General News

Early Learning Economic Development Summit

Friday, May 12, 2017

Bloomington to host second Indiana Early Learning Economic Development Summit
Registration is $25 per person for the June 5 event at Monroe Convention Center


BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Business leaders, educators, funders, civic leaders, lawmakers and early childhood experts will be in Bloomington on June 5th (9:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m.) for the 2017 Indiana Summit for Economic Development via Early Learning Coalitions at Monroe Convention Center.

This second annual event is an opportunity to bring people together from around Indiana to learn about the business case for investing in early childhood education and discuss ways to develop, grow and sustain early learning coalitions in communities. The Summit is being presented by Early Learning Indiana, the Indiana Early Learning Advisory Committee, Muncie BY5, and Monroe Smart Start, a leadership initiative of the Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County.

“We are very pleased to host the second annual early learning summit in Monroe County, a community that has embraced the importance of high-quality early learning in preparing children for success in school and in life,” said Tina Peterson, President and CEO of the Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County. “We have a great story to share about the importance of community collaboration in supporting our youngest learners. However, we also have more to learn. Like communities around the State, we still have a great deal of work to do in meeting the early learning needs of children and families. This summit allows us to come together as a state to improve economic outcomes for children, their families, and Indiana.”

The summit is a full day event with speakers and sessions covering a wide range of topics, including

  • the economic impact of investing in early learning,
  • using early childhood data to drive programming,
  • coalition building through strategic planning and engagement with businesses, key stakeholders, families and communities;
  • and continuous quality improvement in early learning education.

Dr. Tim Bartik, Senior Economist at the Upjohn Institute for Employment Research and author of Investing in Kids, will be the keynote luncheon speaker. Bartik will highlight how early childhood education supports workforce and economic development. Dr. Bartik’s research explores state and local economic development and labor markets, including how early childhood programs impact local economies and job-creation programs.

Hoosier native Erin Ramsey, Senior Manager for Mind in the Making at the Bezos Family Foundation, will present on the importance of early brain development for social and emotional skills. Jeffrey Connor-Naylor, Senior Associate at Ready Nation, will share highlights from his latest research, “Social-Emotional Skills in Early Childhood Support Workforce Success.” Emcees for the event will be Gerry Dick, President and Managing Editor of Inside INdiana Business, and Bob Zaltsberg, Editor of the Bloomington Herald-Times.

Registration is open to all and encouraged for business leaders, community, civic and economic professionals, educators (pre-k through higher education) and healthcare leaders. Go to to register. Registration is $25 and corporate/business sponsorships are also available. Please contact Jennifer Myers at for more information.

About Monroe Smart Start
Monroe Smart Start, a leadership initiative of the Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County, works on behalf of our community’s youngest learners, helping to ensure children are ready for school and ready for life.

Since 2009, Monroe Smart Start has supported the following early childhood education initiatives:

  • Funding to establish tuition-free preschools in all Monroe County Community School Corporation Title I elementary schools: Arlington Heights, Fairview, Grandview, Highland Park, Summit and Templeton.
  • Expanding the capacity of local nonprofits to provide quality early learning experiences for children and families needing support.
  • Funding for preschool parent liaisons for Monroe County Community School Corporation and Richland-Bean Blossom Community School Corporation to facilitate learning through engagement activities and events for parents and families.
  • Improved education quality through funding to local early childhood educators to participate in cohorts that provide training, mentoring and resources to help increase levels in Paths to QUALITYTM, Indiana’s child care quality rating and improvement system
  • Let’s Read, a literacy outreach program at IU Riley Health locations in Monroe County that provides over 8,000 children and families appropriate age level books along with helpful literacy and developmental guide sheets during wellness exams.

About Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County:
Created by individuals, families and businesses who share a passion for Monroe County and a vision for its future, the Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County has granted nearly $25 million to more than 400 local nonprofit organizations since its incorporation in 1990. With a growing $27 million endowment, the Foundation makes a difference by connecting caring people, important causes and community resources.

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