Early Learning

The United Way Bold Goals Coalition is working to improve education outcomes in Central Alabama from cradle to career. We support early learning providers by equipping owners and operators with the knowledge, skills and tools to improve business operations, enhance program quality and expand center capacity to ensure all children enter kindergarten ready to learn.



Did You Know?

Ninety percent of brain development occurs during a child’s first five years of life. This is why high-quality, accessible and affordable early education is so essential. A child’s learning environment during those formative years drives social, emotional and academic success in kindergarten and beyond.

How We’re Working:

The United Way Bold Goals Coalition has a number of initiatives working to increase the capacity and quality of early education in Central Alabama. Here are just a few ways we’re creating impact:

  • Early Learning Acceleration Institute (ELAI) participants receive technical assistance and curriculum support, business development training, coaching in grant writing and up to $25,000 for facility improvements that will support program expansion and enhance program quality. 
  • ELAI recently awarded three childcare centers critical infrastructure grants to create 80 additional childcare slots that will increase access to high-quality, affordable childcare in the region.

In Central Alabama, only 8% of licensed childcare providers have earned between 2 and 5 stars through the Alabama Quality STARS QRIS.*

The United Way Bold Goals Coalition provides support to Early Learning facilities through technical assistance, curriculum support, facility improvements and more in order to increase both quality ratings and capacity. *Quality Rating and Improvement System

The gap between existing childcare slots and community need in Central Alabama now totals 22,690.

The United Way Bold Goals Coalition has helped local centers open 26 new First Class Pre-K classrooms, providing more than 460 annual slots for children in Central Alabama to participate in the country’s highest quality pre-K program.

Providers of Early Childhood Education Shoot for the STARS, and Succeed

United Way of Central Alabama, along with partners in the United Way Bold Goals Coalition, gathered to celebrate the hard work of local childcare programs participating in the Alabama Quality STARS “Quality Rating and Improvement System” (QRIS).

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