ZERO TO THREE submitted public comments in response to a notice of proposed rulemaking that would severely curtail the collection of information on children in early childhood education settings.
Through the Civil Rights Data Collection, the U.S. Department of Education provides an essential nationwide source of equity-related education data, including for preschool-age children. The inclusion of data on early childhood programs not only provides significant insight to how such programs are growing and being integrated with the K-12 continuum, it also signals the importance of services to support early development and learning from birth.
The ability to examine who is receiving these services aids in determining disparities in access that can reverberate throughout a child’s life. The proposal to severely curtail key data elements that allow early childhood educators, researchers, advocates, and policymakers to identify early education opportunities for young children and build more equitable early education programs and systems, as well as to enforce applicable civil rights laws ultimately will cause severe harm.