EARLY CHILDHOOD ACTION STEPS

Thank you for being inspired to take action. It is because of people like you, that Lincoln will truly prosper. Here is a list of what actions for early childhood might look like:

  • Sign up and stay involved in Prosper Lincoln
  • Tweet #ProsperLincoln to share what you are doing or learning
  • Follow us on Facebook

Businesses/Anchor Institutions

  • Where appropriate, ensure business has developmentally appropriate ways that young children may interact in your facility
  • Provide early childhood related volunteer opportunities for employees
  • Adopt an early childhood development center (particularly one serving low-income families)
  • Sponsor scholarship programs for low income children to attend high quality development centers
  • Host employee learning sessions about the importance of early childhood development and available resources
  • Join the Business Roundtable for Early Childhood

Faith Community

  • Advocate for the importance of high quality, accessible early childhood opportunities
  • Learn from families within your faith community the barriers they face to high quality child development
  • Ensure facilities for young children or where young children will be are developmentally appropriate
  • Ensure care you offer young children is high quality
  • Ensure care you offer is affordable to low income families through sliding fee scales or scholarships

Neighborhoods

  • Ensure your neighborhood has opportunities for young children to explore and play
  • Make sure neighborhood free libraries have books for young children
  • Create opportunities to connect with neighborhood schools around early childhood education needs and resources
  • Partner with local child development providers to increase access

Nonprofit and Cultural Organizations

  • Extend arts and cultural opportunities to low income children through collaborations with providers, through scholarships or other partnerships
  • Raise awareness about the importance of early childhood development
  • Make sure any onsite child development facilities are the highest quality
  • Host employee learning sessions about the importance of early childhood development and available resources

Philanthropy

  • Fund developmentally appropriate experiences for young children
  • Consider the role of early childhood development in all philanthropic investments
  • Invest in Prosper Lincoln to continue to advance this agenda
  • Network with colleagues from other cities to learn and adopt best practices in funding early childhood development initiatives

Public Sector

  • Expand access to early childhood development
  • Make early childhood development access and quality a policy priority
  • Consider how public buildings and facilities may be developmentally appropriate for young children
  • Promote information about early childhood development through offices, facilities, and broadcasts

P-16 Education

  • Advocate for greater resources for early childhood
  • Promote adoption of quality ratings
  • Consult with organizations from other sectors on how their facilities may be developmentally appropriate for young children
  • Raise awareness of link between early childhood education and later educational achievement and attainment
  • Introduce kindergarten readiness testing for all students to serve as a baseline for future improvements

Individuals

  • Volunteer at a child development center
  • Advocate for greater resources for early childhood development
  • Support opportunities for children you know to participate in high quality enrichment opportunities
  • Organize awareness and spur ideas about how the groups you are in can support early childhood development

Quotes From Our Supporters

Prosper Lincoln is one of the most exciting community engagement and community-building efforts happening in the country.  It’s a real model!

Dan Cramer, Co-founder, Grassroots Solutions, St. Paul, MN

Prosper Lincoln will not only benefit all of your kids and your community; it is also a model for similar efforts around the country, thanks to the leadership of LCF.

Richard Ober, President & CEO, New Hampshire Charitable Foundation; Founder Community Foundation Opportunity Network; Concord, NH

Communities across the US are searching for innovative initiatives to improve economic opportunity and mobility.  We can all learn from the amazing work of Prosper Lincoln!

Brian Collier, Executive Vice President, Foundation for the Carolinas

Prosper Lincoln is breaking new ground in economic revitalization without displacement.

Ellen Shepard, CEO, Allies, Chicago, IL

To see an entire community come together to ensure all Lincoln residents are successful is very inspirational.  Congratulations!

Nancy Van Milligen, President/CEO, Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque, Dubuque, IA

In my regional and national work in community development this is one of the most unique and exciting strategies for true change I have seen!

Del Gines, Senior Community Development Advisor, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City Omaha, NE

Bringing together a multi-sector group of committed Lincoln residents will support prosperity for all.  Congratulations on this excellent collaboration.

Holly C. Sampson, President, Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation, Duluth, MN

Diverse voices from across Lincoln came together so that current and future generations can thrive. This is no small feat, and it’s inspiring to see that collective vision inch closer to fruition. You can consider yourselves a model for other communities starting to embark on this work.

Megan Powers, International Program Officer, The McKnight Foundation Minneapolis, MN

There is no better example of the power of convening than Prosper Lincoln! Bringing together members of the community from all walks of life to enrich the City is inspiring.

Regine Webster, Vice President Center for Disaster Philanthropy, Washington, DC

Prosper Lincoln is creating a national model for building vibrant, equitable and resilient communities.  Systems thinking + the right resources!

Sandy Wiggins, Chair, Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE) Washington, DC

Prosper Lincoln is an important approach to solving community problems. By bringing together local businesses, nonprofits, neighborhoods, government and faith organizations, they are bridging divides, building connections, and sparking opportunities in way that shows true community engagement.

Vikki Spruill, President and CEO, Council on Foundations

This is one of the most impressive community focus efforts I have seen. You are making considerable progress!

Cynthia Hardin Milligan, Trustee and former Chair of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Battle Creek, MI

Lincoln is one of a few cities across America where citizens and leaders from across different sectors have come together to tackle their community’s most complex challenges. Your ability to already show results and persevere is inspiring.

Ben Hecht, President and CEO of Living Cities, Washington, DC

Solving tough national problems like the opportunity gap begins locally, and Prosper Lincoln is leading the way.

Robert D. Putnam, Professor of Public Policy and author, Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis Harvard University, Cambridge, MA

There is nothing more powerful in securing a community’s long-term health than evolving a shared vision through community engagement. Congratulations!

Rip Rapson, President, The Kresge Foundation, Detroit, MI