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Our focus on early childhood

For children to have the opportunity to thrive, they require access to high-quality early care and educational experiences, as well as supportive families. These factors can deeply influence children’s brain development, school readiness, and long-term wellbeing. 

Our foundation has demonstrated a long-standing commitment to early. childhood because we recognize that these investments have the power to change the trajectory of individual lives and entire families, as well as deliver significant returns for the community. Robins Foundation is committed to deeply investing in early childhood for children from birth-5 years old.  

Access to high-quality early childhood experiences sets children and their families up for long-term success by:

  • Preparing children for school and lifelong learning
  • Providing support of child development and general well-being
  • Equipping parents to be their children’s best first teachers

On average, child care costs consume 14% of household income for middle-income families, double what the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services defines as “affordable.” Many lower-income families cannot find or afford child care at all.

Center for American Progress

Our 3 focus areas

1

Early childhood education provider support & infrastructure

Our current Early Childhood Education system faces massive challenges in the form of worker shortages, sub-living wages, and lack of government support. Our system must be transformed, but our current one needs to be maximally supported while a new one is developed. We are committed to supporting ECE providers—such as child care and preschool programs—while systemic change is brought about.

children-at-table
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2

Parenting support & engagement

Parents are children’s ‘first teachers,’ and the first five years of life have major impacts on children’s school readiness. We are committed to supporting nonprofits that help parents and caregivers build their parenting skills and knowledge and gain access to affordable, high quality early childhood services.

3

Early childhood policy & advocacy

An effective early childhood system is not feasible absent transformed local, state, and potentially federal policies. We are committed to working with policy & advocacy partners, and civic leaders, to transform these systems for the benefit of providers, teachers, families, and the larger community.

Amy Strite, Executive Director, Voices for Virginia's Children, discussing education policy with Delegate Rodney Willett of Henrico.
Amy Strite, Executive Director, Voices for Virginia’s Children, discussing education policy with Delegate Rodney Willett of Henrico.

Lack of access to ECE impacts us all

Child care is an important issue that impacts families across the socioeconomic spectrum. Efforts to transform the early childhood system and strengthen the existing landscape of child care programs will lift nearly all families in the region.

Visit our blog to find articles and resources on early childhood education, and read about Robins’ commitment to this space.

Are you a nonprofit working in the ECE space for children from birth to 5 years of age? Click to read more about our grant process, learn about whether you qualify, and apply.