November 6-7, 2017

Covering Early Learning: Putting the Pieces Together

Chicago • Erikson Institute •

From the moment a child is born, the learning begins. By the time kindergarten arrives, gaps have set in that can last a lifetime.

In states red and blue, policymakers and advocates are increasingly looking to children’s earliest years to address the achievement gaps that have long plagued the U.S. education system. But as investment and enrollment in early childhood programs grow, access, quality, and cost all present problems.

For education reporters, a huge challenge is making sense of this complex, patchwork “system.” There are the dizzying array of public and private providers — from home-based care for infants and toddlers to pre-K programs — not to mention countless initiatives, regulations, and public funding streams.

How can reporters most effectively cover the education of children from infancy to kindergarten? What stories most need telling? On November 6-7, the Education Writers Association will convene journalists and early learning experts for a journalist-only intensive seminar at the Erikson Institute in Chicago.

With journalist-led, data-driven workshops, panel discussions, and site visits, the gathering will examine the most pressing issues in early childhood care and education today, including;

  • What does the latest research on brain development and early learning show?
  • What do high-quality early-learning settings look like, and why are they so costly to provide?
  • Why and how are states and localities seeking to transform the workforce that cares for — and helps educate — infants and young children?
  • With tax reform and federal budget cuts looming, what might be the impacts on local early learning efforts?

Threaded throughout the sessions will be practical tips for covering the topic and opportunities for reporters to connect with and learn from one another. Journalists will come away with new ideas, sources, insights, and knowledge to inform their coverage of this complex and growing field.

This event is open to Journalist members only. EWA offers scholarships to eligible members that can cover transportation, lodging, and registration.