AFT - American Federation of Teachers

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Early Childhood Key Issues

English Language Learners

The AFT seeks to promote educational excellence and equity for English language learners (ELLs) to ensure they meet the same challenging standards required of all students. In addition to learning a new language, most ELLs also have to adjust to a new environment and culture, as well as learn new academic skills and content knowledge. The AFT's aim is to provide educators who teach ELLs with the instructional support and assistance they need to help meet those students' needs. Read more.

Quality Rating & Improvement Systems

Quality Rating and Improvement Systems have become a hot topic in early childhood education. QRIS are rating and assessment systems designed to assess early childhood programs, provide incentives to improve them, and communicate their level of quality. Read more.

Reading Instruction

Reading is the fundamental skill on which all formal education depends. Children who are poor readers at the end of first grade are unlikely to acquire the reading skills they need to successfully complete elementary school—unless they are identified early in their school career and given the intensive, systematic intervention they require. The AFT advocates that states and districts ensure that all K-3 teachers have the knowledge, resources and supports they need to implement high-quality early reading instruction for all students. Read more.

School Readiness

The positive impact of high-quality early childhood programs on children's success in school and beyond has been well documented. Numerous studies have shown that such programs increase the likelihood that children, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds, will become successful students and citizens. Among other resources, the AFT has compiled a list of practices found in high-quality programs. Read more.

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the Promise

Join us to reclaim the promise of early childhood care and education for all. more actions


AFT Voices

How do students' physical or mental health issues (e.g., dental, eating disorders, vision, asthma) affect their academic performance?