Executive Summary

In 1998, a group of concerned citizens in Atlanta observed that more than 1,000 children in Fulton County were not being served by the Head Start program simply because space did not exist, and those being served were placed in centers that did not meet basic licensing requirements. The group decided action needed to be taken and that the private sector should play a major role. From this stage, Early Learning Property Management (ELPM) launched in 1999 as a 501(c)(3).

During its first 5 years, ELPM helped to realign the Fulton County Head Start program by joining forces with the philanthropic community and quickly raised the necessary capital to renovate or build quality early learning centers to serve the facility needs of Head Start and other nonprofit early care programs.

ELPM’s mission is to transform early childhood learning and development in underserved communities by building and maintaining high quality, safe facilities, as well as enhancing existing centers. 

Since inception, ELPM has worked with early care providers to address the need for additional quality early learning facilities and, to date, ELPM has purchased, renovated or constructed 15 high quality early education centers, which have served approximately 46,000+ young children, their families and their communities.

Through its leasing model, ELPM works with prequalified and proven 501(c)(3) nonprofit early care providers to evaluate their existing programs and explore options to expand program services. Once a strategic plan is in place, ELPM implements a fundraising strategy, raises the capital funds for each project, and offers affordable, long-term leases at below-market rates. ELPM utilizes the rent proceeds to reinvest back into the facilities by providing the ongoing maintenance and capital repairs. This allows providers to concentrate their efforts on the development of children and staff rather than dealing with facility issues or raising additional funds.

In 2022, ELPM launched its Quality Facilities Initiative (QFI), which helps metro Atlanta early providers who are outside of ELPM centers address maintenance and capital projects they have not been able to fund. Through this model, ELPM raises the grant funds, publishes a competitive grant opportunity to early care providers in a pre-established area of need, and handles the projects 100% on behalf of the awarded providers. All grant funds remain with ELPM to cover all costs associated with the projects. While most providers have a wide expertise in business and providing early care programs, history has shown that providers tend to lack the maintenance and construction expertise when required to make informed decisions regarding facility management.

ELPM continues to partner with GEEARS: Georgia Early Education Alliance for Ready Students, to implement its PAACT Repair and Renovation Program, which mirrors the QFI model. PAACT: Promise All Atlanta Children Thrive is a citywide alliance led by GEEARS working to support high quality early learning, education and the healthy development of Atlanta’s youngest children. By joining forces and collaborating with aligned organizations, we create greater progress toward common goals and commitments to address the issues facing early childhood learning.

Through its mission, ELPM has directly improved the quality, efficiency and accessibility for early learning by providing young children the opportunity to attend safe, quality early learning centers. The ELPM models have empowered child care providers the opportunity to deliver programs in rich learning environments that support high quality early learning, and where children benefit from nurturing relationships with program staff. ELPM has helped to build strong collaborations in the early learning arena and to bridge the achievement gap that starts before kindergarten. With the support and commitment of dedicated funding partners, ELPM is successfully implementing its mission and making great impacts in the lives of thousands of young children, families and communities.

ELPM remains mission driven and dedicated to continue strategic discussions with potential partners for additional high quality early learning centers in Georgia. While much work remains, ELPM celebrates the victory of enabling these young children to have an opportunity to receive the educational nurturing needed to be successful in their educational journey and become thriving adults.

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