Investing in Early Childhood Education
Our children’s first steps toward a healthy, happy future happen well before they learn to walk. Early childhood education plays a vital role in shaping a child’s future, and robust support services provide children and their caregivers access to the healthcare, nutrition, and enrichment activities they need to thrive.
Established in 2016, First Steps is a network of agencies and individuals working to support young children and families in the New River Valley. The Fund for the NRV provides financial and in-kind support to the network.
In late 2015, the Community Foundation engaged researchers from Virginia Tech to study the relationships between agencies supporting NRV children and families, their common challenges, and shared priorities. Respondents then came together in 2016 to see the results of the study and identify three priorities that they could pursue collaboratively.
Activities and Accomplishments
First Steps consists of three working groups – Info Hub, Common Voice, and Workforce – that align with our priorities. Our recent activities have focused on building connections between providers and giving them the tools to advocate for themselves and their profession.