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The Economic Impact of Early Childhood Education Forum

United Way of the Wabash Valley
Event organized by United Way of the Wabash Valley

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Success By 6, an initiative of the United Way of the Wabash Valley, invites you to join business leaders, lawmakers, experts in early learning, and community partners to discuss the community impact and economic benefits of investing in high-quality early childcare education.

“Employers offering proactive and creative childcare solutions significantly increase morale while recruiting top talent which ultimately impacts the business’s bottom line. As an employer, these, among a host of other critical factors, are the reason for learning more about what YOU can do TODAY for your employees, and how child care [plays] a significant role,” explains Natalie Brake, Early Learning Indiana, Director of Capacity Building.

Success By 6 and United Way of the Wabash Valley are hosting a forum on May 23, from 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. to explore how employers can gain a competitive advantage by investing in early childhood education. This free event will take place at the popular Clabber Girl in the upstairs conference room.

Mark Johnson, Community Impact Director at United Way of the Wabash Valley reports that “After talking with employers during our recent strategic planning process it reinforced to us the need for a quality workforce in our community. It also highlighted the struggle that families face when working to find high-quality childcare in our area. With this event, we hope to share information on why we should be investing in early childhood education and how it will impact businesses today and into the future. ”

The event will focus on the following four key topics:

1. The business case for investing in early learning and the return on investment.

2. Optimizing early brain development for lifelong academic, social and emotional development lays a foundation for healthy, productive communities.

3. Characteristics of early learning environments that prepare a child for academic success.

4. Current access to local and statewide high-quality & affordable childcare data.

8:00 - 8:30 Register/light breakfast

8:30 - 8:45 Welcome by Sponsor: Richard Payonk, Executive Director, United Way

Moderator: Kristen Craig, Vice President, Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce

8:45 - 9:25 Speaker: Dr. Jack E. Turman Jr. Ph.D., Professor, Dept. of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Fairbanks School of Public Health, Indiana University, Indianapolis

Topic: The Relationship Between Society, Early Brain Development, and Learning

9:25 -10:05 Speaker: Dr. Michael Conn-Power Ph.D., Professor, Director of Indiana Institute of Disability and Community, Indiana University, Bloomington

Topic: Kindergarten Readiness: Realigning Expectations

10:05 - 10:20 Break

10:20-11:00 Speaker: Natalie Brake, B.S., M.A., Director of Capacity Building, Early Learning Indiana

Topic: The Smart Investment: Economic Impact of Early Childhood Education on the Community

11:00 -11:55 Discussion, questions, Next steps in planning (Panel Guests: Nicole Norvell, Director, Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning, Dr. Jack E. Turman Jr., Dr. Michael Conn-Power, Natalie Brake, and Natalie Pugh, Director of Childcare and Referral Program, CASY)

11:55 -12:00 Conclusion (Wrap up): United Way/ Success By 6

Visit www.uwwv.org/sb6-forum to learn more about the economic impact of early childhood education.

RSVP by clicking the Register button here, by email or by phone: Phyllis Mickey pmickey@uwwv.org, (812) 235-6287


United Way fights for the education, health, and financial stability of every person in our community. We do this by LIVING UNITED. By forging unlikely partnerships, finding new solutions to old problems, mobilizing the best resources, and inspiring individuals to join the fight. We help positive, long-term social change happen in order to make our community better.

In order to create positive solutions for social issues on a large scale, individuals and organizations must align efforts and work collectively towards clearly defined goals. United Way of the Wabash Valley’s community impact approach addresses people’s immediate needs but also works collaboratively with other partners in the community toward changing systems so that people can avoid challenges altogether. It is about investing in the present as well as the future.

Success By 6 is a United Way of the Wabash Valley initiative that promotes healthy childhood development in order to ensure children enter kindergarten ready to succeed. It is essential that our community recognizes that learning begins at birth and the foundations for learning are established during the developmental years of birth to 6.

Event Contact:

Mark Johnson


Phyllis Mickey

pmickey@uwwv.org, (812) 235-6287

This event was funded through a grant provided by Early Learning Indiana.