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Preschool Without Walls

Building parent, caregiver, and community capacity to educate young children.


Preschool Without Walls (PWW) provides a participatory, parent-child early learning program in accessible community locations including parks, libraries, community centers, and faith institutions. All sessions and printed materials are presented in English and Spanish. Parents form relationships with other parents centered on resources to support early learning, child development skills and activities to replicate at home, and a collective commitment to serve as their child's first and lifelong educator. The development of parent and caregiver capacity to facilitate healthy attachment and bonding with children is at the center of this program, which also includes an organizing role centered on long-term transformation of the community institutions where the program takes place into robust resources supporting child development and early learning.

Parents also develop their individual skills to educate young children, with focused support for early literacy and school readiness, early social skills development, and healthy physical activity and nutrition. Some parents grow in this role to take on positions as assistant teachers in the program. PWW has been demonstrated to support key parent and child "protective factors" contributing to health, safety, and overall well-being, and to lead to key gains in child motor, cognitive, and social-emotional development.

Our strategic plan for the current program year includes extending PWW to build networks of informal and license-exempt childcare providers, helping to build a movement toward quality and a commitment to child development in these settings that serve half or more of all low-income children.