In 2010, leaders in Greenville, SC came together to create the Institute for Child Success (ICS). Five years later, and thanks to the support of its many collaborators, ICS can now point to numerous accomplishments benefiting the lives of children and families.
ICS is commemorating its five-year anniversary by looking forward. In the past five years, it has become clear that the ICS approach, and the type of work and expertise it requires, is in demand across the nation. Therefore, the ICS Board of Directors recently honed the ICS mission and vision to better reflect what we are already working toward, and to guide the organization in the years to come.
Moving forward, ICS will pursue its mission to ensure the success of young children in four primary ways:
- Proposing smart public policies, grounded in research.
- Advising governments, nonprofits, foundations, and other stakeholders on strategies to improve outcomes.
- Sharing knowledge, convening stakeholders, embracing solutions, and accelerating impact.
- Fostering the next generation of leaders.
Although ICS has refined its mission, this multifaceted approach already permeates our work. For instance, as a result of ICS efforts in South Carolina, the Corporation for National and Community Service’s Social Innovation Fund (SIF) provided ICS with a multi-year federal grant in late 2014 to provide early childhood technical assistance to jurisdictions across the United States.
Today, in Sonoma County, California, ICS is exploring the use of outcomes-based financing to expand preschool, and in Los Angeles County, we are working with partners to assess the economic impact of quality preschool on communities, the Los Angeles workforce, and the regional economy of Southern California. Similar projects are underway in Connecticut, the state of Washington, and in Spartanburg, SC. The success of each of these engagements depends on ICS’s specialized expertise in convening stakeholders, advising service providers and governments, and developing new leaders.
Our national conversations about inequality and opportunity underscore the importance of the work we are doing at ICS. We cannot expand opportunity and guarantee the realization of the American dream for more of our citizens if they lack a solid foundation of growth and development in the first five years of life. Founded on the heels of our nation’s most recent recession, the Institute for Child Success recognizes that if we are to ensure sustainable economic growth and secure a brighter future for the next generation, we must invest in our youngest children today.
Throughout this week, ICS staff members, based on their expertise and passions, will present their forecasts of upcoming trends in the field and future research and policy considerations. We invite you to share your reflections on these ideas, to learn more about our vision for 2016 and beyond in our annual report, and to check out our new video.