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Markers that Matter: Success Indicators in Early Learning and Education

New Report from FSG

Markers that Matter:
Success Indicators in Early Learning and Education

In Markers that Matter: Success Indicators in Early Learning and Education, a new report developed by FSG with support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the authors deliver a set of 48 early childhood indicators that reflect healthy development of young children (ages 0-8). The report also identifies 10 emerging themes that are not addressed by existing indicators and merit further inquiry.

Indicators and Emerging Themes

Preview the indicators and emerging themes from the report in these slides.

Indicators and Emerging Themes

Child Indicators and Emerging Themes – Child-level indicators reflect the key domains of socio-emotional development, cognition and general knowledge, language development and literacy, approaches to learning, and health and physical well-being.

Family Indicators and Emerging Themes – Indicators of families reflect the key areas of maternal, parent, or guardian well -being, family socio-economic level; parenting practices; and family structure. (It should be noted these indicators reflect a common but also narrow concept of family, as they relate primarily to parents and guardians.)

Programs, Care Centers, Schools, and Family Care Indicators and Emerging Themes – Indicators of childcare programs; care centers; schools; and family, friends, and neighborhood care reflect the key areas of physical environment, workforce characteristics, and care provider or teacher-child interaction.

Community Indicators and Emerging Themes – Community indicators reflect the resources and institutions found locally, and the conditions that circumscribe those resources and institutions, available to children and their families. These resources include support agencies, and the social, cultural, economic, and physical environment.


The Value of Early Childhood Indicators: Guiding Actions
Webinar slides

FSG hosted a webinar where we shared some highlights of our work to research, synthesize and vet a set of early learning indicators.

Through our research, we understand early childhood outcomes as the product of an ecosystem within which young children grow and develop.  This system includes the actors (including parents and relatives, care and education providers, health professionals, social service agencies, among many others) and environments (including families, education and care settings, and communities) with which children interact every day.  A system approach to early learning must also address the experiences of children from a range of racial and cultural backgrounds. Positive outcomes for all young children depend on healthy development across a range of domains (such as cognitive, social emotional, and physical) and along a continuum that begins at (or even before) birth and extends to age 8.

Indicators have an important role to play in supporting healthy development for all children; they provide a common language and can facilitate collaboration among the wide range of actors working on behalf of young children.  Through our research, we sought to identify a set of indicators that can do just that.


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