Largest education and care providers in the US commit to building equity and inclusion
A group of the largest childcare providers in the United States, known as the Early Care and Education Consortium (ECEC), issued a statement earlier this month, confirming their commitment to formally incorporate diversity, equity and inclusion into their programs.
ECEC is a non-profit alliance of the leading multi-state/multi-site childcare providers, key state childcare associations, and premier educational service providers of America, representing over 6,000 programs in 48 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and select international locations.
ECEC’s members serve as the unified collective voice for providers of high-quality programs and services that support families and children from diverse cultural and socio-economic backgrounds, and advocates for strong federal and state policies that bring quality to scale.
Members are as follows:
- KinderCare Education
- Primrose Schools
- Learning Care Group, Inc.
- New Horizon Academy
- Childcare Network
- The Gardner School
- The Learning Experience
- Cadence Education
- Bright Horizons
- Kaplan Early Learning Company
- Acelero Learning Company
- Stepping Stone School
- Crème de la Crème
- The Goddard School
- Spring Education Group
- O2B Kids
- Shine Early Learning
The decision to make this commitment, the Group said, came as a result of the “historic and unprecedented” events of 2020, including the devastating COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing economic fallout, and the crisis faced by the United States as a country and community as it deals with issues of racial injustice, discrimination and human rights.
As a result of the deaths of people of colour, including George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor, ECEC felt compelled to respond to what they termed “an eruption of outrage, protests and violence across the country”.
It is against this backdrop, and in what the Group termed “a stressful and precarious environment” that many Americans are expressing “an outpouring of longstanding pain and suffering.”
“We truly believe that the childcare sector can be a critical piece of affecting much-needed change in this country,” a spokesperson for the consortium said.
“We must ensure that the voice of every child, family and employee is heard and valued. Children are a reflection of who we are, and we take our role as caregivers and nurturers of the nation’s future very seriously.”
The Group committed to “strive to create a new normal — a world of inclusion and belonging. Learning about acceptance, respect and fairness are important building blocks of our programs today. But we can no longer wait while we build our future. The time has come to take action now.”
As such, the Group said they would use their available resources “to help us better support all our children, families and employees by formally incorporating diversity, equity and inclusion into our programs. While we all lead different organizations, we are united by many shared beliefs — including the conviction that our greater community deserves to be treated equitably.”
“Together we will take on the challenge to create a truly inclusive environment for our children, families and communities — and take a stand for equity for all.”
To learn more about the consortium, please see here.