Archived News

2011 Articles

President Obama Delivers For America's Youngest
May 27, 2011 – The Huffington Post
In an editorial in the Huffington Post, Mark Shriver, Save the Children, praises the Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge, a new $500 million grant program for early childhood education.

Professional Development for the Infant Toddler Workforce

May 24, 2011 – Zero to Three
A recent policy brief from Zero To Three, entitled Toward a Bright Future for Our Youngest Children: Building a Strong Infant-Toddler Workforce, focuses on strengthening systems that support professional development for the multidisciplinary infant-toddler workforce. 

Deficit Reduction: Not at the Cost of Our Children

May 19, 2011 – The Huffington Post
An article in the Huffington Post explains why budget cuts for early childhood programs are not in the best interest for our nation.

Closing the vocabulary gap in Chicago preschools
May 16, 2011 – Public Broadcasting Service
PBS's NewsHour examines the lack of child care options available to low-income families in Chicago.

VSQI Helps Parents Do Their Homework
May 12, 2011 -- Fredericksburg Parent & Family
Fredericksburg Parent & Family Magazine explains how the Virginia Star Quality Initiative can help parents find high quality child care for their children.

Law Enforcement Leaders Nationwide Oppose Early Childhood Education Cuts
May 10, 2011 – PR Newswire
More than 600 police chiefs, sheriffs, prosecutors and other law enforcement leaders in all 50 states delivered a letter to Congress, urging them to reject proposed cuts to early care and education programs.

Trauma Faced by Children of Military Families: What Every Policymaker Should Know
May 4, 2011 – National Center for Children in Poverty
A growing area of research shows the negative impact on children, youth and families of U.S. military personnel.

Let's not forget our military kids
May 2, 2011 –
To wrap up the Month of the Military Child, Beth Rabatin, Executive Director of Smart Beginnings Rappahannock Area, wrote an Op-Ed.

Preschool program beats the odds
April 27, 2011 – CBS News
CBS News reports on an early learning program in New Jersey that is thriving, during a time when many states are cutting funding for Pre-K.

Pre-K funding cuts spell trouble for kids, communities
April 27, 2011 – NBC News
NBC Nightly News investigates the recent budget cuts in early childhood education.

Pew: NIEER Yearbook Findings Underscore Critical Need for Early Learning in ESEA
April 27, 2011 – Pre-K Now
Pre-K Now issued a statement in response to NIEER's 2010 State Preschool Yearbook, which found that state pre-k spending declined over the past year.

Law enforcement: 'Early childhood education helps prevent crime'

April 25, 2011 --
Law enforcement and government officials recently gathered at a Michigan elementary school to show their support of early childhood education programs as a crime prevention strategy.

When Third Graders Can't Read
April 21, 2011 – New America Foundation
A blog post from the New America Foundation calls for an education reform that includes a comprehensive system that begins before kindergarten.

Just good business sense
April 18, 2011 – The Roanoke Times
An editor from the Roanoke Times explains why investing in early education is essential to our future economy and national security after attending the Virginia Job One/ Smart Beginnings Greater Roanoke event that was held last week.

Duke University Research Shows that Investments Pay Off
April 14, 2011 – Smart Start
Duke University announced the findings of a study on the effects of More at Four and Smart Start, North Carolina’s long standing early childhood systems effort. Researchers found that North Carolina third-graders performed better on standardized tests in reading and math and had a reduced need for special education in counties that had received more funding for these early childhood initiatives.

Investing in Kids blog
April 13, 2011 –
Timothy J. Bartik, the author of Investing in Kids: Early Childhood Programs and Local Economic Development, has a new blog. The blog features commentary on early childhood policy issues and analysis of recently released studies.

Job One luncheon discusses link between early education and national security
April 7, 2011 – The Roanoke Times
Smart Beginnings Greater Roanoke and Virginia Job One hosted a breakfast for local business leaders.

Advocates Promote Early Childhood Education
April 7, 2011 – WSET ABC 13
This week, Smart Beginnings Central Virginia hosted an event to raise awareness of the importance of early childhood education. Community business leaders gathered to hear how early education will effect our nation's future workforce and national security.

MOAA Spouse's Favorite Things

April 5, 2011 --  Military Officers Association of America
April is the Month of the Military Child! Learn more about 10 nonprofits that are making a difference in the lives of military children of all ages.

DoD to offer child care improvements for geographically dispersed Soldiers, families

March 31, 2011 --NACCRRA
A recent NACCRRA report showed that 98% of child care facilities within the Department of Defense are accredited, compared to only 10% nationwide. The DoD continues to demonstrate the importance of quality by creating an initiative to enhance the quality of child care available to children of military families in 13 states, including Virginia.

