Early Childhood Commission


Early Childhood Commission

How can states raise the quality of early education programs and ensure they are well-coordinated across different agencies and budgets?

The SREB Early Childhood Commission convened leaders from 16 states to recommend policies that will give more young children a solid start when they enter school. Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear chaired the Commission. 

“Every child deserves a good start in life and in school,” said Gov. Beshear. “Early learning experiences have lifelong effects on a child’s opportunities to succeed. The importance of getting our youngest learners off to the best start possible cannot be overstated.”

 Members included legislators, heads of state school agencies and other advocates for early childhood education. The Commission met through spring 2015, drafted recommendations for the SREB Board to consider in summer 2015 and published its report in fall 2015.

Publication November 2015 | (15E08) (15E09)

Early Childhood Education
State Policy Recommendations

The report of the SREB Early Childhood Commission

Building a Strong Foundation: State Policy for Early Childhood Education

The Commission calls for states to raise the quality of early education programs and ensure they are well-coordinated across different agencies and budgets. 

The recommendations cover wider access and accountability for results. The report also sheds light on the need for a statewide policy framework to bring together public and private funding currently spread across agencies and budgets.


SREB Early Childhood Commission

Steve L. Beshear, Governor, Kentucky

Matt Arthur, Director of Education Policy, Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget, Georgia 
Tamara Barringer, State Senator, North Carolina
Melanie Barton, Executive Director, Education Oversight Committee, South Carolina 

Blog post Governor Steve Beshear
Governor Beshear

Leaders from Southern states push to improve early education

Our understanding about early childhood development has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years. New brain research tells us that children’s brains form very rapidly early on, and their earliest experiences have lifelong effects on their likelihood to succeed. 

Now it’s time to put what we’ve learned into practice so that our young children get the best start possible.

Publication March 201510 pages

Early Childhood Commission Glossary

Glossary of terms related to early childhood education, pre-K and child care. Includes key early childhood organizations, types of programs, and terms related to quality, accountability and assessment, statewide alignment, federal programs and funding sources, teacher quality, and family engagement strategies, plus sources. Compiled by SREB staff for SREB’s Early Childhood Commission