Building Early Childhood Facilities: What States Can Do to Create Supply and Promote Quality

  • April 16, 2007
  • By Carl Sussman with Amy Gillman

The early care and education field continues its decades-long expansion, experiencing a new phase of educationally oriented growth. Most states now fund preschool programs and enrollment continues to rise. Yet the field remains fragmented and insufficiently resourced. It lacks the institutional frameworks necessary to address basic challenges to continued growth and development. The design, development, finance and maintenance of facilities are key issues.

State governments will need to more actively stimulate facilities investments —building the supply of facilities and making sure these spaces are designed to support programmatic quality. Otherwise, the benefits of early education—academic achievement and long-term savings in remedial programs to name just two—will not be fully realized.

This policy report explores common facility issues and outlines strategies policymakers can implement (and in some cases have already implemented) to address early childhood facility needs.