Month of the Military Child

March 29, 2011 – Office of Governor McDonnell
The governor has just announced that April will be recognized as the Month of the Military Child. This month will demonstrate the state's commitment to the armed forces and their children.

Defense Department Shines in Child Care Report as States Falter
March 24, 2011 – Fox News
A new study from the National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies reviewed child care regulation and oversight in 50 states, DC and the Department of Defense.

Kindergarten Early Registration Under Way
March 17, 2011 – WSET ABC 13
Smart Beginnings Danville-Pittsylvania County was featured on the local ABC news affiliate for their work with school readiness. The initiative is informing parents that school readiness starts much earlier than the fall.

Business titan urges Congress to boost early education funding
March 14, 2011 --  Delaware County Daily Times
A bill introduced by U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., that would provide funding for early childhood education programs for children in low-income families is being strongly supported by business leaders.

A new blog from Child Trends
March 10, 2011 – Child Trends
Child Trends, a nonprofit, nonpartisan research center that studies children at all stages of development, is proud to announce their new blog, Trend Lines. The blog will feature short research-based messages on a range of issues related to children and families.

New Resources Available from the Build Initiative  
March 7, 2011 – The BUILD Initiative
Visit the Build Initiative website for new information on the progress of early childhood across the nation. Publications include reports on federal early childhood funding and opportunities for state and community advocacy.

Bernanke to budget-cutting state and local governments: Don't shortchange education
March 4, 2011 – The Washington Post
In a speech to the Citizens Budget Commission, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke urged state and local governments to retain funding for education and training programs that are essential to the nation's prosperity.

Va. child-care program aims to boost early learning

March 2, 2011 – Richmond Times Dispatch
Today, the Richmond Times Dispatch featured an article on the Virginia Star Quality Initiative (VSQI). As part of a pilot program, the VSQI is currently being expanded to improve the quality of 75 home-based child-care providers across the state.

Tennessee pre-k students see 82 percent gain over peers

February 28, 2011 – Vanderbilt University
A new study from the Peabody Research Institute at Vanderbilt University found that children who attended state-funded prekindergarten classes gained an average of 82 percent more on early literacy and math skills than comparable children who did not attend.

Another View on Kids: Focus on Early Education
February 25, 2011 – USA Today
Retired General John M. Shalikashvili, a member of Mission: Readiness, submitted an editorial to USA Today on the importance of early education from a national security perspective.

Program Gives Kids a Leg Up
February 22, 2011 – Charlottesville Business Journal
The Charlottesville Business Journal featured a cover story on Smart Beginnings and the Virginia Star Quality Initiative.

Family Support Program Asking for Help to Fight State Cuts

February 16, 2011 – WSET ABC 13
Several statewide early childhood programs are facing budget cuts this year, including Healthy Families, CHIP of Virginia and VECF. Without these funds, these programs will be unable to provide the essential services that they offer to children and families.

Innovative Early Childhood Initiatives Cultivate the Commonwealth’s Future Workforce
February 1, 2011 -- Solutions
The Virginia Early Childhood Foundation was featured in Solutions, a nationwide publication affiliated with the National Association of Workforce Boards.

White House Unveils New Approach to Military Family Support
January 27, 2011 – Department of Defense
On Monday, the White House announced a new plan to support military families, which focuses on expanding quality child care to military families living on military bases and in communities. The DOD-appointed child care liaison began her work at the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation this week.

Kindergarten registration in Richmond area
January 24, 2011 – Richmond Times Dispatch
The Richmond Times-Dispatch announced that April 7th will be the date for kindergarten registration across the region. Smart Beginnings Greater Richmond worked with ten school systems to set the date in an effort to reduce the number of late registrations.

Investing in Kids
January 21, 2011 – Investing in Kids
In his new book, "Investing in Kids: Early Childhood Programs and Local Economic Development",  Timothy J. Bartik takes an in depth look at the economic case for early childhood investment.

Child care Providers get Boost from State

January 18, 2011 – The Virginian Pilot
The Virginia Star Quality Initiative is being expanded in a new pilot program for family child care providers. The Virginian-Pilot explains this new expansion.

Closing the Achievement Gap with Baby Talk
January 14, 2011 -- NPR
Researcher Betty Hart speaks about the importance of talking to young children on NPR.

Rating Day Care Facilities Helps Level Playing Field

January 10, 2011 -- The Roanoke Times
The Roanoke Times explains how the Virginia Star Quality Initiative helps parents find quality child care.

Want to get your kids into college? Let them play
January 6, 2011 --
In this CNN article, two Havard University faculty members describe the lasting effects that early childhood experiences have on their college students.

