School Readiness

Our Goal: Ensuring our children enter school ready to learn

The Children’s Advocacy Alliance is committed to ensuring that every child in Nevada has the opportunity to enter school ready to learn by creating a comprehensive early childhood system in Nevada.

To achieve this goal, the Children's Advocacy Alliance supports:
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    Access to high quality, affordable child care for all children.

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    Parent education and family support programs designed to improve the confidence and competency of all parents and support them in their role as their children’s first and most important teachers.

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    A highly qualified and appropriately compensated early childhood workforce.

Overall Grade


The Problem

Nevada is currently 48th in the nation for preschool enrollment; only 36.7% of 3- and 4-year olds are currently enrolled. Nevada ranks 41nst for state spending per capita for states that offer preschool programs, currently investing $65.79, compared to the national average of $955.22.


See the full report card

The Solution

We know that providing children with the right start will lead to less intervention and remediation in later grades – ultimately resulting to increased rates of graduation and success in adulthood. In Nevada, over 57% of children ages 0-5 live in families where all available parents are in the workforce. The average annual cost of child care in a licensed center in Nevada ranges from $8,987 for an infant to $7,340 for preschoolers (age 3-5). The average individual income is $38,334. Only 39 of the 448 licensed child care centers in Nevada are accredited programs. To ensure that children have access to high quality, affordable child care, the Children’s Advocacy Alliance will work toward:

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    The adoption of a state definition of “School Readiness” and a common kindergarten entry assessment.

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    Enhanced qualifications and training requirements for early childhood professionals.

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    Supporting and enhancing the development of the Silver Stars Quality Rating Improvement System (QRIS) and integration of participation with child care subsidy reimbursement to provide a quality accountability structure for the use of state dollars.

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    Promoting business involvement in early learning through tax incentive programs that reward businesses which offer child care stipends for employees, site based care, promotion and use of FSA programs, and others.

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    Implementation of a coordinated early childhood data system that is linked to the K-12 data system.

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    Increasing child care subsidy eligibility to ensure that more working families can afford care and increasing the state child care development fund contribution, including the use of current market rates to determine subsidy reimbursements.

Benefit-Cost Ratios of
Early Childhood Education Programs

High Scope Perry Preschool $76,426 to $253,154 5.15 to 17.1
Abecedarian Project $138,635 3.23
Chicago Child-Parent Centers $49,337 7.14
Brooking Meta-Analysis $15,742 2.36

Our genes, and ultimately our developing brain architecture, are influenced powerfully by positive early experiences – and negative ones, too.

- Pat Levitt, Ph.D., Zilkha Neurogenetic Institute, Univ. of Southern California

The success of modern economies depends in part on well-educated and adaptable workers who are capable of learning new skills so that they remain competitive in a continually changing global market.

- James Heckman, Ph.D., Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences Winner

Although education and the acquisition of skills is a lifelong process, starting early in life is crucial. Recent research…has documented the high returns that early childhood programs can pay in terms of subsequent educational attainment and in lower rates of social programs, such as teenage pregnancy and welfare dependency.

- Ben Bernanke, Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board

Support Nevada's Children

Become a friend of CAA by supporting our work on the issues you care most
about, like ensuring our kids are safe from abuse and neglect, that every
child enters school ready to learn, and that all of our kids are healthy. We
share your passion for change, and by joining our team, you'll see your
investments go further.

Change starts with you