Early Childhood Programs

High-quality early childhood education is essential. Early educational experiences can have well-documented long-term positive impacts on young children’s cognitive and social emotional development. Early childhood programs not only provide formative experiences for our nation’s youngest children; but they also provide safe and high-quality care for children while parents and caregivers work.

Everyone has been deeply impacted by the pandemic– especially families with young children. Still, child development has not paused in the wake of COVID-19. Throughout the pandemic, early childhood providers have continued to provide high-quality education and care in extraordinary times, under extreme duress. Programs and providers in the fields of early childhood education, early intervention, and early childhood special education have responded quickly to continue to support families and young children in blended, in-person and online learning environments.

The resources on this page share information for supporting the nation’s youngest children and their families; maintaining safe and healthy environments; and ensuring teacher, faculty, and staff well-being, professional development and supports that are specific to early childhood education providers. Early childhood providers may use these best practices and lessons learned to inform their strategies for responding to young children’s and their families’ needs as children and their families transition back to in-person services or programs.

Early childhood provider with children wearing masks

Submit Your Lessons Learned and Best Practices

Have a lessons learned or best practice focused on helping to ensure equity as schools and campuses work to continually reopen during the COVID-19 pandemic? Visit the Best Practices Submission page to view details on submission requirements, and then e-mail Bestpracticesclearinghouse@ed.gov to share your lessons learned or best practice.

Provide Feedback

Have feedback to share on a resource accessed on the Clearinghouse site? We want to hear from you. Select the button below to share your feedback with the U.S. Department of Education and the Clearinghouse team.

Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center (ECTA) logo

The Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center, Preschool During the Pandemic

The Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center, a national technical assistance center, developed a video series, Preschool During the Pandemic: Early Childhood Education in Extraordinary Times, which illustrates how the fields of early education and early childhood special education are successfully supporting preschoolers and their families during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Submit Your Lessons Learned and Best Practices

Have a lessons learned or best practice focused on helping to ensure equity as schools and campuses work to continually reopen during the COVID-19 pandemic? Visit the Best Practices Submission page to view details on submission requirements, and then e-mail Bestpracticesclearinghouse@ed.gov to share your lessons learned or best practice.

Provide Feedback

Have feedback to share on a resource accessed on the Clearinghouse site? We want to hear from you. Select the button below to share your feedback with the U.S. Department of Education and the Clearinghouse team.