Pre-K pays off in many ways
January 3, 2011 -- Richmond Times Dispatch
John Morgan, Executive Director of Voices for Virginia's Children, supports the expansion of the Henrico County preschool program in a letter to the editor of the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

2010 Articles

A $5 Children’s Book vs. a $47,000 Jail Cell — Choose One
December 29, 2010 -- Forbes Magazine
In a Forbes Magazine Op-Ed, Steve Cohen puts it simply- invest now or pay more later- as he explains the benefits of an early literacy program.

Give Kids the Best Possible Start

December 15, 2010 -- The Roanoke Times
Frank Rogan, President of the United Way of Roanoke Valley, writes about the importance of early education for the future success of our nation in an Op-Ed in The Roanoke Times.
5.4 Million to Smart Beginnings Danville-Pittsylvania
December 10, 2010 -- WSET ABC 13
On November 22, 2010, the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation (VECF) announced that the Danville Regional Foundation (DRF) has awarded an unprecedented five-year grant of over $5.4 million for Smart Beginnings Danville-Pittsylvania County to dramatically expand the region’s commitment to school readiness for thousands of young children.

'Wake-up call': U.S. students trail global leaders

December 9, 2010 -- MSNBC
A recently released study by the Programme for International Student Assessment shows that American students are falling behind. In order to compete in the global job market with high scoring nations like South Korea, Finland, China and Singapore, it is essential for American students to begin school healthy and ready to learn.

Time to Pay Attention to a Reform that Works
December 7, 2010 -- The Washington Post
Last week, the Washington Post featured an article by Marci Young. Young is the  director of Pre-K Now, a project of the nonprofit Pew Center on the States that advances high-quality, voluntary pre-kindergarten for all 3 year olds and 4 year olds.

Poor Children Get Biggest Literacy Boost From Preschool
December 2, 2010 -- MSN
Low income children get the most benefit from preschool programs, according to a new study from the University of Virginia.

The Business Case for Investing in Early Childhood
November 17, 2010 -- VECF Video
Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade Jim Cheng speaks to an audience of business leaders about Virginia’s commitment to a robust economy and how important a skilled, educated workforce is to that economy.

Early Childhood Years Imperative
November 15, 2010 -- Henrico Citizen
This article in the Henrico Citizen sums up the need for investments in early childhood development and the tremendous level of support here in Virginia.

Why Early Investment Matters
November 12, 2010 -- The Heckman Equation
James Heckman, Professor of Economics at University of Chicago, explains why the U.S. government should invest more in early education.

Winning Beginning Presents "It's Our Business"
November 9, 2010 -- Winning Beginning NY
This video, created by Winning Beginning NY, features business leaders as they explain the importance of quality early childhood education.

Star Quality Initiative Helps with Daycare Choice

November 4, 2010 -- WSET ABC 13
A local news channel does a segment on the VSQI and Smart Beginnings Greater Roanoke.

Hampton Child Care Center Gets Star Rated
November 1, 2010 -- WVEC ABC 13
A local news station highlights the Virginia Star Quality Initiative and explains why star ratings are an important tool for parents when looking for child care.

Initiatives Help Break Cycle of Poverty
October 28, 2010 -- Richmond Times-Dispatch
A recent article in the Richmond Times-Dispatch highlights local initiatives that are working to improve the lives of those born into poverty, including Smart Beginnings.

Virginia Chosen for Department of Defense Pilot Program

October 22, 2010 -- VECF Video
Virginia is one of 13 states chosen for a Department of Defense pilot program to improve access to early child care programs for military families.

Va. Part of Plan to Improve Military Families’ Access to Care
October 20, 2010 -- The Virginian Pilot
Virginia is one of 13 states chosen for a Department of Defense pilot program to improve access to early child care programs for military families.

Voices for Virginia's Children Rally

October 7, 2010 -- WVIR NBC 29
Voice's for Virginia's Children hoped to raise awareness of children's mental health issues at their 3rd Annual Step Up for Kids Rally on October 5th.

Our Country, Our Future
October 1, 2010 -- NBC
Tom Brokaw discusses how the future success of our country depends on the success of our children during Education Nation on NBC.

Education Nation
September 29, 2010 -- NBC
During a segment on the Today Show, Matt Lauer visited a pre-kindergarten classroom in Boston, and learns why early education is so important.

Preschool grant money will pay for books, theater, training

September 27, 2010 -- The Virginian Pilot
Smart Beginnings Western Tidewater, a coalition working to improve early education and care for children through age 5 in Franklin and Southampton and Isle of Wight counties, has received a $100,000 grant.

