A history of impact.
IN 2017, LIFTOFF (THEN THE WNY EARLY CHILDHOOD FUNDERS FOR CHANGE) SOUGHT TO BETTER UNDERSTAND HOW THE REGION SERVES YOUNG CHILDREN, HOW COMMUNITIES STRUCTURE SYSTEMS TO IMPROVE LIFE AND LEARNING, AND HOW STAKEHOLDERS ACROSS THE SYSTEM COULD COME TOGETHER TO EFFECT CHANGE. OVER 300 WESTERN NEW YORKERS LENT THEIR VOICES TO THIS EFFORT, INCLUDING PARENTS, EARLY CHILDHOOD PROVIDERS, EARLY CHILDHOOD EXPERTS, MEMBERS OF THE PHILANTHROPIC COMMUNITY, AND GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS.
Liftoff commissioned and released an assessment of Western New York early childhood systems and programs in 2018. The report, “Looking Toward the Future: A Review of Western New York’s Early Childhood System,” identified assets and gaps, documented successes and shortcomings, and presented opportunities for systems change. Its findings informed Liftoff’s current priority areas for improving early childhood systems:
Increase universal developmental screenings leading to kindergarten readiness.
Ensure high-quality child care is accessible and affordable.
Address transportation challenges that make it difficult for families to access needed services.