GEEARS/PAACT (Promise All Atlanta Children Thrive)

ELPM is fortunate to have the opportunity to collaborate with organizations across Georgia to further the cause of high-quality early learning and development. We are able to bring a unique expertise in the realm of construction, renovation and facility management so that centers are prepared to host learning programs and serve other community needs.

Quality improvement was identified as a high priority in a recent initiative launched by GEEARS, Georgia Early Education Alliance for Ready Students. GEEARS has over ten years of experience in advocating for investments and policy-building for early care and education.

In 2018, GEEARS convened the  Atlanta Early Education Leadership Council (AEELC)  which consisted of leaders from both public and private sectors including local government, state agencies, business, faith, health, philanthropic, and early education communities and, after 6 months of extensive research, the PAACT initiative was developed to carry out an eight-prong strategic plan to improve early learning conditions. PAACT, Promise All Atlanta Children Thrive, is a citywide alliance working to support high-quality early learning, education, and the healthy development of Atlanta’s youngest children. The PAACT vision is that families in the City of Atlanta have what they need to ensure that all children starting at birth are healthy, learning and developing so that they enter school ready for success, thrive once in school, and are prepared to reach their full potential as residents of our city.

Item one of PAACT’s strategic plan is dedicated to the quality of childcare programs and expanding the accessibility of high-quality programs to underserved children and families in Atlanta. The initiative first examined data from Atlanta Public Schools to identify areas with the greatest need. The Douglass and Washington clusters were made top priorities based on the low availability of Quality Rated facilities, along with other factors such as families living in poverty and literacy levels. Quality Rated is Georgia’s system for evaluating and improving childcare and education programs.

ELPM partnered with PAACT to implement the 21-22 grant cycle for its Atlanta Fund for Quality Facilities Improvement Program (FIP), focusing on the Douglass and Washington Atlanta Public School clusters. Through a competitive grant process, early care providers were awarded grants to cover maintenance projects they have not been able to fund.

ELPM utilizes its experience and resources in the construction industry to manage these maintenance and renovation projects on behalf of the providers. Through the FIP, early care providers in the Douglass and Washington clusters are able to continue their important work in refreshed, improved facilities. Higher quality facilities enable providers to better serve children and tap into other opportunities available through Georgia’s Quality Rated system.