Launch of the Early Learning Initiative Report…, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from Department of Children and Youth Affairs’ photostream


PITTSBURGH, PA (July 8, 2015) – The National League of Cities (NLC) has selected Pittsburgh to be part of a new national initiative, City Leadership for Building an Early Learning Nation, to improve outcomes during the first five years of life for children in communities across the nation. As part of this initiative, NLC has selected a total of seven cities to participate in an early learning network.

Pittsburgh was selected for this network because of its strong commitment to ensuring young children’s healthy development. NLC will use examples from Pittsburgh to create best practices for early childhood development that communities across the nation can draw from. These practices will be published in an upcoming playbook.

“A strong early learning system contributes to an educated populace and a strong local workforce, both of which influence growth, economic development and the overall vibrancy of a city,” said NLC President Ralph Becker, Mayor, Salt Lake City, Utah. “This initiative gives local leaders the opportunity to make meaningful connections with early education providers and community partners to ensure children are prepared to succeed not just in the early grades but in high school, college and beyond.

“Pittsburgh is a city that is small enough to take the gifts we give to a small group of children and grow them into opportunities that the entire nation can learn from and be proud of,” said William Peduto, Mayor, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. “It’s an honor to be working with the National League of Cities to develop early education programs in Pittsburgh and across the nation to give our youngest residents the ladders of opportunity to grow and succeed.”

City Leadership for Building an Early Learning Nation is intended to catalyze a shift in the way local communities approach early childhood care and education and bring together communities and organizations with shared goals and priorities. This initiative is made possible through generous support from the Bezos Family Foundation.

“We are thrilled to partner with the National League of Cities to lift up the best examples of what our nation’s communities are doing for their youngest citizens,” said Jackie Bezos, President and Co-founder of the Bezos Family Foundation. “This work builds on robust research that demonstrates the potential young children have during the first five years of life. Through this effort, we will take the science out of the lab and into the community, where organizations, systems and local leaders can make a collective investment in children and their families.”

About the NLC

The National League of Cities (NLC) is dedicated to helping city leaders build better communities. NLC is a resource and advocate for 19,000 cities, towns and villages, representing more than 218 million Americans.