Press Releases


Business Executives Explore Impact of Early Childhood on Future Workforce
Richmond, VA (Oct. 13, 2016) – The Virginia Chamber of Commerce and the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation (VECF) will host an invitation-only luncheon and executive briefing for statewide business executives on “The Economics of Early Childhood: Smart Beginnings for Virginia’s Workforce Pipeline.”   



Business Leaders Acknowledge School Readiness as First Step in Workforce Development

Manassas, VA (September 12, 2016) – In Greater Prince William, 15.8% of kindergarteners begin school already behind; more than the state average of 12.7%. Smart Beginnings Greater Prince William and the Prince William Chamber of Commerce have partnered to present Smart Beginnings: Job One, a luncheon and briefing for business leaders that provides information on the role of quality early learning as the foundation for workforce success.

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Virginia CACFP Summit Explores Nutrition Landscape for State's Young Children

Early childhood education and child health champions from across Virginia gathered in Richmond to promote nutrition and food security as priorities for the health and school readiness of young children in the Commonwealth, focusing on making sure that low-income children in child care settings have nutritious meals and snacks.

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VECF Releases 2016 School Readiness Report Card

An analysis of trends in key indicators over the past decade shows that Virginia’s children are faring better now than they were 10 years ago. A deeper look however, reveals disparities by economic status and race/ethnicity that persist even in the face of large statewide improvements overall.

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Virginia CACFP Summit Explores Nutrition Landscape for State's Young Children

Early childhood education and child health champions from across Virginia gathered in Richmond to promote nutrition and food security as priorities for the health and school readiness of young children in the Commonwealth, focusing on making sure that low-income children in child care settings have nutritious meals and snacks.

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VECF Announces the Election of Jeffrey Novak to Board of Directors
VECF is pleased to announce the election of Jeffrey Novak, Vice President - Public Policy and Chief Counsel - Litigation and Compliance, AOL, to the VECF Board of Directors. read more ...



VECF Awards $450,000 Grant to Smart Beginnings Southwest Virginia

The Virginia Early Childhood Foundation has awarded a $450,000 grant to Smart Beginnings Southwest Virginia to support school readiness initiatives in 16 jurisdictions in the Southwest region.  A check presentation is scheduled for January 26th at the Virginia Highlands Business Incubator in Abingdon, Virginia.

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VECF Awards $180,000 Grant to Smart Beginnings Greater Richmond
Smart Beginnings Greater Richmond receives a grant of $180,000 from the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation to support their long range goals to help children throughout the region achieve lifelong success.  Now housed at the Greater Richmond Chamber Foundation, this initiative is a partnership among public and private agencies, businesses, and individuals working to enhance the quality of early childhood care and learning for young children, so they will be well-prepared to enter the workforce. read more ...



VECF Awards $170,000 to Smart Beginnings Thomas Jefferson Area

The Virginia Early Childhood Foundation has awarded Smart Beginnings Thomas Jefferson Area a grant in the amount of $170,000 to help enhance the quality of early childhood care and learning for young children in the city of Charlottesville as well as Albemarle, Fluvanna, Louisa, Nelson and Greene counties.

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VECF Awards $195,000 Grant to Smart Beginnings Greater Prince William

The Virginia Early Childhood Foundation has awarded Smart Beginnings Greater Prince William a grant in the amount of $195,000 to help enhance the quality of early childhood care and learning for young children in Prince William County and the cities of Manassas and Manassas Park.

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2015 Smart Beginnings Annual Meeting October 19 & 20

VECF to hold the Smart Beginnings Annual Meeting at The Westin Richmond on October 19 and 20, 2015. 

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VECF and VA Chamber to Host 2nd Annual Executive Briefing

VECF and the Virginia Chamber of Commerce will host an invitation-only executive briefing for statewide business executives on "The Economics of Early Childhood: Smart Beginnings for Virginia's Workforce Pipeline."  The event, scheduled for Monday, Oct. 19 at the University of Richmond's Jepson Alumni Center, will build on the growing recognition and support for a strong public-private early childhood system in Virginia.

