Percent of children in low-income communities that are ready for school.
Percent of children in SB6 programs that are ready to start school.
Return on every dollar invested in early childhood.
Getting infants and toddlers ready
Success By 6 works to make sure every child is ready for kindergarten by improving the complex networks of child care services, parent education, public and private funding and public policy in the Central Texas community. UWATX invests in the youngest members of our community to prevent the academic and social issues that arise later on in life.
This program is based on a proven formula that considers family supports, quality systems and an engaged community. As this equation suggests, the success and future of our community’s children depend on a strong system of adult supports during the earliest years of a child’s life. No part of the equation can stand alone – nor can we succeed if one element of the equation is missing.
Download this 1-page summary of the Success By 6 program to learn more.
Play To Learn
To support children in need who are not enrolled in child care or Head Start, UWATX launched Play To Learn in 2008 to coach parents on fostering school readiness at home. Parents and their children attend classes at accessible neighborhood locations and learn together from a qualified early learning coach.
In its current version, the course incorporates Samsung Galaxy tablets pre-loaded with children’s educational apps, bookmarked websites and parenting videos to supplement classroom instruction. UWATX is also partnering with The University of Texas at Austin, KLRU-TV and a variety of other partners to provide evaluation, locations, services and volunteer support- this is truly a community project. Throughout the next year, UWATX will run four cycles of the course to serve approximately 200 families- with many more to benefit from the valuable research.
Since 2005, UWATX has worked with centers and other service providers to increase the quality of child care centers that serve low-income communities. Success By 6 includes a variety of strategies to address this need:
- Supporting quality center mentoring: UWATX was a catalyst in bringing the nationally-recognized Taking Care of Change program to Central Texas and continues to support this and other programs in our community. These mentoring programs provide one-on-one support for center leadership to improve their centers.
- Social Emotional Learning Collaborative: UWATX recognizes that children cannot learn if their social and emotional needs are not met. Since 2006, Success By 6 has provided mental health services that support child care center staff as well as the children and families they serve. Child care centers can choose from a menu of services tailored to their specific needs, including child assessments, teacher training, parent education, abuse prevention services, individual and group counseling. UWATX coordinates all services to ensure seamless delivery and maximum efficacy.
Thanks to this work, the percent of centers serving low-income communities who meet state or national standards has increased by nearly 50 percent.
UWATX also publishes a bi-annual survey on the changing trends among child care centers. Read our 2012 report to see how our community is doing.
School Readiness Action Plan
Over the past two years, United Way has led a strong coalition of early childhood advocates, experts, parents, service providers, and business leaders to put together an ambitious 3-year plan to fundamentally change the landscape of care for our youngest community members. This Action Plan is a strategic effort to invest in the future of our community by increasing the total percent of ready children to 70 percent by 2015.
It is our hope that this plan will inspire and guide community leaders, advocates, parents, service providers, and educators to participate in a movement that will allow Travis County to be the best place to prosper and raise a family for decades to come.