Jackie Counts helps drive the future of early childhood in Kansas
Futures Thinkers: CPPR director, innovator, and futures thinker Jackie Counts was recently featured in an Early Learning Nation article. Check out how she is helping drive the future of early childhood in Kansas and catch a glimpse of where she seeks inspiration.
Asking Big Questions in Kansas to Guide Decision-Making for Early-Learning Communities, Providers and Parents
By Mark Swartz
Jackie Counts, director of University of Kansas Center for Public Partnerships and Research (CPPR), likens the early childhood continuum to the power grid. When it’s operating at full capacity, it makes everything possible. When it’s down, nothing works, and we’re stuck in the dark.
CPPR is dedicated to advancing Kansans’ lives through public and private action. Since 2006, Counts has been involved with the Kansas Children’s Cabinet and Trust Fund, an agency housed within the Kansas State Department of Education. The Cabinet released a comprehensive strategic plan in January 2020—just in time for a pandemic that changed virtually everything. Everything, that is, except for the foundations of healthy development, strong families, and early learning.
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Early Learning Nation leads with science and makes that science actionable for all audiences. They connect with advocates, champions, early learning professionals, parents, scientists, and community leaders. They invite elected leaders to get involved and help equip them with the resources they need to build an Early Learning Nation. They highlight challenges and successes from communities across the nation and globally. They report on what works, wherever they find it.