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Kate Watson – Guest Contributor
Feb 2 2018
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Child Care Associates (CCA) is celebrating its fifty-year anniversary in 2018 and today announces goals for the decade ahead, including CCA’s North Star plan. In Tarrant County alone, there are approximately 36,000 children under the age of five living in poverty. During the past fifty years, CCA has served nearly 600,000 children ages 0-5. Over 500 employees across three offices, 23 campuses and 74 partnership classrooms currently serve over 15,000 children each year in greater Tarrant County. 

“A commitment to early childhood development is crucial to a strong community and its future,” states Child Care Associates President and CEO Kara Waddell. “Since 1968, Child Care Associates has advanced the opportunity of reaching at risk children before they arrive at school. CCA works to support the whole child – intellectually, emotionally, and physically—as well as supporting the whole family.” The impact of high-quality early learning is astounding: research indicates that every $1 invested in early childhood produces a return of $7. “For communities wanting to sustain a strong workforce and economy, early learning is one of the best investments to make,” adds Waddell. Waddell is in her fourth year as President and CEO of CCA.

CCA has developed a “North Star” with goals to be achieved in the decade ahead. High-quality based research, family-centered design, a focus on resiliency, diverse educators, and building a fiscally strong nonprofit will be key principles of design. The North Star will be the foundation of three-year strategic plans for near-term implementation. CCA’s five goals for the next ten years are:

  • Provide high-quality early learning services with a focus on scaling programs serving children birth through age three
  • Serve the whole child and whole family
  • Champion the creation of a high-quality system
  • Strengthen the pipeline of talent in early childhood education
  • Build partnerships with families and schools to support continued development through third grade and beyond

The community acknowledges the importance of children in poverty being on grade-level in mathematics, reading, and social-emotional learning outcomes by the end of third grade. Child Care Associates will focus on two metrics on the pathway to third grade: the progress children are making in early literacy, mathematics, and social-emotional learning by age three, and kindergarten readiness among children in poverty. CCA announced the ten-year plan at a community reception held yesterday. Educational leaders, Mayor Betsy Price, Judge B. Glen Whitley, superintendents from three local school districts, and corporate and philanthropic leaders from across the Metroplex were in attendance. 

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