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Delaware County Education Changemakers Kick Off Collective Change Movement at Feb. Convening

Friday, March 8, 2024

This news was shared by the George and Frances Ball Foundation.

The success of a community’s educational systems and places of employment strongly hinge on the success and health of the community’s early care and education ecosystem. A primary reason for this is that approximately 90% of brain development happens by age five. The state of early care and education locally—and across the state and nation—has been of concern for many years, particularly in this post-pandemic era. More than 70 Muncie and Delaware County providers teamed up on February 19th to kick off the Changemakers Movement, a collective impact approach to effecting positive change for the community’s youngest learners and their educators.
 
Regardless of whether they are a licensed center, childcare home, or ministry, many providers struggle to provide their qualified staff with competitive wages and comprehensive benefits. They, too, regularly navigate challenges related to complicated licensing, complex voucher programs, insufficient financial supports for middle-class families, necessary resources for children with special needs, and more.
 
Disjointed data collection and analysis have made it difficult to effect systemic change in early care and education. No single provider or early childhood stakeholder can singlehandedly make this change. In late 2023, a small group of local providers began meeting to discuss possible collaborative paths forward. This group includes leaders from United Day Care, Muncie Community Schools Pre-K, Huffer Memorial Children’s Center, and Kaleidoscope Kids. They, together with Muncie BY5, an early childhood education consultant, and the Cradle to Career Muncie backbone team at the George and Frances Ball Foundation, recruited and convened the first gathering of Changemakers. This movement aims to mobilize early care and education providers and other key stakeholders to comprehensively analyze the current state of Muncie and Delaware County’s early childhood ecosystem.
 
Following the initial convening, a survey co-developed by local providers and industry experts will be administered across as many early care and education providers in Delaware County as possible. If you are a provider interested in being a part of the Changemakers Movement, please contact Missy Modesitt at Muncie BY5 at missy@muncieby5.org.
 
“We are mobilizing together. We are collecting the evidence and data needed to make change. We need your voice every step of the way,” shares Erin Bousman, Changemakers steering committee representative from Muncie Community Schools Pre-K.

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