Whole Child Policy Toolkit

Whole Child Policy Toolkit wheel
Jennifer DePaoli, Sara Plasencia, Stephen Kostyo, and Tara Kini
May 2022 | Learning Policy Institute
Whole Child Policy Toolkit wheel

This toolkit from the Learning Policy Institute is designed to give state policymakers and education leaders a set of strategies, tools, and resources to advance whole child policy and systems change. A whole child education prioritizes the full scope of a child’s developmental needs—social, emotional, cognitive, physical, and psychological, as well as academic—to ensure that all children are able to reach their full potential. A whole child approach is built on the understanding that students’ education and life outcomes depend on their access to positive relationships inside and outside of school, a safe learning environment, and deeper learning opportunities. The whole child approach builds on decades of research from the science of learning and development that defines the environments and experiences that children need to thrive. It also draws on the policy agenda set by the National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development, which brought together leaders from education, policy, research, business, and the military to make recommendations on how to ensure that students’ social, emotional, and cognitive development is centered in schools.