(Video: Too Small To Fail)
Hillary Clinton has a plan for early childhood education. Boldly declaring that our next generation of children is “too small to fail,” the former U.S. Secretary of State has created an organization called Too Small to Fail that “aims to help parents and businesses take meaningful actions to improve the health and well-being of children ages zero to five, so that more of America’s children are prepared to succeed in the 21st century,” according to the organization’s website.
“Our country’s future depends on healthy kids and loving families. They’re the building blocks of a strong and prosperous society,” Clinton explains in a website video that also features early childhood experts. Among them is Jack Shonkoff, the director of Harvard’s Center on the Developing Child, who talks in the video about brain development in young children.
Specifically, according to a press release, the organization says it will:
– Promote new scientific research on children’s brain development and on the impact of early nutrition and health on childhood development.
– Launch a personal action campaign aimed at encouraging parents and caregivers to take simple steps to improve children’s learning and health.
– Launch a private sector action campaign to secure businesses’ commitments to improving conditions for families.
– Convene childhood development experts, parents, private sector leaders and other stakeholders in a national discussion to advance public understanding of the science of early childhood development.
Clinton announced this effort at the annual Clinton Global Initiative America. At the event, the J.B. and M.K. Pritzker Family Foundation also “announced social impact bonds and $20 million in investments in the first phase of its public-private partnerships projects known as the ‘Early Childhood Innovation Accelerator’ project,” according to In the Tank, a New America Foundation blog.
“Because the Clinton Foundation has a good reputation for leveraging the business community through such partnerships, that announcement, paired with Mrs. Clinton’s involvement, bodes well for ‘cutting edge, breakthrough’ improvements for children,” Kris Perry, the executive director of the First Five Years Fund, commented in the Christian Science Monitor.
The project is getting an early start with a Facebook page that features video clips and links to articles and reports. And on Twitter, Clinton and Too Small to Fail have gotten supportive Tweets from U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and first lady Michelle Obama.
The project is a joint initiative of the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation and Next Generation, a nonprofit organization that promotes solutions for climate change and for the threat of diminished prospects for children and families.
Clinton’s efforts come at an exciting time, just as many states are expanding early education programs and President Obama is calling for increased federal early childhood investments.