With the mission of advancing school readiness in the Commonwealth, the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation (VECF) is driving the state’s vision for an entrepreneurial system of early childhood education. VECF serves as the key link between the public and private sectors to maximize resources, foster innovation, and create partnerships to catalyze solutions bolstering early childhood programs and initiatives. By adhering to these principles, VECF is putting the pieces in place for an integrated, statewide system to ensure smart, effective and productive investments in early childhood development.
Fostering Breakthrough Innovation
VECF is field-testing strategic and promising new approaches at the local level for improving access to high quality early learning for at-risk children. VECF awarded the second round of Mixed-Delivery Preschool Grants to a cohort of five grantees coordinating community-driven solutions to public and private delivery of school readiness services. Together, these grantees are reducing barriers and promoting “out of the box" strategies that address local strengths and challenges, and achieve greater collaboration among business, education and community leaders.
Promoting Evidence to Drive the Change
VECF and partners are reaching beyond data collection to conduct meaningful analyses on Virginia’s early childhood interventions to improve the impact. In collaboration with our Smart Beginnings partners, VECF’s Innovative Partnership Grant Program has launched “bright spots" of innovation in diverse regions of the state. These grants are highlighting which early childhood services and programs are most effective toward kindergarten readiness for the highest-need children and families.
Embedding Quality Across-the-Board
The continuum of VECF’s initiatives is undergirded by Virginia’s quality improvement system, Virginia Quality. Virginia’s pioneering use of the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS) makes Virginia a leader in the national landscape, with many states now following suit. VECF and partners led the launch of a revised and improved version of Virginia Quality, featuring a new public website and online application, making it more feasible for early learning programs to participate and for parents to make informed choices when identifying early learning services for their children.
By thinking forward to build an integrated, entrepreneurial system of high quality early childhood services and programs, VECF strives to narrow the readiness gap for Virginia’s youngest citizens and strengthen community and state capacity to shape tomorrow’s job-ready workforce.
/s/ Reginald N. Jones Chairman
/s/ Kathy Glazer President
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