Early Learning Ventures (ELV) is an innovative approach engaging the public, private and philanthropic sectors to address the operational challenges facing early care and education (ECE) in Colorado. With extensive experience in capital finance, business development and early childhood education, Early Learning Ventures is uniquely poised to launch this initiative, together with the David and Laura Merage Foundation.
The Merage Foundation’s leadership provides a model for new relationships with funders, new financing strategies and new partnerships so that it may systematically address:
- Streamlined ECE Funding and Finance
- Operational Efficiencies for ECE Businesses
- ECE Policy Reforms
- Public Awareness
- Parent Engagement and Consumer Education
- Access to High-Quality ECE
To address these challenges, the foundation invests in the existing industry infrastructure and advocates for policies to reduce the fragmentation in the sector. This approach will increase coordination in the current system and stimulate new investments in ECE organizations by identifying key business, philanthropic and education entrepreneurs to drive ECE finance and policy change, and will facilitate innovative allocations of existing resources in order to bring innovations to scale.
Central to reaching ELV objectives for universal access to high-quality early care and education is to launch Early Learning Ventures Alliances (ELVA): community-based networks comprised of small ECE businesses that work together to deliver services in a more streamlined and efficient way. The ELVA model ensures fiscal stability and superior business operations as a part of the sustainability plans, which are the foundation for delivering affordable, high-quality ECE services. ELV seeks to bring knowledge about shared business platforms and new business models to the ECE industry. The ELVA model allows small businesses to retain their autonomy and diversity, and yet attain critical economies of scale.
- Engagement with a broad spectrum of existing ECE resources
- Professional fiscal management and economic strength of an Alliance, making it easier for very small businesses to weather economic ebbs and flows
- Lower costs from economies of scale in business functions like payroll, benefits management, banking, janitorial, food services, insurance and purchasing
- Affordable and quality ECE that is accessible for parents
- The ability to offer a range of comprehensive support services for families
- A comprehensive approach to professional teacher training and development
By forging ELV Alliances, quality ECE businesses will offer high-quality early learning. The result: All children will have the opportunity to succeed in early care and education programs and will be better prepared to succeed in school and, ultimately, in life.
For more information, please visit the Early Learning Ventures website at http://www.earlylearningventures.org/.