Why Early Childhood?

Through a number of regional and statewide initiatives, we are making headway to improve early childhood education in Virginia and beyond.

Young boy looking excited about a classroom activity.

Moving Towards Equity and Excellence in Early Childhood Education

Building on a strong foundation of nationally recognized early childhood education research, faculty at the University of Virginia are now collaborating with state and local leaders to advance high-quality early learning opportunities.

The Virginia Kindergarten Readiness Program (VKRP), Advancing Effective Interactions & Instructions (AEII) initiative,  and STREAMin3 curriculum and professional development are three current initiatives that are working towards the common goal of improved early childhood education.

Progress so Far...

Understanding school readiness

We are gaining a better understanding of school readiness in Virginia, thanks to state-wide implementation of the Virginia Kindergarten Readiness Program (VKRP).

Identifying the importance of preschool​

With VKRP, we are identifying the important role high-quality preschool plays in reducing the readiness gap, especially for children from economically disadvantaged backgrounds.

measuring quality of preschool

We are helping 100% of Virginia’s public preschool programs (1,300 VPI classrooms) measure the quality of curriculum, teacher-child interactions, and instruction through the Advancing Effective Interactions and Instruction (AEII) initiative.

Supporting the use of data to make decisions

Through AEII, we are supporting early education leaders to identify professional development needs using data – so teachers are better equipped to help children succeed.

implementing an innovative curriculum model

Developed in collaboration with E3 and the New E3 School, we are implementing a new curriculum model (STREAMin3) in 112 public and private early childhood classrooms in Virginia.

focusing on birth to five

The use of STREAMin3 highlights the benefit of a high-quality early childhood curriculum program that spans birth to five, integrates academic and social-emotional skills, and places an emphasis on high-quality interactions between teachers and children.