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Our Work

Building a skilled workforce by helping kids succeed

Supporting policies and programs that help children and youth succeed in education, work, and life.

ReadyNation is a national business leader network of approximately 3,000 members who engage at the state and federal levels to improve workforce development and the economy by promoting effective public investments in children and youth:

Early Childhood

  • ReadyNation has helped bring quality early care and education to millions of children across the U.S. experiencing poverty or living in underserved neighborhoods. In 2019 alone, our members participated in campaigns that won more than $3 billion dollars in new state funding for quality, research-based investments in children (e.g., high-quality preschool, home visiting, and child care). In FY2020, ReadyNation contributed to federal victories including a $550 million increase for the Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG), a $55 million increase for HeadStart, and a $25M increase for Preschool Development Grants Birth Through Five Program.
  • Our 2019 seminal national report examined the economic impact of the national child care crisis on working parents and employers in the U.S. and found an annual economic cost of $57 billion due to lost earnings, productivity, and revenue. The report received attention in major outlets like TIME and at a special White House Summit where four ReadyNation members were invited to speak. Since the release of the national report, ReadyNation has produced several state-based versions to illustrate the local impact of the national crisis. The amplification of our initial publication and its subsequent iterations to date has resulted in more than 375 earned media clips. We have continued to expand our national campaign to strengthen the child care sector by releasing new reports on the importance of home-based childcare and the scarcity of early childhood programs in rural communities.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic has caused substantial hardship for child care providers across the country, and many may close their doors permanently as a result of the crisis. Without access to quality care for their children, parents will struggle to return to the workplace, adversely impacting businesses and the economic recovery from the pandemic. ReadyNation members have contributed to a growing national discourse on this dilemma and helped encourage Members of Congress to include child care providers as allowable recipients under the Paycheck Protection Program.

K-16 Education

  • ReadyNation is committed to ensuring our children and young people have access to quality education opportunities. Our K-16 Agenda includes the following:

    1. Provide all students with access to affordable high-speed internet and digital devices.
    2. Fund all schools to meet the learning needs of the students they serve.
    3. Ensure all students have the opportunity to complete a credential or degree of value.
    4. Provide for out-of-school time, mental health care, positive behavior, and other supports for student wellbeing.
  • ReadyNation worked to help expand deeper learning opportunities (e.g.,the opportunity for students to learn to work in teams, improve communication skills, develop an academic mindset, and set a course to pursue their goals) in states throughout the country, including: California, Colorado, Illinois, Maine, Michigan, Montana, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Washington, and Wyoming.

  • ReadyNation works to increase access to and successful completion of postsecondary education programs. Since 2016, ReadyNation has released reports highlighting community colleges, career and technical education, attainment of credentials, and/or apprenticeships in Alabama, California, Illinois, Maine, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas. Some of these materials highlight necessary changes in the Federal Higher Education Act such as enhancing transparency, improving financial counseling, and simplifying the process to apply for student aid.

  • ReadyNation members contributed to successful efforts in 2018 to reauthorize the Perkins Career and Technical Education (CTE) program, a major source of federal funding for programs that prepare young people with the skills and knowledge required for 21st Century jobs. ReadyNation voices also helped to successfully advocate for more than $737M since 2015 in state-level funding for postsecondary education, CTE, community colleges, and career pathways programs.

International

  • Since 2014, ReadyNation has expanded its reach to include work outside the U.S. under the name ReadyNation International (RNI). RNI primary activities include providing technical assistance and support to help countries create their own networks of business champions for children as well as organizing international business conferences on early childhood investments. Current ReadyNation partners and/or affiliates include active networks in Uganda, Australia, and Romania. ReadyNation has also led separate country engagements to educate and inform business audiences in Mexico and Brazil. Successful international conferences include the ReadyNation Global Business Summit on Early Childhood and the first European Business Forum on Early Childhood. In addition to approximately 3,000 executives in the U.S., ReadyNation counts on 200 business leader members internationally. Learn more about ReadyNation International activities and our growing global footprint here.