Early Childhood Alliance

The years from birth through age three are critical to a child's development and lifelong success.

Early Childhood AllianceThe Early Childhood Alliance engages, educates and supports members, children, parents and the community-at-large to prioritize accessible, excellent and equitable outcomes for children in the Wasatch Back from the prenatal stage through age three.

The Need

The years from birth to age three are critical to a child’s development and lifelong success. When a child is not given the opportunity to develop to their full potential in these early years, the harm and consequent costs are borne over many years by the individual, the family, and the whole community. Many Park City 5-year-olds, particularly our low-income, minority and English-language learners, are not considered ready when they start as kindergarten students.

Nationally, the cost of early childhood care and education is growing much faster than incomes, with the cost of childcare in many cases rivaling that of a college education. Low-income families who pay for care spend more than 25% of their income on childcare, while middle- to upper-income families pay 6% to 8% of their income for childcare, reflecting the serious inequities that currently exist. And even while childcare is unaffordable for many, rates of pay in the sector are considered low, creating challenges in recruiting and retaining qualified early childhood staff.

  • During the first few years of life, over 1 million new neural connections are formed per second
  • Investments that support early childhood development can have a 13% rate of return

Learn more about the need in Summit County in the Early Childhood 2021 Needs Assessment.

Intended Outcomes

  1. Every child is kindergarten-ready by kindergarten age. Exceptions will be made for other-abled children; our goal is to ensure families have access to resources so that all children reach their potential.
  2. Organizations, services, and systems that ensure early childhood development are sustainably financed and operating at the highest possible standards and impact.
  3. Children and families that are at a higher risk for needing support are identified and interventions are prioritized accordingly.

Action Plans

The Early Childhood Alliance is a voluntary association of interested organizations and individuals who work collaboratively to increase access to affordable, high-quality childcare and education options, support and educate parents and caregivers, strengthen and streamline connections among all early childhood providers, and make early childhood care, well-being, and education a community priority worthy of investment.

          Services
  • Improve and expand center-based care and education.
  • Increase parent/caregiver support.
  • Strengthen connections among providers.
          Advocacy and Community Education
  • Make early childhood care and education a community priority through a public outreach and communication campaign.
  • Advocate for public policies that increase funding, support parents/caregivers, and improve services.
          Data & Tracking
  • Track results over time using KEEP kindergarten-readiness data.

Strategic Priorities

  • Expand and strengthen access to affordable, high-quality childcare and education.
  • Build parents’ capacity as their child’s first and best caregivers and teachers through home visiting, referrals, services, and information.
  • Strengthen connections among all early-childhood providers.
  • Make early-childhood care and education a community priority and increase government, philanthropic, and business investment in early-childhood programs.

Support

To support this initiative, please donate online or contact Sam Mueller at sam@parkcitycf.org or 435-214-7477. To get more involved with the Early Childhood Alliance, please visit their website.

Photo credits: PC Tots

Highlights