Children making a heart shape with their hands

This year’s annual Symposium on Children from the Crane Center for Early Childhood Research and Policy will focus on early, broad and sustained investments in children that can help change the course of future outcomes. Join us on Friday, Oct. 28, for this timely, critical and thought-provoking event. All are welcome to this free, virtual event.

Quality early care and education are vital to supporting a child’s healthy development and give adults the chance to work and attain greater financial stability – a theme that was made very clear in recent years to the average American, even those without young children. 

Last year, President Biden’s proposed Build Back Better Act included a historic federal commitment to child care and preschool through making early care more affordable and broad investments to support working families. While the legislation did not pass, public attention and policy debates brought the issue to center stage. 

Key research studies evidenced the importance of investing in families and children. Major news outlets, some for the first time in recent memory, ran notable stories about the crises facing the sector, its workforce and every major industry whose workers suffered from the lack of reliable child care — especially among working women.

Providing quality early care and education to families requires significant investment, with responsibility divided across several layers of government. Private and philanthropic partnerships often play a much-needed role as well. 

When shortfalls or challenges arise, early care providers themselves often are forced to make up the difference. This market failure is why the out-of-pocket child care costs for families continue to rival the cost of college, while the early childhood workforce makes barely more than minimum wage. 

In response, communities around the United States are pursuing innovative funding solutions so that young children receive the investments they so need and deserve.

Dr. Kirabo Jackson headshot
Dr. Kirabo Jackson

This year’s Symposium on Children brings together researchers, teachers and policy and thought leaders to look at how we can better invest in children. Keynote speaker Dr. Kirabo Jackson, a labor economist at Northwestern University who studies education and social policy issues, will share his research on how education policies impact children’s lifelong outcomes through adulthood, including the impact of sustained investments from early childhood into the K-12 years. 

The event will also showcase additional research on investments; explore funding alternatives and learn from communities who have innovated in this realm; and inspire us toward greater resolve and courage when it comes to how much we spend on our youngest citizens.



This virtual event is free and open to all, but registration is required.

Suggested Stories