A Gathering of Champions
The Early Childhood Investment Council celebrates its third annual convening
On Tuesday, November 15, 2022, a group of ReadyNation Mississippi’s senior business leaders came together from across the state to celebrate the massive impact of the Early Childhood Investment Council (ECIC) at the 3rd Annual Mississippi Early Childhood Investment Council convening.
ECIC member Wade Broyles, a former professional baseball player, gave the welcome. After a rousing performance of the National Anthem by Tonya Ware, Lt. Governor Hoseman took the stage to thank council members and share more about the ongoing research and hearings by a newly formed nine-member senate committee whose focus is women, children, and family supports and services.
Jeff Capizzano, President of the Policy Equity Group, spoke about the positive effects of birth-to-3 care—an issue of great importance to the ReadyNation members. He also spoke about the history of early childhood systems and capacity, the need for higher wages for child care workers, and how the child care crisis continues to strain the labor market in Mississippi.
Todd Klunk, W.K. Kellogg Foundation program officer, shared more about the foundation’s role and broad work in the state. ECIC members networked, with many meeting for the first time in person since the pandemic. At the close of the meeting, the council members shared their thoughts on early learning and the case for expanded seats for pre-K funded early childhood education, early intervention services for birth-to-3, wage updates for child care workers, and more business use of the pre-K tax credit in support of early learning collaboratives.
The convening highlighted the tremendous focus on these issues by the ECIC. And that focus is well-founded, as ECIC members understand that investments in early childhood today will light the path toward a brighter future for Mississippi’s children.