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.