Early Childhood

early-childhoodWhen we fail to invest in the early years, the costs are spread throughout the rest of the community- lack of education, deprived talent pipeline, impact on economic development, lower tax base and poorer health outcomes- just a few ways failure to invest in the early years is realized.

Children who attended preschool when the first Community Focus Report (CFR) was published in 2004 are now approaching their junior year of high school. Since that time, early childhood education has become a pivotal issue in our community. What of those children — the class of 2017? What can we predict from their years as preschoolers? Some wonderful things have happened, including a growing community awareness and attention to early childhood needs, local programs to support young children like Mayor’s Commission on Children and Isabel’s House Crisis Nursery, and incredible collaboration among early childhood agencies, business, and our faith community. The challenges children face in the early years, however, have not gone away. We are still dealing with high child abuse and neglect rates, child poverty, inconsistent pre-kindergarten investment and lack of school readiness that put these children at high risk of dropping out while remediation costs burden an educational system strapped for funding.


Every Child Promise
Springfield School Board Commitment
Dolly Parton Imagination Library

Kindergarten readiness
Funding instability
Child abuse and neglect
Adequate response to children with challenging behavior

The following indicators have been identified as instrumental to the Red Flags and Blue Ribbons listed in this section of the 2015 Community Focus Report. Click on an indicator to learn more about the topic.

Single Adult Family Households

Greene households

Click here to read the Early Childhood Section
Click here to read the entire 2015 Community Focus Report for Springfield-Greene County