GEEARS serves as the facilitator of the State of Georgia‘s work with the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University as one of the three states/provinces that are part of the Frontiers of Innovation (FOI) initiative. The goal of this collective impact initiative is to identify how science-based innovation applied to policies and services for the birth-to-five population can advance the Governor’s goal of every child being able to read at grade level by third grade. This partnership includes representatives from the Department of Early Care and Learning, Department of Public Health, Governor’s Office, Georgia Early Education Alliance for Ready Students (GEEARS), and the Atlanta Civic Site. These partners meet bi-monthly to share cross-sector ideas and information. GEEARS works to coordinate efforts across these agencies and connect them with scientific expertise.
At the beginning of May, 2016, our partner, the Harvard Center on the Developing Child, released a new report, From Best Practices to Breakthrough Impacts: A Science-Based Approach to Building a More Promising Future for Young Children and Families. The report first details cutting-edge brain science and program-based evidence demonstrating the need for early childhood practices that improve life outcomes for children, especially for those facing serious adversity.
It shows which current best practices in programs and services make the biggest difference for children—but it does not stop there. Building on lessons learned from other fields, the report proposes an R&D platform that applies a science and innovation mindset to the task of creating the better best practices of tomorrow.
Harvard calls the report “a call to action for anyone who shares our sense of constructive dissatisfaction with the status quo, whether from the worlds of policy, practice, research, philanthropy, or civic leaders and parents who want to make their communities a better place for children. Leveraging what we are learning from science to generate and test new ideas is a critical, untapped key to unlocking these dramatic improvements.”