Early Childhood Development

Every child is developmentally ready to succeed and thrive in school

Early Childhood Development

Bright minds support bright futures. For many years, The Cemala Foundation has invested in initiatives that support early childhood development. As Dr. Chris Payne, former Director of the UNCG Center for Youth, Family and Community Partnerships, has said, “All children are born with the capacity to learn. It is what happens between birth and the fifth birthday that determines whether or not children will enter school prepared for school success. These early years are the most robust, yet vulnerable years of life.”

A report by The Brookings Institution’s Budgeting for National Priorities indicates that children who are nurtured from their earliest stages of development have the best chances of achieving life-long success. From the Carnegie Corporation of New York, we know that the single most important factor in early education and care is the relationship between the child and the caregiver. And, from the Partnership for America’s Economic Success, we know that investments in early childhood generate substantial financial returns, producing a rate of return of about 16 percent a year more than traditional economic development projects.

Research convinces us that preparing children to be ready to learn saves education dollars, social service dollars, and criminal justice dollars. The Cemala Foundation’s work with Early Childhood Development focuses on two important initiatives, but extends to many other programs as well.

Ready, Ready

Early childhood development and education are vital to a child’s quality of life and to the strength of our community. Preparing children to be ready to learn helps our community and is simply a smart investment.

Guilford Basics

The Cemala Foundation has partnered with Ready for School, Ready for Life to bring the Basics to Guilford County. The Basics are five fun, free, powerful and easy caregiving practices that every family can use to help every child have a great start in life.

Bringing Out the Best

For over 10 years, Cemala has supported Bringing Out the Best, an early intervention program that provides family-centered, community-based services targeting children ages birth to five with social and emotional challenges.

Project LLIFE

The Cemala Foundation has provided North Carolina A&T State University with a $500,000 grant in support of Project LLIFE. The purpose of Project LLIFE is to facilitate increased skills and performance in language and literacy for children between the ages of 1-4.

Greensboro Children's Museum

Because it is a meaningful resource for children and families and adds to the character of Greensboro’s downtown, The Cemala Foundation is contributing $800,000 to the “Reaching Greater Heights” capital campaign and the creation of the Outdoor Play Plaza.

Parents as Teachers


Cemala has provided funding support to Parents as Teachers Guilford County since 2005. Parents as Teachers works with parents in Guilford County to help build their capacity to support their child’s development.

Salvation Army-Child Care Center

Cemala has provided a $1M grant over the course of seven years to support the construction of a 5-star child care center housed at the new Royce and Jane Reynolds Center for Worship and Boys & Girls Club on Freeman Mill Road in Greensboro.

Guilford County Schools

Pre-kindergarten programs are an important first step for many students entering our public school system. The Cemala Foundation has stepped up to provide Pre-K students in GCS the opportunity to visit the Greensboro Children’s Museum in 2018 and 2019.

Smart Start Conference

The National Smart Start Conference is the nation’s largest conference devoted to early education systems and strategies.

Infant Mental Health Team

The Infant Mental Health Team combines that judicial muscle with child development, social service, and mental health community partners so that babies and toddlers are given the attention and life-changing help they need.