Advancing Racial Equity through Neighborhood-Informed Early Childhood Policies: A Research and Policy Review


This report synthesizes existing research and presents the findings of a novel policy review that together point to neighborhood-informed approaches as a potentially valuable tool for advancing the goals of U.S. early childhood policies. Neighborhood-informed approaches are not a silver bullet, and alone they cannot address the overarching policy challenges in the field, including insufficient investment, high unmet need, and the fragmentation of a mixed delivery system. However, our research synthesis indicates that neighborhoodinformed approaches could play a role in improving policy efficiency, effectiveness and racial equity if more systematically integrated into federal early childhood policies. Particularly as the early care and learning field continues to expand and to rebuild and reform in the post-COVID-19 era with unprecedented investments from the American Rescue Plan, the findings of this report suggest that neighborhood-informed approaches warrant increased consideration from leaders and decision-makers in the field.