The Institute for Child Success

Our Approach

Our History

Our People

Launched in 2010, the Institute for Child Success (ICS) is an independent research and applied policy organization. ICS works to create a culture that facilitates and fosters the success of all children. ICS supports policymakers, service providers, government agencies, funders, and business leaders focused on early childhood development, healthcare, and education, with the goal of improving the lives of young children prenatal to age eight and their families. ICS helps young children succeed by working with stakeholders to seek holistic solutions to complex early childhood challenges.

ICS proposes smart public policies grounded in research to improve outcomes for all children. We believe in the power of bold ideas to shape the dialogue about our children’s futures and build a more just society.

Our Vision

The success of all young children.

Our Mission

ICS advances human-focused and equity-centered policies, partners, and practices to transform systems that impact young children and their families. We achieve this by:

  • Generating research insights on the best policies and practices to support young children and families.
  • Offering program development and evaluation support to help early childhood programs maximize their impact.
  • Providing smart financial solutions to organizations, governments, and communities.
  • Creating systems-level change through resources and outreach to increase equitable and effective measurement practices among the early childhood workforce.

How Do We Define “Child Success”

“It should involve everything around the child, not something we do to the child. The child shouldn’t get ready for school; the school should get ready for the child.”

– Dr. Crystal Campbell

At the Institute for Child Success, we recognize that the definition of what “success” can mean for a child varies across organizations, systems, and the early childhood field as a whole. Our organization’s definition draws from the Social Determinants of Health framework and focuses on increasing equitable outcomes to empower young children, the adults in their lives, and their communities to thrive. Our definition of “child success” guides our vision for the outcomes of the work we do.

In our definition of “child success”…

  • Children are: Happy, healthy, loved, and safe.
  • The adults in their lives (caregivers, the early childhood workforce, community members, and more): Guide us in defining “child success” in alignment with the needs and values of their community.
  • The Institute for Child Success: Helps reduce inequities in early childhood outcomes, and supports the improvement of outcomes across all young children in the United States.

Our vision for child success in America includes…

  • Increasing access: All children across the United States have equal access to resources and opportunities, including health care and technology, regardless of zip code.
  • Protecting childhood: All children grow up in safe environments that are developmentally appropriate and foster community and play, including green areas, trusting neighbors, and neighborhoods and schools which are free from gun violence.
  • Increasing public investment: Public investment to support young children and families increases, allowing communities to survive and thrive.
  • Expanding representation: Young children are able to see and connect with adults in their lives who have similar backgrounds, races, and experiences—at school, at the doctor’s office, and more. To achieve this, equitable hiring is enacted to increase representation across the early childhood field.

ICS Statement on Equity

The research is clear: data shows that racial inequities impact early childhood outcomes. Therefore, the success of all young children is contingent on an equitable early childhood ecosystem. Consequently, ICS’s mission requires it to mobilize in instances of inequity within the system.

Financial Reports

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