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W. K. Kellogg Foundation Invests $1,077,000 to Support School Readiness Initiative in Southside VA

Many families with young children in the Southside region of Virginia will benefit significantly from a grant of almost $1.1 million awarded by the W. K. Kellogg Foundation to VECF.  This grant will fund a three-year dual-generational initiative called Smart Beginnings for Southside Families, serving 100 families in the cities of Danville, Emporia and Martinsville along with Brunswick, Greensville, Henry, Pittsylvania and Sussex counties.

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VECF Launches 2015 Back to School with Q

As families turn their attention to back-to-school activities in August and September, VECF and Smart Beginnings Partners across the Commonwealth will kick-off an effort to highlight  - quality – a key driver for successful school readiness.

 

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VECF Elects Officers and Four New Board Members at June Annual Meeting

The Virginia Early Childhood Foundation elected officers and four new Board of Director’s at the June Annual Meeting held at the offices of Williams Mullen in Richmond.

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VECF Launches 2015 Smart Beginnings Start with Families Campaign

VECF and the VA Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics have partnered to launch "Smart Beginnings Start with Families: Healthy Children are Ready to Learn".  The campaign is an opportunity to focus on the healthy development of children between Mother's Day and Father's Day.

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Smart Beginnings Job One Business Leaders Breakfast to be Held in Fredericksburg

Business leaders from the Rappahannock area will gather to attend a Smart Beginnings Job One breakfast event on April 29th to learn more about the role of quality early learning as the foundation for workforce success.  The invitation only event will be held at the Jepson Alumni Executive Center at Mary Washington University and will feature speakers Paul D. Koonce, Executive Vice President of Dominion Resources, parent company of Dominion Virginia Power and Dr. Stephen S. Fuller, Dwight Schar Faculty Chair & University Professor; Director, Center for Regional Analysis School of Policy, Government & International Affairs at George Mason University. (Due to the whether this event was reschedule from January.)

 

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Smart Beginnings Job One Business Leaders Breakfast to be Held in Harrisonburg

Business leaders from the Shenandoah Valley will gather to attend a Smart Beginnings Job One breakfast event on April 15th to learn more about the role of quality early learning as the foundation for workforce success.  The invitation only event will be held at the Explore More Discovery Museum and will feature speakers Dr. Craig T. Ramey, Professor and Distinguished Research Scholar at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute and Monica Q. Matherly, Senior Vice President and Human Resource Manager with Wells Fargo.

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Virginia Business Names VECF as Nonprofit Partner for The Big Ball

For the second consecutive year, Virginia Business magazine has selected the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation as its nonprofit partner to receive a portion of the proceeds from The Big Ball event scheduled for Thursday, March 12, 2015 at The Jefferson Hotel.

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Smart Beginnings Job One Business Leaders Breakfast to be Held in Blacksburg

Business leaders from the New River Valley and Roanoke Valley Region will gather to attend a Smart Beginnings Job One breakfast event on November 12th to learn more about the role of quality early learning as the foundation for workforce success.  The invitation only event will be held at The Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center and will feature speaker Barry DuVal, President & CEO of the Virginia Chamber of Commerce.

 

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VECF Annual Meeting Convenes Smart Beginnings Partners, Legislators and Business Leaders

More than 75 statewide early childhood leaders gathered in Richmond on October 14th and 15th for the annual meeting of the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation.  Distinguished speakers throughout the two day event included Lt. Governor Ralph Northam, Chair, Commonwealth Council for Childhood Success, Maurice A. Jones, Secretary of Commerce and Trade and Olivia Golden, Executive Director, Center for Law & Social Policy.

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VECF and VA Chamber of Commerce to Host Executive Briefing on Economics of Early Childhood

The Virginia Chamber of Commerce and the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation will host an invitation-only luncheon and executive briefing for statewide business leaders on “The Economics of Early Childhood: Smart Beginnings for Virginia’s Workforce Pipeline.” The event is scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 14 at the University of Richmond’s Jepson Center.  Mike Petters, President & CEO of Huntington Ingalls, Industries and Dr. Craig Ramey, Professor and Distinguished Research Scholar at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute, will be the featured speakers.

