According to Educational First Steps Communications and Events Manager Savannah Espiritu,
“By the age of three, there is a 30-million-word gap between children from communities with little access to affordable early education, and their peers from more affluent neighborhoods. High-quality early childhood education is vital to a child’s social, emotional, and academic development and access to this must not depend on a child’s place of birth or their family’s socioeconomic status.
“Since 1990, Educational First Steps (EFS) has aimed to help transform low-performing childcare centers in communities with the greatest need across North Texas into nationally accredited, high-quality early learning environments. EFS’ signature early childhood education program, Four Steps to Excellence, guides participating centers through an incremental four-step process working towards national accreditation. The program promotes an open dialogue and strong relationship between center directors, teachers, and the EFS team. Through mentoring, formal training, and enrichment – inside centers and through virtual classes – our team provides centers with the proven tools and techniques needed to achieve accreditation, at no cost to the educators, families, and communities served.
“We are proud to partner with over 100 childcare centers and nearly 50 home-based providers across North Texas. Through our Academy training program, we support hundreds of teachers, center directors, and home-based providers each week and we reached over 1,750 during our Annual Early Childhood Conference this past April.
“By investing in early childhood education, EFS aims to help close achievement gaps for early learners, break cycles of generational poverty for families, and create a brighter and more equitable tomorrow for the children and communities of North Texas.
“Educational First Steps needs your support for our ongoing programs, to accomplish the following:
- “Increase the number of children receiving high-quality early childhood education.
Move partner early learning centers into quality readiness.
- “Accept new centers into our quality-building program, placing hundreds more children on the path to quality education.
- “Train teachers and center staff to create positive and effective educational environments, mentor teachers to master early education concepts, and enable them to further their professional development.
- “Continue building quality and effectiveness into early education centers to become neighborhood anchors that serve generations of children and neighborhood families.
“We hope you will consider giving to Educational First Steps this North Texas Giving Day! On behalf of our partners, staff, board of directors, and of the children impacted by our programs, we thank you for your support.”
* Graphic/photo provided by Educational First Steps
Communities Foundation of Texas’ North Texas Giving Day helps build awareness and support for nonprofits like nothing else. In 2021, $66 million was raised through 103,000 donors benefiting over 3,300 local nonprofits, bringing the 13-year total to over $441 million for our community. NTx Giving Day is the largest community-wide giving event in the nation.