First SOCI Investment
2019 – 2021
Start Young, Wyandotte County
$200,000 per year leveraged as a match, culminating in $400,000 per year to the Wyandotte community
SOCI Investment in Start Young Provides Support for Years 2 and 3
The Family Conservancy, a nonprofit serving at-risk children and families throughout the Kansas City metro, launched Start Young on July 1, 2018. Start Young is a public-private collaborative in Wyandotte County, increasing access to high-quality, full-day, full-year early childhood education services for working families.
High quality early learning has become an option for more families in Wyandotte County through Start Young, a project of The Family Conservancy.
This successful pilot program was made possible through a public-private partnership, and is ready to expand into its second year with renewed support from initial contributors, including: Stanley H. Durwood Foundation, Wyandotte Health Foundation, and the Hall Family Foundation.
Along with community partners: Mid-America Regional Council (MARC), United Way of Wyandotte County, Juniper Gardens Children’s Project, and Child Care Aware of Kansas; Start Young works to support access and affordability of high-quality early education.
SOCI is pleased to invest in Start Young for their second and third years, “Our board saw fantastic alignment with the Start Young project,” shares SOCI Executive Director, Dr. Janice Smith.
Access to high-quality early childhood education services provides benefits to parents and children across Wyandotte County:
- Allows parents to be gainfully employed so they have the resources to better support their families
- Prepares children for success in school and life by maximizing the crucial period of early brain development
Evidence shows that investments expanding access to quality early childhood education services increases workforce participation, high school graduation rates, and community health outcomes; while decreasing rates of abuse, neglect, early parenthood, substance abuse, and incarceration. A summary from Year One’s impact can be found here.
The Family Conservancy empowers Kansas City to raise happy, healthy, educated children. Programming supports families, caregivers and teachers in providing quality early education opportunities and mental health services for Kansas City’s youngest children in poverty. These services are designed to create the greatest impact during the most crucial time in a child’s development, so that every child enters kindergarten prepared to learn – setting the stage for a lifetime of success.