The Onondaga Citizens League (OCL) released its new study report, “Early Childhood and School Readiness: Creating a Community Where All Children Thrive by Five” at a conference on April 14 at WCNY.

The report, co-chaired by OCL board members Laurie Black of Syracuse 20/20 and Paul Predmore of the Bousquet Holstein law firm, focuses on the importance of early childhood experiences to kindergarten readiness and calls for a community-wide coalition made up of key stakeholders to address early childhood issues from birth to age five in a more strategic, data-driven fashion.

“Our community is already well-equipped and committed to addressing early childhood issues, and as a result of this study process, real progress is already being made in establishing a community coalition that we hope will ensure better coordination and better outcomes for all of our children,” says Predmore.

Over the past year, the study committee convened study sessions with OCL members, representatives of local organizations with an interest in early childhood issues and experts in childhood development and early learning. Study committee members reviewed numerous reports, studies and articles and conducted interviews with other stakeholders and parents involved in local social service and educational programs.

In the final report, they reviewed the early childhood programs and initiatives in Onondaga County and best practices from other communities, in order to make recommendations that will aid in achieving the goal of having all children entering school kindergarten ready. 

The Onondaga Citizens League fosters informed public discourse by identifying and studying critical community issues affecting Central New York, developing recommendations for action, and communicating study findings to interested and affected groups. For more information, or to view the full study, visit