Early Childhood

Priorities & Activities

The mission of CFVI's Early Childhood involvement is to serve as a facilitator of efforts to promote early childhood experiences that will positively impact children's development, readiness for school, and later life success. TFC is committed to raising public awareness, increasing parent/family engagement, advising stakeholders on best practices, and serving as a clearinghouse for funding dedicated to early childhood. The Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands (CFVI), through funding from the Annie E. Casey Foundation compiles and disseminates information on the status of children in the USVI in The KIDS COUNT USVI Data Book. Data collected over the years brought the need to focus on improving the quality of early care and education to the forefront. In response, CFVI established in 2006 an early childhood initiative, entitled The Family Connection (TFC).

To this end, our efforts are concentrated around the following activity areas:

Applying Expertise · Promoting Best Practices

Serve as an advisor or participating member on projects/initiatives, including the Human Services Research Partnership, the MCHM-McVee Home Visiting Program (Department of Health), and the DHS/UVI Early Childhood Care Study Project. Inform and advocate regarding best practices for programs and policies that will move the needle on issues affecting young children and their families.

Convening Key Stakeholders · Representing Local Interests

Bring together community members, concerned citizens, government leaders, policymakers, and other stakeholders to discuss and address issues impacting young children and their families. Represent USVI interests in national initiatives, such as KIDS COUNT and the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading.

Connecting with Communities · Raising Awareness and Engagement

Reach young children and families directly, promoting messages that encourage early learning, positive caregiving environments, and nurturing parenting practices. Engage in community-based engagements and awareness efforts, such as the Play and Learn Tent at the St. Croix Agricultural and Food Fair, maintenance of an early childhood resource and book bank, and distribution of products with early childhood messaging.

History & Accomplishments

CFVI's early childhood initiative was launched in 2006, with the establishment of The Family Connection (TFC). Data reviewed through our role as the KIDS COUNT organization for the USVI highlighted the need to focus on improving the quality of early care and education throughout the Territory. TFC aimed to strengthen the Territory's child care and early education infrastructure by building awareness of the importance of early learning and development for success and working with community agencies to promote quality care and education. In particular, TFC provided training programs, networking, and resources to child care providers, early education professionals, and parents of young children. A physical TFC Center opened in 2006, with the intention of providing space for the early childhood community to gather and share ideas on raising the standard for early care and education. The TFC center provided books, educational materials, and toys to children, their parents, child care providers, and teachers. In 2014, the TFC Center was re-located to the Educational Center of the St. Thomas Humane Society campus and is currently available for access/use by request. For a comprehensive listing of activities and highlights to date, see the TFC Accomplishments Summary.

Questions or comments? Contact Anna Scarbriel: ascarbriel@cfvi.net