Education & youth development

Education and youth development strategies focus on children’s academic and social-emotional growth. These strategies contribute to positive outcomes at every stage of an individual’s life, helping young people enter kindergarten ready to learn, reach key academic and social milestones in elementary and middle school, earn a high school diploma, and receive a post-secondary degree or credential.

Why are these outcomes important?

Kindergarten readiness: Children who enter kindergarten ready to learn are more likely to achieve positive academic outcomes through elementary and middle school, avoid risky behaviors in adolescence, graduate from high school, and continue on to post-secondary education.

Strong academic and social outcomes by adolescence: Children who read at (or above) grade level by 3rd grade and succeed in middle school math are more likely to graduate from high school, continue on to post-secondary education, and obtain high-quality employment. Developing healthy social-emotional skills and avoiding risky behaviors through middle school are also strong predictors of future success.

High school graduation: Individuals who graduate from high school are more likely to be employed, earn higher wages, experience better health outcomes, and less likely to be incarcerated than individuals without a high school diploma. A high school diploma (or its equivalent) is also generally a prerequisite for post-secondary education, workforce training programs, and high-quality employment.

Post-secondary education: Individuals with a post-secondary degree or credential tend to earn higher wages, experience better health outcomes, and are less likely to be incarcerated than individuals without post-secondary training.

Which outcome are you hoping to focus on?

Kindergarten readiness

Sample evidence-based strategies:

  • Early childhood quality rankings systems
  • Parent training and support
  • Preschool

Academic and social outcomes by adolescence

Sample evidence-based strategies:

  • Child wellness programs
  • Effective teaching
  • Evidence-based curricula

High school graduation

Sample evidence-based strategies:

  • Dropout prevention programs
  • Dual enrollment/early college programs
  • Effective teaching

Post-secondary enrollment and completion

Sample evidence-based strategies:

  • College access programs
  • Post-secondary student guidance and support
  • Post-secondary tuition support and incentives

See all Education & youth development strategies