By Pat Wheatley and Anthony Berkley

Communities, school districts, and policymakers are creating new ways to teach and nurture children from birth through third grade. National and state leaders are taking notice, and more importantly taking steps to replicate successful programs across the map.

The time is right, too. President Obama is asking states and communities with innovative ideas to help reshape American education. To propel these innovative ideas, two new federal funds for innovation will provide a total of $5 billion to inspire communities to shake up the education landscape.

While all levels of education need shaking up, it is important that we start with early learning to get our kids on the right track as soon as possible.