On November 8, over 90 early childhood educators, caregivers,
kindergarten teachers, community agency representatives and
school leaders participated in the first KindergartenTransition
Conference sponsored by Smart Beginnings, UMW College
of Education and Germanna Community College.
Ken Smythe-Leistico from the University of Pittsburgh
Office of Child Development presented the keynote message
on school-family-community engagement
as we transition young children to kindergarten.
Back to School with Q:
School Readiness Starts with QUALITY
George Hughes, President of SimVentions, Inc.
visits with children at
Minnieland: A Child's Place II,
a VSQI Star-Rated Center.
Preschool: A Wise Investment
Pay Now vs Later
(Article from The Free Lance-Star)
Community Impact Statement
Workforce Pipeline Video
Change the First Five Years Video
Ready for School. Ready for Life.
Smart Beginnings Rappahannock Area, a 501(c)(3), is an early childhood initiative designed to ensure young children are prepared for success in school and success in life. We are a coalition of over 40 public and private agencies, businesses and individuals.
Smart Beginnings Rappahannock Area is led by an active volunteer Board comprised of community leaders and we are supported by local businesses, educational institutions, non-profit organizations, and local governments. We bring together parents, business people, community leaders and local agencies to strengthen existing early childhood education programs and implement new approaches where needed.
Smart Beginnings Rappahannock Area serves the city of Fredericksburg and the counties of Spotsylvania, Stafford, King George, and Caroline. We are deeply concerned that in our region, up to 1 in 5 children arrive in kindergarten without the basic skills to succeed. This severely limits their chances for success in the work place, in their own personal health and in their ability to contribute to society. We believe that supporting early childhood education is a smart investment with a proven return.
Studies by the Federal Reserve, the World Bank and the Economic Policy Institute share this common conclusion: investing now in early childhood development yields tremendous economic and social benefits by reducing crime and welfare dependency while building the competitive, productive workforce our community will need in the future.
You can help make a difference.
Smart Beginnings needs you!
You can make a difference in the life of our region's children and in its quality of life.
Find out if your childcare program has been rated.
Did You Know?
- 1 in 7 children in our community arrive in kindergarten without the basic skills to succeed.
- 90% of a child's brain is developed before reaching kindergarten.
- Studies show that every $1 invested in early childhood education returns up to $17 to our community.
- When at-risk children experience high-quality early learning programs, they have better school, employment and life outcomes.
- The seeds of desirable workforce skills - critical thinking, teamwork, effective communication - are planted before the age of 5.
- Early experiences carry lifelong effects, not just on cognitive and emotional development, but also on long-term physical health.
More about us
- Smart Beginnings Rappahannock Area's mission is to lead community partners in maximizing and coordinating resources that ensure equal opportunities for all young children, birth to five, to be ready for school and ready for life.
- We serve Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania, Stafford, Caroline and King George.
- Our organization is part of a statewide network of similar early childhood organizations. Locally, we are guided by a voluntary Leadership Council comprised of community leaders and we are supported by local businesses, educational institutions, non-profit institutions, and local governments, business and educational leaders. The Rappahannock United Way serves as our fiscal agent.
- SBRA implements several early childhood strategies in our region in order to enhance the quality of early childhood education and service programs for children birth to age five. We are a coalition of over 40 public and private agencies, businesses and individuals.
- We are funded through generous donations from local businesses, organizations and individuals, as well as grants from the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation.