VECF Conference Explores Financing Strategies for Early Childhood Education

Richmond, Va. (June 4, 2018) – The Virginia Early Childhood Foundation will convene the state’s first-ever Virginia Early Childhood Integrated Financing Symposium on June 14-15 at the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.

Policymakers, state agency officials and six teams of community leaders selected from Smart Beginnings initiatives across the Commonwealth will meet with national experts to explore strategies and mechanisms to integrate financing across early childhood programs and services. Implementing more entrepreneurial financing strategies and increasing savvy at both the state and community levels could benefit children and families with more equitable, efficient, transparent and responsible access to services they need in order to thrive.

On June 14, the conference kicks off with a panel of nationally-recognized fiscal experts who will provide insights on the federal and state funding streams that support young children and their families. Panelists will include:

  • Anne Mitchell, President, Early Childhood Policy Research
  • Elliot Regenstein, Partner, Foresight Law + Policy, Washington, DC
  • Linda Smith, Director, Early Childhood Development Initiative, Bipartisan Policy Center

Following the panel session, attendees will break into small groups to discuss funding and financing challenges and choices that communities and state officials encounter. Each small group will be paired with a national expert in order to gain new insights on potential solutions and innovative approaches.

The second day includes sessions for participants to engage in cross-community conversations regarding the financing of local early childhood services to support young children and their families. In addition, the agenda allocates time for Smart Beginnings community teams to design plans for strategies that can be implemented in their respective regions.

“In order to create an equitable and sustainable early childhood system that ensures access to affordable, high-quality services for at-risk children, Virginia needs to approach early childhood financing in a more cohesive and integrated way,” said Kathy Glazer, President of the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation. “It is exciting to see the high level of commitment and innovation in Virginia as both communities and state leaders tackle how to best deliver a strong start for our children.”

The Virginia Early Childhood Foundation and its statewide Smart Beginnings initiatives are focused on ensuring that communities across Virginia have capacity to support the good health and school readiness of young children. For more information, visit


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About the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation: VECF creates results-oriented partnerships to ensure that young children are healthy and prepared for school, life and workforce success. To learn more about VECF and the Smart Beginnings initiative, visit


Media contact: Sara Hunt,, 804-994-1120