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Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Community Leaders Come Together to Fill Early Childhood Education Void in Northern Kentucky

Newly formed EC Learn will partner with NKADD to support child care providers, families and employers throughout the Northern Kentucky region

Twelve business and community leaders are coming together to form EC Learn to help with early childhood development needs in Northern Kentucky.

In June 2020, Cincinnati-based nonprofit 4C for Children ended delivery of services to child care providers, families and employers in Northern Kentucky. As a direct result of this departure, a group of 12 business and community leaders concerned about early childhood education formed the Early Childhood Transition Committee (ECTC) to ensure these services continue in the NKY region.

On July 1, the group announced it has established a Kentucky nonprofit corporation called Early Childhood Learning Education Assessment Resource Network (EC Learn) and will partner with Northern Kentucky Area Development District (NKADD) to continue this critical work. NKADD will serve as the fiscal agent for EC Learn through 2020, providing services including human resources and finance/accounting. EC Learn is being led by Sandra Woodall, former NKY Team Lead of 4C for Children and will add additional team members in the coming weeks.

EC Learn chose to partner with NKADD in part because of the organization’s close relationships to 80 other nonprofit entities as well as strong connections to both area businesses and legislators. Under the NKAAD umbrella, EC Learn will train and coach early child care providers; work with school districts to help children bridge from early learning into the public school system; work with Head Start programs through the Northern Kentucky Community Action Commission; provide child care referrals for NKY families and businesses; and assist with training of professionals to earn their Child Development Associate (CDA) credential, which helps to build the early childhood professional career lattice. The local services EC Learn provides will enhance, extend, and expand the state agency resources already in place.

“The ECTC committee was created out of passion for a tremendous need in our community,” said
Sandra Woodall, Executive Director of EC Learn. “There are 125 child care programs and more than
4,000 child care professionals in NKY who need help maintaining high standards of child care as well as thousands of families and employers counting on us to help connect them and their workers to
child care providers. We’re proud to partner with NKADD in the coming months and feel confident the relationship will help us strengthen relationships to further deepen the quality of child care in our

“NKADD is excited about the partnership with EC Learn,” said Lisa Cooper, Executive Director of
NKADD. “Now more than ever, quality childcare is critical to the community. The mission of EC Learn fits well with the mission of NKADD, and we look forward to assisting with this important work.”

The ECTC and EC Learn will lead a community needs assessment to best understand the critical
needs of child care providers as well as assess the rapidly changing child care needs of families and
employers in NKY. The Community Needs Assessment will be completed by October 2020 and
shared with partners in December 2020. Based on the results of this assessment, the ECTC will work
with local nonprofit organizations and funding partners to determine the best strategies for supporting
the needs of child care providers, families and employers beyond EC Learn’s partnership with NKADD through 2020.

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