Community Foundation revises guidelines to better serve local children with early learning

Published on Friday, 22 May 2020 13:49
Written by Catherine Shen


NEW BRITAIN – The Community Foundation of Greater New Britain has revised its First Years First Initiative guidelines to help better serve local young children.

Various community partners, educators and the foundation agreed to revise the age range for the initiative following a year of review. With funding limitations and current data on the importance of early learning even before students attend preschool, a narrower age-range focus of birth through preschool will be the focus beginning in 2020.

“Since the Initiative started, $2 million in grant funding has been instrumental in delivering and expanding quality educational services to young children and their families. This pivot in focus and age range will allow us to address emerging needs and build on our success so far,” said Joeline Wruck, director of community initiatives at the foundation.

The initiative will have three strategies as its focus, which will include strengthening social emotional learning among young children to support school readiness and success. Social emotional learning training will also be provided to parents, caregivers, teachers and other adults that work with young children, according to the foundation. The initiative will also seek to strengthen parent and caregiver’s skills by increasing knowledge of child brain development and the lasting impact of high quality early childhood education.

The foundation also hopes to support programs that will aid in deepening relationships between caregivers and young children and provide external activities such as workshops, seminars or other caregiver training. Finally, the initiative will continue to focus on the development of skills in early math, writing and literacy for families with young children.

Established in 2005, the First Years First Initiative is a long-term investment of the foundation to prepare young children for success in school and in life by enhancing their early childhood development experience, according to the foundation. It strives to provide the children and their caregivers with the developmentally strong start in life that they need to succeed.

The foundation is a nonprofit philanthropic organization that serves four local towns, including New Britain, Berlin, Plainville and Southington.

Contact Catherine Shen at

Posted in The Bristol Press, Plainville, Southington Herald on Friday, 22 May 2020 13:49. Updated: Friday, 22 May 2020 13:51.