A Citywide Call to Action Aims to Strengthen and Align Systems Serving Detroit’s 80,000 Young Children and Their Families

DETROIT – The W.K. Kellogg Foundation and The Kresge Foundation today announced a community-driven partnership to strengthen and grow early childhood services for Detroit’s youngest residents. Hope Starts Here: Detroit’s Early Childhood Partnership will create a first-of-its-kind citywide action plan to create coordinated, high-quality early childhood systems that ensure children are born healthy, prepared for kindergarten and ready for success for third grade and beyond.

Hope Starts Here is co-chaired by W.K. Kellogg Foundation President and CEO La June Montgomery Tabron and The Kresge Foundation President and CEO Rip Rapson.

“Detroit’s residents have told us their hope for this city starts with the success of their children,” said Tabron. “Hope Starts Here will engage the community to build high quality, early childhood experiences for all 80,000 of Detroit’s young children. Today, one in three of our children in Detroit lacks access to quality early learning care and only one out of 10 of our third graders are proficient readers. So, the time to act is now.”

More than 100 committed civic and community leaders joined Tabron and Rapson for the announcement of the partnership. They have agreed to share their knowledge to help move Detroit to action to meet the education, health and social needs of young children, from birth to age 8.

“Detroit’s children cannot be left behind as the city rebounds. We’ve seen tremendous public/private partnerships over the last decade to support Detroit’s cultural and social revitalization,” said Rapson. “Without building systems that support and prepare our young citizens, Detroit cannot reap a full return on all that has been invested. The more that we can do, collectively, to prioritize children, the more Detroit will see our various efforts create the kind of hope that lasts for generations.”

Detroit children and their families need access to prenatal and pediatric medical care and mental health services, healthy foods, high-quality early care and education programs, and safe streets and schools. Many Hope Starts Here partners work in these sectors, and investments in early childhood have increased. Hope Starts Here will share existing resources and information, identify gaps and create an action plan for establishing high-quality early childhood systems in Detroit.

Tens of thousands of Detroiters will lend their voices and make recommendations for immediate and long-term actions. Residents, parents and caregivers will have a variety of ways to participate, including mobilizing families, attending public information sessions, participating through community organizations and sharing their ideas and stories at and via Facebook at Follow the conversation via #HopeBuilds.

Follow the conversation via #HopeBuilds