Vanguard Strong Start for Kids Program
While it seems like my experiences might be far from the core business of Vanguard, they’re actually quite similar. Vanguard’s crew are charged with acting as stewards of our clients’ hopes and dreams through smart, sensible, and aligned investment management. And we also are encouraged to be stewards within our communities, so it made sense that the signature crew and corporate philanthropic program would employ Vanguard’s long-held strategy: investing early pays off later. The Strong Start for Kids mission is to boost kindergarten-readiness for low income young children, primarily within Philadelphia, PA, Charlotte, NC, and Phoenix, AZ (our biggest U.S. sites). Empirical evidence shows that investing in high-quality programs for young children and families in the 0-5 years is necessary for developing educated, healthy, productive citizens that thrive in a global economy.
Equally as important as a long-term societal benefit is the fact that high quality early learning opportunities change the trajectory of individual lives and families. I have seen the impact of high-quality opportunities as an early learning professional and I also see it every day as the parent of two young daughters. Children develop the foundation of their cognitive abilities and character during their first five years. Their brains are literally being built by all of the experiences happening in their lives – good or bad! Nurturing relationships that make children feel safe and loved, while enabling them to experience the world around them, builds stronger brains. By supporting organizations and projects that enhance parent/caregiver skills, improve learning opportunities outside of homes, and coordinate services so that families have easier access, the Strong Start for Kids program works to help young children build the foundation for learning they need to thrive.