Current Initiatives

Developmental Screening Initiative

VECF’s Developmental Screening Initiative, funded by the Virginia Department of Health, invests in building a community-wide system to ensure children all ages prenatal to five are screened and supported in achieving developmentally appropriate milestones and growth using the Ages & Stages Questionnaires®.

Mixed Delivery Program

In 2016, with support from the Governor and the Virginia General Assembly, VECF launched the Mixed Delivery Preschool Pilot Program to support public-private preschool delivery. The program allowed communities to field-test strategies that overcome barriers that have prevented all eligible children from participating in the Virginia Preschool Initiative. In 2020, building on the successes of the first four cohorts, Mixed Delivery shifted focus to expanding access to publicly funded preschool services for at-risk 3- and 4-year-old children in high-quality private, community (non-school) based settings. The Mixed Delivery Program supports communities as they coordinate and integrate multiple funding streams to serve more children and strengthen the financial stability of programs. Mixed Delivery allows families in participating communities a greater control over selecting the preschool that best suits their needs, often with year-round care and flexible hours in the type of environment they desire for their children.

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Nemours Child Health Initiative

Since 2014, VECF has received funding from Nemours Children’s Health Foundation to engage state and local partners in advancing healthier child care policies and practices, so that early care environments provide the nutrition and physical activity shown to promote healthy weight and physical development.

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Preschool Development Grant Birth to Five (PDG)

Through the Preschool Development Grant Birth to Five (PDG), communities have the opportunity to build, expand and sustain a birth-to-age-5 (B-5) system that supports school readiness for Virginia’s children served in publicly funded early childhood education and care (ECCE) classrooms. These efforts help build the foundation for a new uniform measurement and improvement system required for all publicly funded programs.

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Ready Network

Ready Network is a staffed family child care network that offers licensed, voluntarily registered and unregulated providers access to a network of supports, including a subscription to Wonderschool, to build their capacity to meet families’ needs for affordable, quality, safe child care.

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Ready Regions for Emergency School-Age Care

As Virginia navigates the changing landscape shaped by COVID-19, including reduced child care capacity and shifts to virtual learning for many school divisions, VECF, in partnership with the Virginia Department of Social Services with funding provided by the governor and the Virginia General Assembly, is fostering regional collaboration to address the immediate impact and need for safe, quality child care for working families with school-age children.

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Smart Beginnings

Smart Beginnings serves as the public-private connector in local communities, harnessing a local network and driving a comprehensive approach to early childhood systems building. Local Smart Beginnings partners bring focus, expertise and attention to early childhood priorities and help communities deliver on ensuring conditions for a strong, healthy start for young children and their families.

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