The benefits of strong early childhood education are long-lasting and well-documented; the early childhood years present a distinct opportunity to make a profound impact on educational, social and economic outcomes both for individuals and society as a whole. Our work with Teaching Strategies reinforced our conviction in the importance of an integrated, technology-enabled approach to early childhood education – of digital ecosystems that engage parents, educators and administrators to support the earliest learners.

Enabling Quality Instruction

The pace of innovation and demand for technology and high-quality digital content in early childhood settings has accelerated meaningfully over the course of the last several years. A focus on school readiness continues to drive increased funding for and enrollment in public and private pre-K programs nationwide – and with it, a growing emphasis on ensuring quality, consistency and efficacy. As a result, we’re seeing a growing need for digital tools and content designed to support instruction and assessment for children wherever learning takes place – at home, in a traditional classroom, or other care settings. COVID has only increased the urgency of digital adoption and, in our view, expanded the opportunity.

While we believe technology has become a critical component of a strong early childhood program, we also believe it’s crucial to view digital tools and content as enablers of – not replacements for – high-quality instruction. When used purposefully, the right digital tools should enhance early childhood learning experiences, connect and support teachers and families, and drive personalized learning based on data-driven insights. A leading advocate for the early childhood community for over 30 years, Teaching Strategies recognized the digital opportunity, bringing its proprietary-research-based curriculum, assessment and engagement solutions online to create the first SaaS-based education platform purpose-built for early childhood education. The platform is designed to make high-quality content, curriculum and assessment tools more accessible to educators and, importantly – especially for the youngest learners – create a bridge to connect families, so classroom learning can be reinforced at home.

Taking an Integrated Approach

To drive better outcomes, we strongly believe educators, administrators and parents must be aligned in how learning is delivered and measured.  An integrated approach to early childhood education – one that combines content, assessment, analytics and family engagement solutions – is core to the Teaching Strategies mission to maximize whole child development.

technology in early childhood education - Teaching Strategies ecosystem

Teaching Strategies’ integrated digital ecosystem is designed to empower all caregivers within the life of a child: educators are equipped with tools to quickly recognize and respond to an individual learner’s needs, families have access to high-quality content to enrich learning at home, and administrators have the insights to measure the efficacy of programs and drive improvements. Importantly, an integrated approach delivers data-driven insights and technology-driven tools that help enable better and more consistent quality across a range of care and classroom settings, cultural environments, and teacher experience levels.

Today, Teaching Strategies connects teachers, children and families to inspired teaching and learning experiences, informative data, stronger family partnerships, and professional learning through its leading early learning platform. Its products, including the most widely used curriculum and assessment solutions The Creative Curriculum® and GOLD®, are found in over 270,000 classrooms and have served more than 15 million children across the globe.

Summit Partners has been investing in education technology and the broader education sector for more than 20 years, partnering with numerous companies across the learning continuum, spanning early childhood to higher ed to professional learning. We are motivated by the mission of these businesses and the work these teams are doing to improve education accessibility and learning efficacy.

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About the Authors

Len Ferrington and Scott Ferguson led Summit’s investment in Teaching Strategies and have served on the company’s board of directors since 2018. Both are members of Summit’s Global Technology Team, where they focus on investments in e-learning across the spectrum from pre-K to gray.