February 16, 2021
Executive Director, Fairfax Futures
Fairfax Futures is a first-time grant recipient of the John & Janice Wyatt Foundation (J2W). The $110,000 grant award will support Year One of two multi-year initiatives which will work towards improving the quality of early childhood education in Fairfax County. These programs tie directly to the Fairfax County Equitable School Readiness Strategic Plan, specifically in providing equitable offerings of high-quality early development learning experiences and related school readiness supports. Fairfax Futures will partner with Fairfax County Office for Children to manage elements of the programs.
“We are thrilled to begin our philanthropic engagement work in Fairfax County in partnership with Fairfax Futures and the Office for Children,” says Matt Peterson, Executive Director for the J2W Foundation. “This is an exciting opportunity to be able to positively impact the early childhood landscape across the entire breadth of the county with both a new pilot program as well as scaling an existing, successful developmental screening tool. Over the next few years, we’ll continue to offer our support in helping to position these programs for success.”
The first program—Promoting the Use of Developmental and Social Emotional Screeners Among Early Childhood Programs to Support School Readiness—will support the county’s work to expand and promote the use of the Ages and Stages Questionnaires (ASQ-3 and ASQ:SE-2)—developmental and social/emotional screeners—among early childhood programs. “Early intervention can help to ensure future school success,” says Fairfax Futures Executive Director Sallyann Bergh, “We encourage educators and families to use the ASQ screening tools to help monitor children’s growth and development and screen for developmental delays or concerns before entering kindergarten.” J2W funds will support the purchase of ASQ materials for educators as well as costs associated with the ASQ Enterprise, a web-based data management system.
The second program—Strengthening the Fairfax County Early Childhood Educator Workforce Pipeline—will create a mentorship program to support early childhood educators as they attain their Child Development Associate (CDA) credential. The CDA credential, administered by the Council for Professional Recognition, is an important tool to support a more confident, well-prepared, and knowledgeable early childhood educator workforce in our community. Earning a CDA credential can help educators advance their careers; however, it comes with an investment in both time and money. The investment from J2W will support the program’s infrastructure and provide educators with CDA materials and other resources to support their progress.
“Now, more than ever, we are seeing the critical value that early childhood education plays for working families,” states Fairfax Futures Board Chairman Cathy Lange. “We are grateful for the J2W’s support in helping us put these initiatives into action.”
Fairfax Futures launched as a nonprofit organization in 2004. Through the power of partnerships, Fairfax Futures catalyzes community-wide action and change so all children and youth achieve their full potential.
The John & Janice Wyatt Foundation was founded in July 2018 by John and his wife, Jan, after a successful career in designing, building, and scaling technology companies. Having raised a family and witnessed the educational disparities among youth in the public school system, John and Jan established this philanthropic initiative with the goal of leveling the playing field – through education – for disadvantaged children. The Wyatt family believe that, by creating equity for the whole child, these kids ultimately will have the best chance to succeed in school and thus become strong, contributing citizens in our communities.