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VECF Announces "Back to School with Q - School Readiness Starts with Quality"

As families with children turn their attention to traditional back-to-school activities in August and September, the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation and Smart Beginnings Partners across the Commonwealth will join forces with early learning centers in an effort to highlight one of the key drivers for successful school readiness - quality early learning.

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VECF Elects Two New Members to Board of Directors at June Annual Meeting

The Virginia Early Childhood Foundation elected two new members to the Board of Director's at the June Annual Meeting: Ned Massee, Vice President, Corporate Affairs with MeadWestvaco and Nicholas "Mick" Sladic, General Counsel, Operations, Collections & Rediscoveries Divisions for Capital One.

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VECF & Library of VA Launch "Smart Beginnings Start with Families Campaign"

The Virginia Early Childhood Foundation and the Library of Virginia have partnered to designate May 11-June 15, the time period between Mother's Day and Father's Day, as an opportunity to focus on the unique needs of young children and to recognize that Smart Beginnings Start with Families. 

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Wytheville Healthy Kids-Healthy Start Conference Focuses on Nutrition & Fitness for School Readiness

The Healthy Kids-Healthy Start Conference, scheduled for Saturday, April 12th, is funded through joint partnerships with Smart Beginnings Wythe Bland, Wythe and Bland County Department of Social Services, and Heal Appalachia in order to promote health, wellness, and well-being in childcare settings serving Southwest Virginia.  Childcare providers and local leaders involved in organizations that work with young children and their families can attend to learn more about giving young children a healthy start in life through better fitness.

Read more about the Conference.

 



VECF Elects New Board Members
The Virginia Early Childhood Foundation has elected two business leaders to serve on the board of directors. The new board members, who began their three-year terms upon their election at the Foundation’s quarterly board meeting on March 12, 2014, are:
  • Bill Ermatinger, Corporate Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer for Huntington Ingalls Industries, the parent company of Newport News Shipbuilding in Newport News, Va.
  • Monica Matherly, Senior Vice President and Human Resources Manager at Wells Fargo in Richmond, Va.

Read the press release.

 



Smart Beginnings Leader Institute Wraps Up in Charlottesville

On Friday, March 7, participants will meet in Charlottesville for the fifth and final session of the inaugural Smart Beginnings Leader Institute - "Sustaining a Local Early Childhood System."  Dr. Karl N. Stauber, President & CEO of the Danville Regional Foundation, will present the keynote address and Dr. John P. Thomas, Director of the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service at the University of Virginia, will provide closing remarks.  Fifty Leader Institute members from around the Commonwealth will be recognized for their participation.

Read the press release.

 



Virginia Business Names VECF as Nonprofit Partner for The Big Ball

Virginia Business magazine has selected the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation as the first nonprofit organization to receive a portion of the proceeds from The Big Ball event scheduled for March 6, 2014 at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.  The Big Ball celebrates Virginia's business leaders and unveils The Big Book, an annual publication that features lists of business leaders including the 50 most influential Virginians as well as more than 50 lists in areas ranging from Construction & Development to Tourism.

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VECF Partners with UVA’s Curry School to Pilot Online Course for Early Childhood Educators

Through a partnership with the Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning (CASTL), within the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia, the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation is offering a free online course, “Effective Classroom Interactions,” to early childhood educators interested in improving the quality of their teaching.  To be eligible for the course, participants are required to be employed as teachers at child care centers, preschools or family child care homes that participate in the Virginia Star Quality Initiative (VSQI).

To learn more, click here. 



VECF Recruiting Programs for Training Sessions in Early Childhood Obesity Prevention

The Virginia Early Childhood Foundation is actively recruiting early childhood programs in three regions of the state to participate in training sessions aimed at reducing childhood obesity in the Commonwealth.  This effort is part of Phase One of a significant grant by Nemours to VECF and its grant partners: Child Care Aware of Virginia, the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth, the Virginia Department of Health and the Virginia Department of Social Services.  VECF has hired a Health Initiative Coordinator to manage planning, implementation and evaluation of the Nemours grant, which is valued at potentially up to $1.5 million over a 5 year period.

