Who We Are

The ultimate goal of the National P-3 Center is to improve the education continuum that children experience from birth (Pre-school) through 3rd grade. 

We recognize that race, class, culture, and zip code demand explicit strategies to mitigate their effects on children’s learning opportunities. We understand and value both the early care and education (ECE) and PreK-12 systems and engage in strategic work with a focus on organization and system change at district, community, and state levels. To this end, we work at the intersection of ECE systems building and K-12 reforms.

Our Keys to Success

The National P-3 Center identifies the following as keys to its long-term success:

  • Focusing on equity as a driving force behind what we do, with the recognition that disadvantage and disparities exist within and across the ECE and PreK-12 systems.
  • Establishing and maintaining strong, personalized, and professional relationships with stakeholders in communities, school districts, and states that are building P-3 approaches.
  • Responding to gaps and needs in the field – at local, regional, state, and national levels – with practical, evidence-based strategies that are connected to emerging innovations in the field.
  • Engaging in cutting edge efforts related to research, policy, and practice of P-3 approaches.
  • Honoring the history, mission, and values of both the ECE and PreK-12 systems to successfully navigate between the two.
  • Maintaining the highest level of quality and integrity in all aspects of our engagement with practitioners and policymakers.
  • Engaging in ongoing research and evaluation of both our own work as a Center and of promising P-3 approaches around the country.
  • Leveraging our position in higher education to collaborate with experts in the field and employ rigorous methodologies.

Our Vision

To improve the education continuum children experience from birth through 3rd grade, regardless of race, class, culture, and zip code.

Our Mission

To bridge divides between early care and education (ECE) and PreK-12 organizations and systems.

MeetOur Team

Staff

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Kristie Kauerz, Ed.D.

Director

Kristie Kauerz is an associate clinical professor at University of Colorado Denver’s School of Education and Human Development. Kristie specializes in education reform efforts that address the continuum of learning from birth through 3rd grade, integrating early care and education (ECE) system building and PreK-12 reforms.

Kristie’s expertise spans policy, research, and practice. Her P-3 work is anchored in collaborations with school districts, state agencies, and early learning stakeholders. Her research interests straddle the paradigmatic, pedagogical, and policy divides that exist between ECE and PreK-12 systems. She has served as policy advisor to two former Colorado governors, director of early learning at Education Commission of the States, and director of PreK-3rd grade initiatives at Harvard Graduate School of Education. Prior to joining the faculty at CU Denver, she was at the University of Washington’s College of Education.

Kristie focuses on both the organizational reforms and the cognitive sensemaking necessary to build alignment and coherence that supports children’s development and learning. She designed and directed the Washington P-3 Executive Leadership Certificate Program, a credit-bearing course of study that co-enrolled administrators from early learning and PreK-12. She also has led the National P-3 Institute since 2008.

Kristie’s authorship includes numerous articles, book chapters, and reports on topics ranging from P-3 alignment to full-day Kindergarten to early childhood governance. Kristie is lead author on the Framework for Planning, Implementing, and Evaluating P-3 Grade Approaches, a tool used around the country to guide school, district, and community alignment efforts. She co-authored a book on improving the early care and education workforce and is co-editor of the book Early Childhood Systems: Transforming Early Learning.

Kristie is a proud graduate of Colorado College, American University, and Teachers College at Columbia University.

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Margaret Soli

Associate Director

Margaret (Meg) Soli is the associate director of the National P-3 Center at University of Colorado Denver’s School of Education and Human Development. Meg is committed to thoughtful research, policy, and practice to improve the lives of young children and their families. She is passionate about improving the complex systems that children and families experience from birth through 3rd grade.

Meg has the toolkit of an evaluator and is skilled at developing logic models and theories of change, thinking innovatively about measurement, using qualitative and quantitative methods, and applying a continuous quality improvement lens to her work. Her interests include defining and measuring high quality early care and education, strengthening the early childhood and PreK-3rd grade workforce, engaging families, and understanding the role of media and technology in children’s development.

Prior to joining the National P-3 Center, Meg worked as a research scientist in the Early Childhood Department at Child Trends. Throughout 10 years with Child Trends, she managed and supported multiple research and evaluation projects for government agencies, foundations, and non-profit groups at the national, state, and local levels.

Meg has a Master’s degree in Public Policy from the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs, and a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Macalester College.

Advisory Board

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JOBOpenings

We currently have an open position for a Research-to-Practice Associate.

OurFunders

At the core of comprehensive P-3 approaches are collaboration and alignment; P-3 work cannot be done alone. In this spirit, we are grateful to the funders that support our work.
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