Soumya Bhat

October 16th, 2021 | by SRC

“As a first-generation immigrant who moved from southern India to the southern U.S. as a toddler, many of my early childhood experiences were defined by change and uncertainty as we adjusted to our new home. While I benefited from the stability and collective support of my family and the surrounding Indian-American community, I came to realize that not all children have access to a safe and healthy learning environment during this critical period of growth and development. In addition, many families simply don’t have the resources or time to advocate for equitable access to high-quality education. At SRC, I’m able to apply my policy, communication, and research skills to work with partners around the country to examine and strengthen early childhood systems in a strategic way.”

Soumya’s content expertise spans early childhood policy, finance, and systems. Her skills include research, analysis, technical assistance, and stakeholder engagement. She is known for her attention to detail, ability to detect gaps, and empathy, which allows her to connect with and understand the perspectives of a wide range of partners. At SRC, Soumya works on a range of projects with a focus on strategic advising, policy, and systems change to improve outcomes for young children and their families.

Soumya’s professional experiences have shaped her understanding of the complexities of designing equity-centered policies for young children and their families. As part of her work at The Policy Equity Group, she provided technical assistance to food and early childhood organizations working to scale farm-to-early care and education models statewide. While at the DC Fiscal Policy Institute, she advocated at the local level for an equitable and transparent city budget by conducting research and analysis on education and early childhood policies affecting DC’s low-income children and families. She also has experience providing technical assistance to state child care administrators, conducting fiscal mapping studies, and working with state and non-profit leaders to help sustain their early childhood systems during her time with The Finance Project. Soumya holds a M.P.Aff. degree from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin and a B.S. in Psychology from Birmingham-Southern College.