Learn more about the Training Sessions and Virginia's ECE Learning Collaboratives. 



UPDATE: Rescheduled Date: March 7 - Final Session of the Smart Beginnings Leader Institute

On Wednesday, January 29th, participants will meet in Charlottesville for the fifth and final session of the inaugural Smart Beginnings Leader Institute - "Sustaining a Local Early Childhood System."  Dr. Karl N. Stauber, President & CEO of the Danville Regional Foundation, will present the keynote address and Katherine Busser, VECF board member and former EVP of Capital One, will provide closing remarks.  Fifty Leader Institute members from around the Commonwealth will be recognized for their participation.

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Taking Aim at Childhood Obesity - VECF & Partners selected to Receive National Nemours Grant
Nemours, an internationally recognized children's health system, has selected VECF and its collaborative partners: Child Care Aware of VA, the VA Foundation for Healthy Youth, the VA Dept. of Social Services and the VA Dept. of Health to receive a national grant.  VA was one of three states selected to implement strategies to reduce childhood obesity.

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VECF 2013 Annual Meeting to Focus on Building Partnerships & Public Engagement for School Readiness

The Virginia Early Childhood Foundation will hold its annual meeting at the Hotel Roanoke on October 21-22 with the focus "Making the Case: Building Will & Public Engagement."  Approximately 100 business, education and community leaders who are involved in local Smart Beginnings school readiness initiatives from across the Commonwealth will convene for this annual event.

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Smart Beginnings Eastern Shore Launches School Readiness Initiative

Smart Beginnings Eastern Shore, which was originally known as the Eastern Shore Early Childhood Coalition, is a collaborative effort involving community leaders from public and private sectors throughout the Eastern Shore region.  Kathy Glazer, VECF President, is "pleased to welcome this new initiative to the Smart Beginnings family and to support their regional collaboration for school readiness."

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Leaders Convene in Roanoke for 2nd Session of the Smart Beginnings Leader Institute

Smart Beginnings Leader Institute members from Central Virginia, Danville Pittsylvania, Greater Roanoke, Martinsville Henry, New River Valley, Shenandoah Valley and Southwest convened at Cox Communications in Roanoke for their second Leader Institute session.  Their session was led by Deborah Roberston (South Carolina First Steps) and David Lisk (York County First Steps.)

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School Readiness Leaders Convene in Richmond for Smart Beginnings Leader Institute Session Two

On August 20th school readiness leaders met at J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College in Richmond to convene for Session Two of the Smart Beginnings Leader Institute.  The speakers from South Carolina's statewide early childhood initiative, First Steps, were Deborah Robertson, Director of Quality Business Engagement for South Carolina First Steps, and David Lisk, Executive Director of York County First Steps.

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Early Childhood Leaders to Participate in Inaugural Smart Beginnings Leader Institute

VECF announces the creation of the Smart Beginnings Leader Institute, a seven-month series of sessions designed to engage, educate and enrich the capacity of leaders across the state in advancing school readiness for Virginia's young children.

Leader Institute Press Release

 



VECF Announces New Board Leadership and Members

Ben Davenport, chairman of Davenport Energy and First Piedmont Corporation in Chatham, VA, was elected Chair of the Board of Directors. Other officers elected were Katherine Busser, Adrian Chapman, & Reggie Jones.  Drawing on Virginia’s top business, education, and health leaders, VECF welcomes six new board members.

Read more about the new officers and directors.

 



VECF Announces Regional Support for Smart Beginnings Southwest Virginia

VECF and United Way Virginia Highlands have partnered to build a regional system of support and operations for the local Smart Beginnings Initiatives in Southwest Virginia.  Leadership will be provided by Buckey Boone, the newly hired Regional Coordinator for Smart Beginnings Southwest Virginia.

Read more about Smart Beginnings Southwest Virginia.

