Help Us Improve Systems, Policies, and Programs for Young Children
Reach out to our team to learn more about how partnering with ICS can help young children and families to thrive.
The Importance of Early Childhood
The first few years of a child’s life are a crucial period that help set the stage for health and well-being throughout life. From age 0-8, children are rapidly growing, building connections with those around them, and developing cognitive, social, and emotional skills. During this period, nearly one million neural connections are created every second. Such a rapid pace of development offers a critical opportunity to improve outcomes for children and their families.
Many factors help build a healthy child, including love, resources, safety, and community. However, in the United States, systemic issues such as racism, poverty, and lack of community supports have led to widespread inequalities in outcomes for young children, negatively impacting millions of families. This has only been worsened by the Covid-19 pandemic, exacerbating many existing issues such as the childcare workforce crisis, housing instability, and more. Systems-level solutions are needed to help us become a nation where all children are given the opportunity to thrive.
Our Vision of Success for Every Child
It is ICS’s mission to support young children and their families by advancing practices and policies that impact the systems which affect children and communities. We work to reduce inequalities in child outcomes by supporting the workforce and systems which support children. We center equity in our work, and take a multi-pronged approach to advance our mission:
- 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.
By addressing multiple areas across the early childhood ecosystem, ICS aims to effect lasting systems-level change in how we support young children and families in our programs and communities. Supporting our work means supporting all young children and families to thrive—will you join us?
Words From Our Partners
“I think of ICS as being at the forefront of the innovation in social services; there is so much going on in the early childhood world, lots of evidence-based practices that service providers are thinking hard about how to implement in their community. I think of ICS as a thought leader and as a supporter of those initiatives.”– Deirdre Flynn, Nonprofit Finance Fund
“ICS’s systems-level, policy-level work is some of the most inspiring pieces of work that we have seen … the research briefs that they create really do inform us about what is going on, to better understand the data behind some of the outcomes that we’re seeing, and it guides our investments.”– Keisha Gray, Mary Black Foundation
“We don’t have to start from zero and make up an answer; we can trust that ICS knows someone in Denver or in England or in Australia who’s been working on that problem for 15 years and has evidence around a success they’ve had.”– Derek Lewis, Greenville County First Steps
- Catalyzed over $866 million in new investments for families and children, ranging from preschool funding in Tempe, Arizona, to the state-match of the Earned Income Tax Credit in South Carolina, to federal investments in evidence-based interventions leveraging outcomes-based financing, among many others.
- Partnering with the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Early Childhood Developmental Health Systems (ECDHS): Evidence to Impact initiative to improve how our health systems support young families across the country.
- Provided technical assistance and other advising to 50+ early childhood organizations to increase the impact of their programs.
- Provided research and innovation support to dozens of jurisdictions across the country, from the state of Washington to the City of Tallahassee, from Sonoma County to Connecticut.
- Created an innovative IMPACT repository to improve the early childhood assessment landscape, reaching over 25,000 people and counting.
- Regularly host professional development & continuing education conferences and webinars, including the Nurturing Developing Minds Conference.
To learn more about partnering with ICS, connect with our team.
To make a one-time or recurring gift to ICS, visit our Donations page.
BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina
BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina Foundation
The Duke Endowment
J.B. & M.K. Pritzker Family Foundation
Mary Black Foundation
Overdeck Family Foundation
Pritzker Children’s Initiative
Robin Hood Foundation
Bradshaw Institute for Community
Brady Education Foundation
Child Health & Advocacy
Community Foundation of Greenville
Colonial Life and Unum
Corporation for National and Community
Service Social Innovation Fund
Cliff & Carolyn Ellis Foundation
Frances & Dave Ellison
Peggy & Edwin Good
Joy & Neil Grayson
Greenville County First Steps
Margaret Linder Southern Endowment Fund
National Endowment for the Arts
New America Foundation
Nonprofit Finance Fund
Prisma Health Hospital System
Jean & Bill Schmidt
SC Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics
SC Department of Social Services
Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina
John I. Smith Charities
City of Spartanburg
Sorenson Impact Center
Susan Thomson Shi
Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts