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Strong Foundations For Our Youngest Children

BUILDing Strong Foundations

BUILD Initiative Blog



Find out what we're reading in immigration, racial equity, and early learning news.

We're using your feedback to help us exceed last year's success. At the San Diego meeting, we want to forge new relationships and fortify old ones. We want to strengthen our resolves and celebrate our victories. We want to educate and learn, enlighten and inspire. We want to spark solutions and share systems strategies. Naturally, after reading your comments, I wondered what you will say about this year’s meeting. What sessions, what speakers, what conversations will transform you?

Catch up on your equity, mental health, suspension/expulsion, and early learning reading.

Read the latest on racial equity, systems building, early learning, and more.

As Executive Director of the Illinois Governor’s Office of Early Childhood Development, my role is to ensure that children and their families are surrounded and served by high-quality early learning services. To do this, we focus on a system that provides quality programming to reach all children, especially those who are most vulnerable.

Catch up on your reading this week! BUILD Initiative shares the latest on racial equity, health equity, suspension and expulsion, immigration, and early learning.

Darlington County, South Carolina. These are the basics about the county: Nearly 42 percent Black or African-American. 56 percent White. Less than two percent Latino. Median income of $34,773. Seventeen percent of residents hold a bachelor’s degree. Thirteen percent of residents don’t have health insurance. Twenty-one percent of residents are living in poverty.

In Lamar, South Carolina, Equity Leaders Action Network (ELAN) fellow Darnell Byrd-McPherson was elected as the first African-American woman mayor. In an age where public discourse and identity politics would have us believe that we are at odds with our neighbors, Darnell’s running platform was simple: she wants to unify the community.

Catch up on early learning, health and racial equity reading.

Catch up on your reading this week! BUILD Initiative shares the latest on equity, racial equity, and early learning.

Catch up on your reading this week! BUILD Initiative shares the latest on equity, early learning, organizational capacity building, and special needs and early intervention.

Catch up on your reading this week! BUILD Initiative shares the latest on equity, early learning, suspension and expulsion, and the implications of current tax proposals on children.

As 2017 is coming to a close, the BUILD Initiative decided to check in to see how it is going. In states with well-organized advocates and leaders who are building strong coalitions and developing a focused agenda, some focus on early learning is seen. Let’s take a closer look at Connecticut and New Jersey.

If we believe that the federal budget is a reflection of our values and priorities as a nation, then we may soon look like a nation that cares little about the future of our most defenseless children.

Find out the latest in racial equity, family support, and early learning news from BUILD Initiative.

Catch up on your reading this week! BUILD Initiative shares the latest on family support, equity, immigration, systems building, and early learning.

While the immediate threat of an Affordable Care Act (ACA) repeal has passed, it’s safe to assume that it’s only a matter of time before the GOP attempts another effort to reduce health care coverage. As the administration endeavors to cut corners and limit access to equitable healthcare, our nation’s poorest children and families are at risk of losing health care coverage. The most recent GOP ACA-replacement, the Graham-Cassidy bill, would have jeopardized coverage for the nine million children protected by the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which has not received renewed funding despite a September 30 deadline for Congress to take action on the policy.

Catch up on your reading this week! BUILD Initiative shares the latest early learning, QRIS, immigration and systems building news.

We started our evacuation in a veritable clown car at the crack of dawn: Mom, Dad, a grumpy toddler strapped into a carseat, a dog who uses a wheelchair to get around, and three cats. We were prepared to make the 17-hour trip to NoVa as quickly as possible - we’d done it countless times before. The evacuation route for Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas is, unsurprisingly, straight up I-95. After hours of gridlock, and overnight stops in Savannah, GA and Florence, SC, we finally made it home - THREE days later. Thankfully, in the end, the storm was weaker than what we had prepared for and my parents’ home is relatively undamaged. The drive was really tough - especially for Dad and toddler - but we certainly survived. At no point did I feel that we should have just stayed in Miami.

Facilitating with an emphasis on community seems well-suited to early childhood professionals, whose work requires a focus on family. Throughout the year, my colleagues at BUILD, and all our external partners for that matter, facilitate or participate in countless meetings. Whether in person, by phone, or over the Web, we frequently find ourselves gathered around the shared belief that improvements must be made to the current early childhood system if all children are to receive the quality care and education they deserve and to enjoy healthy child development.