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.
Read what we heard on our listening tour.
From April to November 2022, we traveled the state meeting with small groups of parents and educators to talk about their dreams, challenges, and experiences with early learning. You can read more about the themes and stories that came up in our conversations.
Help us get community feedback and buy-in
Our Steering Committee has been hard at work drafting a roadmap for early childhood policy and funding, based on what we heard during our listening tour. In April 2023, we'll be ready to take our draft on the road again and gather larger community groups to share their feedback and join the Movement.
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:
- 234 parents
- 159 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.)