Day 13: Behind the Starting Line - Racialized Outcomes in Early Childhood
“We must acknowledge the broader diversity in and of the African American experience and celebrate that all Black children are born geniuses. Black students continue to pursue educational excellence despite the many unnecessary obstacles they face due to constructions and perceptions of race, class, gender, and sexual orientations in America.”David J. Johns

From infancy through high school, children's educational outcomes are dependent on the quality of their early learning experience. Quality early childhood education, in particular, has been shown to have a significant positive effect on future success, because brain circuits are developing actively then. In fact, 85% of the brain's development happens before a child enters kindergarten. Inequities in education start early with lifelong impacts on children and communities. This gap in opportunity is not due to individual actions, but rather on present social and economic conditions.

High quality childcare is costly – an average married couple in Michigan spends 22% of their annual income on childcare. Reflect back on Day 12 and consider how the high cost of care acts as a barrier to a family living in poverty’s access to high quality programs for their children. Researchers have found that “the persistence of the educational achievement gap imposes on the United States the economic equivalent of a permanent national recession” (McKinsey & Company 2009, 6).
Read this U.S. News article on how ‘Education Inequality Starts Early’ for children in households with low incomes.

Read this report about the Community Condition of Child & Dependent Care from the Livability Lab for Muskegon.

Read this report about the Community Condition of Access to Learning Environments from the Livability Lab for Muskegon.

Do you have a local report for your community that focuses on early education inequity? Send it to us at we would love to share it with those taking the challenge.
Watch this 2-minute CBS News report on how systemic racism persists in early childhood education, where Black preschool students are disproportionately facing harsh punishments, like suspension. Reflect on your (or your child) earliest education experience and what you observed (or believed) was happening to Black Classmates.

Watch Recognizing Bias and Promoting Equity in Early Childhood Settings, National Association for the Education of Young Children. Explore and compare your biases prior to watching this, and how any potential differences will shape your personal or professional purpose
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Community Town Hall Discussions
United Way of the Lakeshore is partnering with the Lakeshore Ethnic Diversity Alliance to hold a town hall discussion to reflect with other participants taking the challenge. These town hall meeting will happen on Wednesdays at 12:00 PM via Zoom throughout the challenge. We'd like to thank Gloria Lara for being our facilitator for these discussions.

This week's town hall will be held on September 23rd at 12:00 PM. RSVP below to be sent the Zoom Link!
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