Our Work

How We Work

Early Edge California is a statewide policy and advocacy organization. We leverage research, policy, and practice to identify windows of opportunity to advance our early learning agenda at the local, state, and federal levels. We blend high levels of expertise in policy, communications, and local engagement to connect and mobilize key constituencies and policymakers around early learning campaigns.

We are a fiscally sponsored project of New Venture Fund, and funded by foundations and earned revenue.

Proven Success

Early Edge California is proud of the significant public policy changes we have effected.

  • In 2015-2016, we sponsored The Preschool for All Act (AB 47), which set a timeline for the state to fulfill its commitment to provide access to quality preschool to all low-income 4 year olds. The bill was passed out of the Legislature with strong bipartisan support. In his veto message, Governor Brown recognized the state’s intent to make preschool opportunities available to all low-income children, and said the discussion on expanding state preschool should be considered in the budget process. The AB 47 work activated advocates and led to an additional $300 million in state funding for child care and development.
  • In 2014-15, we sponsored The “Fair Start” Professional Development Act (SB 837), which led to increased investments in the 2014-15 California budget. We secured more than $250 million in new, ongoing state investments in child development – the largest increase in more than a decade. The investments included $50 million in ongoing funding for Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) block grants, $25 million in professional development funds for TK and State Preschool teachers, an additional 11,500 State Preschool spaces, and a statement of commitment by the Legislature and Governor to provide quality preschool opportunities for all low-income children. Budget language also stated the intent of the Legislature that TK be aligned with California’s Preschool Learning Foundations, and required newly assigned TK teachers secure 24 units of early childhood education, comparable professional experience, or a child development permit. And it required the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing to review and update requirements for permits authorizing service and supervision in care, development, and instruction of children in child care and development programs.
  • Transitional kindergarten (TK) was created through The Kindergarten Readiness Act of 2010 (Senate Bill 1381), a law we cosponsored. TK is a developmentally appropriate grade serving younger schoolchildren with birthdays between September and December. A recent report from the American Institutes of Research shows that children who went to TK made significant gains in academic skills and executive functioning compared to their peers who did not attend TK—amounting to as much as a five-month advantage in kindergarten.
  • We supported the more than 900 school districts across California as they implemented transitional kindergarten, providing technical information about TK; connecting experts to districts; working with a panel of experts to develop TKCalifornia.org, a website to serve the needs of teachers and administrators as they implemented TK; holding TK conferences; and conducting monthly webinars sharing promising practices.
  • We cosponsored the Early Learning Quality Improvement Act in 2008 (Senate Bill 1629), which began a systems change effort to  improve the quality of early childhood education programs by designing a quality rating and improvement system based in part on the local models found in 12 counties, including Los Angeles, San Mateo, Santa Clara, San Joaquin and San Diego.
  • We also cosponsored The California State Preschool Program of 2008 (Assembly Bill 2759), which created the largest state preschool program in the nation, in the process reducing bureaucracy and increasing local flexibility by consolidating five child development programs into one. The resulting efficiencies led to 19,000 additional children being served each year.

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