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Childhood Success

Research shows that children who enter school ready to learn are more likely to achieve early reading proficiency by third grade, and consequently more likely to graduate high school on time.

Those benefits stack up over time: students who graduate high school are more likely to find a job that pays a livable wage, live healthier lives, stay out of the justice system and have children who also graduate high school on time.

Early Screenings

Imagine a football stadium filled with 19,000 healthy, happy kids. That’s how many children in Columbus, Ohio we’ve put on the path to success with early screenings.

More than 19,000 children in Columbus, Ohio have received early screenings for a wide range of health issues that can impede a child’s success in preschool and beyond, including hearing and vision problems, autism, developmental delays, and more.

The partnership known as Columbus Kids was launched in 2010, with the support of United Way of Central Ohio and 35 other partners. Children are screened in a variety of settings – such as libraries and community centers – and are connected to the intervention services and learning resources they need to enter kindergarten ready to succeed. The success of the partnership has sparked interest throughout the community, and today the number of partners has grown to over 300, including faith-based groups, child care centers, family home providers, and children’s organizations.

Home Visits

Parents and teachers are the twin pillars of every child’s success. In Brazil, we’re providing them with the training and knowledge to be champions for the next generation. 

In 2015, United Way Brasil trained more than 900 teachers, improved learning conditions for more than 12,500 children, and reached more than 3,600 young adults through mentoring and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) initiatives. More than 3,500 volunteers helped make this possible, by giving more than 13,000 hours of their own time in service of communities.

United Way Brasil also joined with the Bernard van leer Foundation, the Ministry of Health, and other local organizations to expand an existing home visiting program. As part of the expansion, health agents in Acre and Amazonas, the two poorest states of Brazil, will regularly visit families, provide immunizations, help schedule pediatrician appointments, offer advice on how to improve children’s social and emotional development, and give guidance on how to access government services and welfare. The program, co-financed by Eli Lilly and P&G, will directly impact 71,000 children by 2018.

United Way Born Learning

United Way’s signature early education initiative, United Way Born Learning, has expanded to Latin America – specifically, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Columbia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, and Peru.

Thanks to our longstanding partnership with P&G, we have improved more than 2,000 childcare centers, trained nearly 10,000 teachers and caregivers, and educated around 23,000 parents about responsible parenting practices.

Many other corporate partners, including 3M, UPS, and Citi, are helping United Way promote early childhood success across various Latin American countries through Born Learning and other early education initiatives.

Consider just two examples: in Mexico, we have improved learning conditions for more than 100,000 children, and in Columbia, we have helped more than 85,000 children complete elementary school in one year through an accelerated learning program.

Quality Child Care

The demand for child care continues to grow, yet high-quality, affordable child care remains in short supply. It’s a challenge with far-reaching implications: research shows that the quality of child care has a significant impact on a child’s early development and long-term success, especially when it comes to children from low-income families. That’s why United Way of Central Indiana is working to make safe and healthy child care available to all children in the region. 

With United Way’s support, more than 60 registered child care providers have achieved the minimum level of Indiana’s voluntary quality rating system.1 An additional 59 child care providers have improved their standards beyond the minimum level, with 56 of those providers achieving the highest levels.2 Currently, child care programs supported by United Way serve more than 7,500 children, while United Way continues to sustain and improve the quality of care.

In 2015, United Way also successfully advocated for $50 million in public and private funding for an early childhood program in Indianapolis. So far, the increased funding has provided more than 1,600 children with scholarships to attend a high quality child care program of their family’s choice. 

1The minimum level, or Level 1, of Indiana’s Paths to QUALITYTM system requires that providers meet basic health and safety standards.

2The highest possible levels of Indiana’s Paths to QUALITYTM system include Level 3, which requires a planned curriculum, and Level 4, which requires national accreditation.


Access to Books

When a child holds a book in their hands, they also hold the promise of a better future. United Way Reading Oasis has brought that promise to thousands of England’s children. 

In 2015, eight schools in London and Liverpool opened a United Way Reading Oasis, which provides children with access to hundreds of brand new books and a warm and inviting space to read. Meanwhile, parents receive monthly tips and tools to help their child develop reading proficiency, and every preschool child receives a book once a month in partnership with the Dolly Parton Imagination Library (DPIL).

So far, more than 2,300 children in England now benefit from the United Way Reading Oasis initiative, which has also provided more than 7,000 new books and signed up 231 nursery age children to DPIL. It’s a cause worth fighting for: in the United Kingdom, 1 in 3 children don’t have books at home, and 20 percent of primary schools don’t have libraries.