The Future Project is all about imagining a new early learning future in Florida
We are building a coalition grounded in parent and educator voices. Together, we will create an actionable roadmap for the future of early learning policy and funding in our state.
Hearing the dreams and struggles of Florida parents and educators is our starting point to reimagine the future for our youngest learners. Following our listening tour, parents, educators, center owners and directors, advocates, and state policy experts will work collaboratively to plan the future.
This work is made possible by the Helios Education Foundation. You can read more in a Helios guest blog.
Parents, we want to hear from you.
Parents know what's best for their children. We want you to have the tools, services, and resources you need for your children's early learning experience (ages 0-5).
Educators, you shape the future.
Early learning educators are brain-builders, not babysitters. Even if you may be underpaid and underappreciated, we know you have chosen the most important work in the world. We need you, and your perspective can help improve the system for all of us.
Phase 1: Let's Talk About Early Learning
April to October 2022
Through a listening tour, hundreds of Floridians will share critical perspectives and become the core of this effort. We've begun a series of "Let's Talk!" sessions, asking simple questions about the experiences parents, educators, family child care home operators and center owners/directors have had with early learning.
Check out our image gallery below. We'll release key takeaways from this listening tour in October.
So far we've engaged:
- 203 parents
- 153 educators... across
- 22 Florida counties
Phase 2: Drafting the Roadmap
October 2022 to February 2023
As we move forward to draft the roadmap, parents and educators, who have often been missing from policy conversations, will come together with state leaders and others with system-level expertise.
It is important for the success of this project to have a diverse group of people leading the work: from different economic circumstances and family backgrounds, bringing different parenting styles and educational preferences, understanding the intricacies of the early learning system, and representing communities all across our state.
The Steering Committee will be this group of leaders. No matter what perspective or expertise each member brings, they will come together as equal partners, each committed to the work over the next 10 months.
Phase 3: Community Feedback
March to May 2023
Once we have a draft of the roadmap, we'll make another tour around the state: this time, engaging larger groups of Floridians in community meetings. We look forward to strong engagement, with feedback and comments that make the plan stronger.
We'll make final edits based on this feedback before launching the final roadmap and moving to make it happen!
Steering Committee retreat in Orlando - Dec. 9, 2022
Our "Let's Talk!" listening sessions have taken us all across the state and into the virtual sphere. We had so many partners and friends help us invite participants for these intimate discussions--usually over dinner. Here's a look at where we've been. (Our virtual sessions are not pictured but included parents in the Keys, and home visitors and Spanish-speaking parents across the state.)