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Grant to help improve early childhood services

Published 4:10 pm, Saturday, January 19, 2013
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Thanks to a $25,000 grant from the Fairfield County Community Foundation, the Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance will work with Fairfield County organizations -- whose constituents are parents of young children, early childhood and service providers, and state and local policy makers -- to increase, improve and better coordinate early childhood services for young children and their families.

There are nearly 400,000 children in Connecticut ages birth through 8. Many are thriving, but more than a quarter of those children are at risk for factors that jeopardize their early learning and healthy development. Decades of research have demonstrated that early childhood programs and services can improve academic, social and economic outcomes as the child grows into adulthood.

"Connecticut can and should take action to give every child the tools they need to succeed in life," said Maggie Adair, executive director of the Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance. "This grant from the Fairfield County Community Foundation will give us the opportunity to further spread that message and work to make that goal a reality."

With support from the FCCF, the alliance will:

promote early childhood news, events, public policy and best practices through traditional and social media;

provide communication training and technical support to early childhood organizations in Fairfield County;

build capacity for early childhood providers, community leaders, and parents to voice support for investments in early childhood programs and services at the local and state level.

"Access to affordable, high-level early childhood education programs is essential to the future success of Fairfield County's youth and to our region's broader economic future," said Karen Brown, the foundation's vice president of programs. "Helping the Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance expand its services in Fairfield County is an important part of this work."

The alliance's program, "Early Childhood Outreach, Communication, Education and Civic Engagement," will continue in Fairfield County through 2013.

The Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance is a statewide membership and advocacy organization committed to improving outcomes in the areas of learning, health, safety and economic security, for children ages birth to 8. For information, visit www.earlychildhoodalliance.com.

The Fairfield County Community Foundation promotes the growth of community and regional philanthropy to improve the quality of life throughout Fairfield County. Individuals, families, corporations and organizations can establish charitable funds and contribute to existing funds. The foundation provides philanthropic advisory services, and develops and leads initiatives to tackle critical community issues. The foundation has awarded more than $135 million in grants to nonprofits in Fairfield County and beyond. For information, visit www.fccfoundation.org.