Virginia Early Childhood Foundation Awards Innovative Partnership Grants

Richmond, Va. (July 10, 2017) – The Virginia Early Childhood Foundation has awarded Innovative Partnership grants to three Smart Beginnings entities that are engaged in collaborative initiatives designed to improve access to high-quality early childhood education for young children in their respective communities.

First launched in 2015, Innovative Partnership grants support local communities as they implement and document – and potentially replicate – local, data-informed innovations for improving access to high quality early education for at-risk children, thereby readying children, families and schools for kindergarten success. Grants for fiscal year 2018 are:

  • An Innovative Partnership grant of approximately $100,000* was awarded to Smart Beginnings Greater Richmond, which is collaborating with Smart Beginnings Southeast in a data-sharing initiative. This funding will enhance the region’s ability to implement targeted strategies to support early education opportunities for at-risk young children in 17 jurisdictions.
  • An Innovative Partnership grant of approximately $60,000* was awarded to Smart Beginnings Central Virginia to establish a regional collaborative initiative, the Early Childhood Education Peer Leadership Institute (ECEPLI). This initiative will align effective teaching and learning practices across multiple early education settings and schools, using the CLASS tool as a regional building block for the region’s early education system.
  • An Innovative Partnership grant of approximately $60,000* was awarded to Smart Beginnings Shenandoah Valley for the Two Gen Success project. This project aims to convene a partnership of existing service providers to implement a two-generational initiative focused on creating an education pathway for both teen parents and their children at the same time.

*Grantees will receive technical assistance from VECF in addition to grant funds.

“These creative initiatives are continuing our collective work to drive innovation to better serve the children of Virginia,” said Kathy Glazer, president of the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation. “We look forward to sharing the results with our Smart Beginnings partners and community stakeholders across the Commonwealth.”

More information about the Innovative Partnership grants can be found at


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