RD374 - Virginia Early Childhood Foundation 2020 Annual Report and Financial Statements June 30, 2020 and 2019

Executive Summary:

Virginia Early Childhood Foundation (VECF) is marking its 15th year of service as the Commonwealth’s public-private partner in building a strategic and sustained focus on school readiness in Virginia. Our solid track record is built on what we’ve always known to be true: the value of public-private partnerships, region and family-driven solutions, and ultimately, the need for a statewide business plan for building an equitable, efficient, accountable, high quality early childhood system in Virginia. The nimbleness, flexibility and rapid-response nature of public-private partnerships has never been more essential than during 2020. VECF has been particularly honored to partner with state agencies in relief, response, and recovery efforts.

The 2020 General Assembly session generated an historic moment for early childhood in Virginia with tremendous progress in policy and legislation and unprecedented support for investment in early childhood programs. The advances help reach more at-risk children, improve quality, and better support the workforce that delivers school readiness. This resounding recognition of the importance of early childhood is the culmination of years of hard work, leadership, and perseverance by diverse partners across the state. Early educators, parents, school divisions, Smart Beginnings, social service leaders, business executives and many other community partners led the efforts, shoulder to shoulder with the administration and legislative leaders to deliver this win for Virginia’s children.

Ironically, on the heels of this optimistic progress, COVID-19 and its devastating effects on Virginia’s children, families, and communities laid bare the deficiencies of our current system and threatened our progress. And concurrently, recent tragedies and outcry have provided a stark reminder that the legacy of racial injustice – long woven into our systems – continues to bestow privilege on some while severely limiting opportunities for others.