Harnessing the Momentum of Community-led Early Childhood Initiatives to Accelerate Impact

Wednesday, January 9, 2019
Friday, January 11, 2019
Ounce of Prevention Fund, Early Opportunities LLC and Center for the Study of Social Policy

The proposed Wingspread convening will launch collective conversations and secure a commitment to action among local and national stakeholders to strengthen the capacity of local communities (e.g., cities, counties, school districts) to harness the momentum of community-led early childhood initiatives and bring greater coherence and unity to a highly-fragmented early childhood field. 
Specifically, the meeting will yield a plan to: accelerate the pace with which local and national organizations share and synthesize learning and knowledge about what’s working in building early childhood systems locally; connect community leaders to one another and to the expertise and resources they need; enhance the effectiveness of the work of national organizations supporting communities; and unify efforts to achieve greater collective impact. Ultimately we aim to increase the number of young children and families who are served by quality early childhood systems in their community, and to improve health and educational outcomes at scale. 

The vision of a local early childhood system is critical to this goal.  Improving early childhood outcomes – i.e., assuring healthy births, having young children arrive at school ready to learn, with schools ready to teach – requires cross-sector systems that link quality early care and education, maternal and child health, family support services and other resources, as well as place parents’ concerns, parent leadership and a commitment to equity for all children as central components of their local aspirations.