how we work

Early Childhood

We believe that the love of learning develops early in life and builds the foundation for educational success in the future. This is why investments in early childhood programs have the greatest returns. We are focused on equipping parents and early childhood educators with the tools needed to help their children reach their full educational potential. We provide support to early childhood programs through a partnership with Metro United Way and Community Coordinated Child Care (4-C) in Louisville, Ky. We are also a member and funder of the Ready for K Alliance initiatives. 

Excellence Academy

Data consistently shows that children who attend Excellence Academy childcare centers are 2X as likely to be ready for kindergarten compared to demographically similar children who did not attend Excellence Academy centers. Learning in Communities of Practice is an innovative approach to professional development used with teachers and directors in the Excellence Academy. The Ready for K Alliance is making this type of professional development available and accessible to childcare center teachers and directors throughout Louisville. Dr. Jill Jacobi-Vessels of the University of Louisville is leading the evaluation study to determine the effect. Learn how we’re making an impact at Ready for K Alliance.

We’re strengthening the skills of preschool teachers, improving classroom environments and teaching kids to love learning. Ensuring that young children have both involved and intentional teachers is one of the most critical elements to achieving school readiness. Our teachers receive hands-on coaching through a partnership with Community Coordinated Child Care (4-C) to help improve quality in their individual classrooms. While most early learning centers don't use a set curriculum, EA centers use Creative Curriculum©, a research-based interactive system founded on best practices for early childhood programs.

By promoting the love of learning and creativity in children, we are helping them build lifelong critical thinking and problem-solving skills stimulated through play, exploration and discovery. Our classrooms incorporate the "Reggio Emilia" approach to early childhood education. In this approach, the classroom is thought of as the "third teacher" and includes elements like neutral colors, home-like touches, natural materials and intentional invitations to learn, so children's curiosity can develop organically within a supportive environment. We're also proud to say that 24 of our teachers have now received their Child Development Associate Certificate, advancing their professional development.


Did You Know?



1 million

new neural connections are formed every second in a baby’s brain for the first few years of life. These connections build the foundation upon which all later learning, behavior, and health depend.

Differences in children’s cognitive abilities are evident as early as 9 months old and significantly widen by the time children are age 2.

Gray Divider.png

5% of 3-year-olds and 32% of 4-year-olds

are enrolled in a public preschool setting. Many states publicly fund preschool programs.

$8.60 for every $1

is society's return on investment for expanding early learning programs.

Gray Divider.png



is the average annual cost at a childcare center in Kentucky for an infant and a 4-year-old. This is 28% of the median income for families with children.

Gray Divider.png

17% of 3-year-olds and 40% of 4-year-olds 

 are enrolled in a public preschool program in Kentucky.

More than 2.5 million

4-year-olds don't have access to publicly funded preschool programs.

Children from low-income families who don’t participate in preschool programs start kindergarten 12 to 14 months behind their peers in pre-literacy and language skills.

Gray Divider.png


Children who aren’t reading by third grade are more likely to drop out before graduating high school and, by extension, more likely to spend time in prison.


of all males in state and federal prison lack a high school diploma.

Gray Divider.png


Children from the poorest families hear approximately 30 million fewer words than those from more affluent families by age 3.


The greater the number of words children heard from their parents or caregivers before they were 3, the higher their IQ and the better they did in school.

Gray Divider.png

600 words

are heard per hour by children whose families were on welfare.

1,200 words

are heard per hour by children from working class families.

2,100 words

are heard per hour by children from professional families.

Gray Divider.png

By age 3, children with college-educated parents or primary caregivers had vocabularies

2 to 3 times larger

than those whose parents had not completed high school.

Gray Divider.png


is the 2018 Federal Poverty Line for a family of 4.


is the the median annual salary for a Child Care Worker as of January 2018.