences in learning environment and societal influences our young learners have today. For the study, LAUP will select a quality preschool in LA using our 5-Star Quality Rating and Improvement System. This rating system is currently being used as the model for a state-wide preschool rating system that is being developed as part of the Federal Race to the Top grant that LAUP was awarded last year. An independent third-party research firm will collect data to determine how a quality preschool experience affects concrete factors such as community improvement, school readiness, future academic achievement, future income, and health. LA2050’s support will fund the first year, or Phase 1 of a recommended three year project which would extend through the end of the subjects’ second grade year. At that time, the students will begin participation in California standardized testing and can be assessed across large groups of their peers. Phase 1 of the project will yield valuable data on the effects of preschool in LA and the students’ kindergarten readiness as compared with their non-preschool, or lower quality preschool peers. This data will be immediately applicable to funders for future research and policy debate. The next three years of the study, would complete a data set for all participating children so that outcomes could be assessed from age 4 through 7. A thorough study, equal to the breadth of the Perry Preschool Project, would follow the subjects into adulthood. Along with these advanced research techniques, LAUP plans to use a new social media aspect to the study. While remaining cognizant of the privacy of all of the participants involved, we will provide a way for students, teachers, and parents to document their experiences in LA’s schools. This incorporates a community aspect to the study, inviting public discourse and attention, inclusivity, and shared responsibility. This interactive documentation provides an ongoing record of the child’s learning and gives value to his or her experiences. This new study will not only elevate LA as a leading innovator in early education research and advocacy, but will gain the public and government support to pressure our legislators into substantially funding early education, starting at a local level, and ultimately informing our state, and national discourse on education reform. We must start by investing in our youngest citizens. It must start with preschool.

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