Prevention of Criminality Among Children Study
September 21, 2010 -- Vancouver Board of Trade
The Vancouver Board of Trade and the Justice Institute of British Columbia recently released a study that reiterates findings that positive early experiences can make an individual less likely to commit a crime.

It’s Just a Question of Using the Same Dollars Wisely

September 16, 2010 -- The Washington Post
Recently, The Washington Post featured an interview with James Heckman on the economic importance of investing in early education.

Ready, Set, Go! Why Business Should Support Early Childhood Education

September 14, 2010 -- ICW
The newest publication from The Institute for a Competitive Workforce sheds light on the tremendous impact that early childhood education has on the national economic security and the viability of the American dream.

$116,000 Grant will Help Early Education in Hopewell, Prince George
September 4, 2010 --
VECF awards Smart Beginnings Hopewell-Prince George a grant to improve the area's early education.

Why We Care About High School Dropouts
September 1, 2010 -- Richmond Times Dispatch
From Robert H. Dugger's Op-Ed in today's Richmond Times Dispatch:
"If the best predictor of graduation rates is reading proficiency by fourth grade, we know we need to start way before high school. Because if you can't read a word problem by then, you are also failing math and falling behind in science. And once you fall behind, it is much harder and more expensive for you to catch up."

Smart Beginnings gets Grant      
August 12, 2010 -- Martinsville Bulletin
VECF awards Smart Beginnings Martinsville-Henry Count a $100,00 grant.

Early Education Effective in Combating High School Dropout Epidemic

August 05, 2010 --
The article explains the effect that early childhood could have on the drop out rates in Los Angeles.

$150,000 Grant Awarded to Smart Beginnings Rappahannock Area
December 28, 2010 -- Fredericksburg Parent and Family
Smart Beginnings Rappahannock Area, a community-based coalition working to improve early childhood education and school readiness in the region received this grant from the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation.

Why Early Ed Investments Matter Now
June 18, 2010 -- The Hampton Roads Business Journal
Business leaders from Hampton Roads explain the effect early childhood investments will have on the future workforce.

Only Kids Can Fix This Economy
May 26, 2010 -- The Huffington Post
An entrepreneur and philanthropist explains why he believes in the future of our children.

Preschool is a Good Financial Investment, Experts Say

May 5, 2010 -- The Richmond Times Dispatch
During the Greater Richmond Early Childhood Summit, Rob Grunewald spoke about the results of investing in early education.

9 Million Young Adults Are Too Overweight To Join the Military, New Report Shows

April 20, 2010 -- Mission Readiness
More than 9 million young adults – 27 percent of all Americans age 17 to 24 – are too overweight to join the military, according to a new report released by MISSION: READINESS, a non-profit group of more than 130 retired admirals, generals and other senior military leaders.

Hope for New Federal Investment in Early Childhood
April 12, 2010 -- Education Week
Hope for new federal investment follows a doubling of state spending on preschool to $4.6 billion annually between 2006 and 2008 and as social scientists, economists and politicians have touted the benefits of early-childhood education.

Teachers' Ratings of Important Qualities for Kindergarten Readiness
March 3, 2010 --
A survey asked teachers to select three qualities they felt were most essential for a child to be ready for kindergarten.

Danville Summit Spotlights Early Childhood Development
March 3, 2010 --
Making investments in early childhood education proves beneficial for not only the child, but for the entire community as a whole, according to the first vice president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond at an education summit in Danville.

Poverty Task Force: Early Childhood is Priority
January 21, 2010 -- Virginia Department of Social Services
The Commonwealth's Poverty Reduction Task Force has just released their comprehensive report, "Rethinking Poverty: Poverty in Virginia."

2009 Articles

Early Learning Builds Strong National Security
September 10, 2009 -- The Richmond Times Dispatch
Scott Hippert, President of the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation, has been selected as the Richmond Times-Dispatch "Correspondent of the Day" for his illuminating response to a September 2nd cover story regarding the link between early childhood and national security.

Randolph College's Preschool Program Rated One of Best in Virginia
September 8, 2009 -- Randolph College
Randolph College’s Nursery School is one of just 31 childcare providers in the state to receive a four-star rating from the Virginia Star Quality Initiative, a new voluntary quality rating and improvement system for early learning programs.

Center Seeks to Link Families with Resources for Success

February 6, 2009 -- Martinsville Bulletin
The Starting Place opens at Liverty Fair Mall. It is run by Smart Beginnings of Martinsville & Henry County.
United Way had Busy, Sucessful Year
January 24, 2009 -- Tidewater News
The Franklin-Southampton Area United Way had many noteworthy accomplishments during 2008. Here are some highlights.

Back to top