Mission and Vision


Weaving together collaboration, public policy, education, critical reflection, inquiry, creativity and innovation to enhance play opportunities for young children—all with the belief that play is central to child development, to building community, to enhance education, which can lead to authentic equality and a more civil society. We believe that in collaborations we can create play spaces and play opportunities that will impact children’s lives, strengthen families, transform education and help build thriving communities.



To empower early childhood educators to create play equity opportunities for young children so they can learn, thrive and be joyful.

The vision of the play equity institute is to create early childhood environments that not only support children’s academic knowledge but also embrace and celebrate children’s cultural identities, languages, history, traditions and cultural values. We want to inspire early childhood educators and families to empower children to engage in critical inquiry as they learn about other people who are different from them while building strong foundations to be global citizens.


The goals of play equity must be to create conditions that allow children to reach their full potential, erasing disparities in race, income, ability, geography, age, gender and sexual orientation. In an equitable space those who need more or different, get what they need in order to access authentic equality.


  • We lean into discomfort to engage in courageous conversations that promote play equity.
  • We interrupt practices that disrupt the inclusion of play in education and communities.
  • We engage in collaborations to change policy and education in order to enhance play opportunities for young children.
  • We affirm and validate that play is the most important element to promote growth and development of young children.
  • We practice lean-in assessment as we gather data and make it public.
    • What do we know?
    • What are our strengths?
    • What are our opportunities and possibilities?
    • What we need to change?
  • We work to create positive relationships and partnerships with children, families, educators, leaders and community agencies to increase play opportunities for young children.
  • Challenge early childhood educators to support, enhance and advocate for play equity
  • Push back into the current focus on academics and create a paradox that establishes true play as the vehicle for learning that supports children uniqueness, self efficacy and their right to make choices and decisions about their life.
  • Play equity is founded in scholarship that creates a paradigm shift from academics to a more respectful way that support children’s development and learning.