IL Practice Movement Building Public Policy Research
Field-building Collaborative
Trust for Learning
Chrisanne Gayl, Senior Director of Policy and Programs, Trust for Learning, [email protected]

The Ideal Learning Roundtable (ILR) is a group of developmental early childhood education experts who work collectively toward equitable expansion of ideal learning for underserved young children, families, and communities.  

Context and Need

Since its founding in 2015, leaders in high-quality early education have come together as part of the ILR to build relationships, share ideas, and expand access to quality early learning opportunities for all children. Members include representatives from Montessori, Reggio Emilia, Friends Center for Children, Tools of the Mind, Bank Street, Waldorf, HighScope, EL Education, Avance, All Our Kin, Educare, Children’s Equity Project, and the Buffett Early Childhood Institute. The group meets regularly to engage in collaborative initiatives, joint advocacy, and public partnerships. The group also aims to enrich the field of early education, learn from each other’s perspectives, support efforts to incorporate more tangible equity and antiracist practice, inform research, and support storytelling and media efforts.

Goals and Impact

Over time, the ILR has strengthened the ideal learning movement through its thought leadership and network influence. The group developed the Principles of Ideal  Learning, which outline core concepts that form the foundation of quality early childhood education, and played a significant role in the creation of the New Haven Children’s Ideal Learning District (NH ChILD). More recently, the ILR produced a new report examining Pathways for Early Educator Development. The group also engages collectively in national policy conversations and advocacy opportunities to improve early education for children, families, and communities.

“I have been inspired/challenged to really think about how we can work together to advocate and increase access to ILR opportunities for children from under-served communities in the public space; this is my heart’s desire. I value so much the opportunity to speak in a collective voice, it is not about promoting one approach; it is about promoting and defending the right every child has to early childhood education and a childhood that respects and values their unique capabilities and potential. So grateful for this opportunity to serve. learn, grow, advocate and help effect change for children, teachers and families!” – ILR Participant

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