 



Engaging Preschoolers in STEM Subjects Builds Future Workforce
Richmond, Virginia (October, 2012) - Two preschools in the Tri-Cities region will benefit from an innovative program that teaches Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) concepts and skills to young children through the arts. The program, a partnership between Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts and the Northrop Grumman Foundation, will visit Lil Angels Day Care in Hopewell and Cornerstone Tender Care in Petersburg/Prince George County during the week of October 22-26. read more ...



Glazer Named New President of Virginia Early Childhood Foundation
Richmond, VA (December 2011) -  The Virginia Early Childhood Foundation has announced that Kathy Glazer, a longtime advocate for policies benefiting young children and families in Virginia, will become the organization’s new president effective January 16, 2012. read more ...



Grant from VECF Boosts School Readiness Efforts in Fluvanna & Louisa Counties
Richmond, VA (August 2011) - Smart Beginnings Fluvanna Louisa, an initiative launched in 2009 to enhance school readiness among the area’s youngest citizens, has received a $100,000 grant from the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation read more ...



Grant from VECF Boosts School Readiness Efforts in Northumberland & Lancaster
Richmond, VA (July 2011) - Smart Beginnings Northumberland Lancaster, an initiative launched in 2010 to enhance school readiness among the area’s youngest citizens, has received a $95,000 grant from the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation (VECF). read more ...



VECF Grants Take School Readiness Efforts to the Next Level in Central VA
Richmond, VA (July 2011) - The Virginia Early Childhood Foundation has awarded several new grants to advance school readiness initiatives in Central Virginia so that young children can start school healthy and ready to learn. read more ...



Prince William Area Launches School Readiness Initiative with $50,000 PNC Grant
Richmond, Va. (June 2011) – Hundreds of young children and their families in the Prince William County, Manassas City and Manassas Park areas will benefit from a new school readiness initiative launched with a $50,000 planning grant from the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation and the PNC Foundation. read more ...



Early Learning in SW Virginia Gets Financial Boost from Dominion
Richmond, VA (June 2011) - The Dominion Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Dominion Resources, has awarded a grant of $100,000 to support the Southwest Virginia Regional School Readiness Initiative of the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation read more ...



USAF Brigadier General Headlines Virginia Job One Event in Roanoke
Roanoke, VA (April 2011) – Almost 100 local business leaders in greater Roanoke learned that investing in quality early childhood development is not only vital to growing a smarter workforce, it’s a matter of national security. read more ...



USAF Brigadier General Headlines Virginia Job One Event in Bedford
Bedford, VA (April 2011) – More than 100 local business leaders in Lynchburg and Bedford learned that investing in quality early childhood development is not only vital to growing a smarter workforce, it’s a matter of national security. read more ...



VECF Awards Booster Funds to Support Local Early Childhood Initiative
Richmond, VA (February 2011) – The Virginia Early Childhood Foundation (VECF), in conjunction with the Office of Early Childhood Development, has awarded $21,585 in supplementary Virginia Star Quality Initiative booster funds to Smart Beginnings Alexandria/Arlington through the Campagna Center. read more ...



Crater Region Receives $50,000 Grant for New School Readiness Initiative
Richmond, VA (February 2011) – The statewide Smart Beginnings initiative brings people together to help Virginia’s youngest citizens, ages prenatal to five, be better prepared for success in school and in life. read more ...



Quality Child Care Rating Initiative Expands to Home-Based Providers In Six Virginia Communities
Richmond, VA (January 2011) – The Virginia Early Childhood Foundation (VECF) and the Virginia Office of Early Childhood Development (OECD) are pleased to announce a pilot program to expand the Virginia Star Quality Initiative (VSQI) to include child care services provided in home-based settings. read more ...



Brunswick, Halifax & Mecklenburg Counties Receive $50,000 Grant For New School Readiness Initiative
Richmond, VA (January 2011) – The statewide Smart Beginnings initiative brings people together to help Virginia’s youngest citizens, ages prenatal to five, be successful in school and, ultimately, in the future workforce. read more ...



 

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