Early childhood is a period of rapid development for children. Science shows that children’s early childhood experiences at home, in school and in their neighborhoods shape their ability to thrive in childhood and beyond.
However, children’s early experiences vary considerably by race, ethnicity and family income. These inequities result in stark health, developmental and educational gaps that solidify before children arrive at Kindergarten and persist into adulthood. It is crucial to identify and address these differences to ensure that all children in the U.S. have fair, equitable opportunities to thrive. Ensuring equity for all children is especially important given that racial/ethnic minority children are rapidly becoming the largest group of children in the U.S.
diversitydatakids.org examines equity (or inequity) in children’s early experiences and in policies that support their wellbeing in early childhood, such as early care and education. Our work examines how racial/ethnic and income segregation in neighborhoods and early childhood programs contribute to inequities in children’s early experiences and opportunities. Policymakers and practitioners can build on our work as they consider expansions of existing early childhood programs and to inform new federal, state and local policies.