What Is the EarlyEdU Alliance®?

We all know that public education in this country has plenty of room for improvement. We also know that early childhood education has an enormous impact on children’s ability to achieve their full potential, especially for children from high-risk backgrounds or with developmental disabilities.

Teacher preparedness is key to improving early childhood education. But too few teachers and caregivers are able to afford and complete relevant bachelor’s degrees.

The EarlyEdU Alliance®, a higher education collaboration for Head Start and early childhood teaching, is working to change that. We are committed to making relevant, affordable bachelor’s degrees accessible to the early childhood workforce.

We are building collaborations with state and federal agencies and philanthropic organizations to increase access and affordability. To help teachers get the skills they need to succeed, we have developed a complete suite of competency-based higher ed courses and we are piloting them in colleges and universities across the country. Our partners in institutions of higher education are also using the Coaching Companion, our video sharing and coaching feedback app, to give students individualized support for improving their teaching practices.

Since 2015, 52 institutions of higher education have participated in piloting EarlyEdU Alliance® courses and technology. Our work with state agencies, community groups, and philanthropic foundations is building momentum for our work across the country. We invite you to join us in our initiative to improve access to affordable, relevant bachelor’s degrees to the early childhood workforce.

What Do We Offer?

We provide relevant, competency-based higher ed courses that prepare working and prospective early childhood teachers to succeed in the classroom. Our innovative model puts early childhood theory and evidence-based strategies into action.

Participating institutions of higher education have a choice of engaging, media-rich online and in-person courses. The courses are regularly updated with the latest research in early childhood education. Alliance faculty will contribute to making our courses more relevant and responsive to institutional and student needs.

The Coaching Companion is included in many courses. With this video sharing and coaching feedback app, students take the lessons they learn in the college classroom into their own early childhood classrooms.

A Collaboration with the Office of Head Start

National Center Logo

The EarlyEdU Alliance® began as part of the National Center on Quality Teaching and Learning (NCQTL), which was funded by a grant from the Office of Head Start (OHS). Led by the University of Washington’s College of Education, NCQTL brought together leading early childhood education experts from across the country to improve teaching practices in Head Start programs.

Working Together Across the Nation

The EarlyEdU Alliance® is led by nationally recognized leaders in early childhood education at the University of Washington. Course developers include experts from the University of Washington, the University of Virginia, Vanderbilt University, the University of Florida, the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, the University of Colorado Boulder, Iowa State University, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and SRI International. Meet our team here.

Our alliance includes 34 colleges and universities that have participated in our pilots since 2015, plus 16 state-based teams. We support a diverse, high-quality early learning professional community and seek additional partnerships with tribal colleges, historically black colleges and universities, and Hispanic-serving institutions.