The Path Forward for Pre-K:
A roadmap for socioeconomically integrated early childhood programs 

Wednesday, October 30, 9am–12pm
(Networking lunch to follow)

Educational Alliance’s Manny Cantor Center
197 East Broadway, New York, NY

Educational Alliance’s Manny Cantor Center houses a pioneering early childhood program that serves 250 children and blends funding sources to create classrooms that reflect the socioeconomic diversity of New York City. The Century Foundation’s research in early education examines how classroom diversity helps to promote children’s learning and presents policy solutions for expanding access to high-quality early care and learning for middle- and low-income families.

Sixty-five years after Brown v. Board of Education, New York City’s public schools remain sharply divided by race and class. In fact, New York State has the most segregated schools in the country, according to a 2014 study by the Civil Rights Project at UCLA. Over the past few years, the city took some important steps to address this systemic problem in elementary, middle, and high schools. But what about the years before children start kindergarten? It’s time to chart a new path forward for our city’s youngest children through integrated Pre-K and early childhood programs for all.

At this half-day gathering, activists, policy-makers, practitioners, researchers and funders will come together to explore the opportunities and challenges of building socioeconomically integrated early childhood programs.

Through panel discussions featuring leading experts and advocates, and opportunities for robust discussion, we will:


  • Articulate the problems and consequences of both “separate and unequal” and “separate but equal” in early childhood education.
  • Share a vision for what an integrated system could look like and achieve – particularly how an economically integrated UPK program could positively impact integration in NYC’s K-12 public school system.
  • Make explicit the connections between economic and racial segregation in our schools, and delineate the tactics needed to address each.
  • Create a community of practice around economic integration of early childhood.
  • Connect early childhood practitioners and policymakers to share stories of their experiences, the successes to date, and the challenges ahead.
  • Advocate to policymakers and funders for economic integration of early childhood education.

Continue to check this page for more details about the program and our speakers.