Identifying Innovative Approaches to Strengthening Social Emotional Development in Early Education and Child Care

“How do we build the strength, the confidence, the resilience to take the risks necessary to try new things, to be creative and to learn, so that we can innovate into the future?” – Dr. Michael Rich, Center on Media and Child Health


In conjunction with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Buffett Early Childhood Institute and Hope Street Group, a diverse group of thought leaders and early childhood experts convened for two days in December at the University of Nebraska Omaha campus to stimulate a community of learning and dialogue on the significance of increasing awareness of a key facet of early education and care: social-emotional development (SED).

The group agreed on the need for a broader and bolder national vision in order for all stakeholders to understand what SED is, the enormous impact it can play and how it can be fostered early to ensure that it serves as a foundationally strong component of every child’s life.

The group ideated starter solutions across four prioritized areas: policy, research, media and partnerships.

Key Findings:

  • Necessary for effective policy development and implementation is the need to connect with policy developments across government agencies with policies and incentives structured across the learning to work continuum, with increased resources and recognition to the early child care space.
  • Necessary for creating the needed sense of urgency, building accountability and garnering the appropriate resources for long-term change, an effective and targeted marketing and mobilization campaign needs to be implemented with various input from the multiple stakeholders within the early education and care field.
  • Necessary for maximized use of the current research in the field is the investment needed to curate, source and codify the research in a manner that would be helpful to the various stakeholders and audiences involved or affected in the early education and care field.
  • Necessary to reach these objectives is the investment, demonstrated value proposition and time needed to build diverse community collaboratives across sectors.

Click here to read the full report on the convening.

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