The Community Foundation’s desire to improve early childhood care and education was the impetus behind York County’s Focus On Our Future initiative, launched in 1994 in partnership with the United Way of York County and Penn State York. A $500,000 challenge grant from The Heinz Endowments inspired the Community Foundation’s first endowments dedicated to this goal and helped four York area child care centers establish endowments to sustain their work. The implementation of Focus On Our Future, now run by the United Way, led to a dramatic increase in the number of nationally accredited early childhood education centers in York County - from three in 1997 to 25 in 2010, twice the national average. In addition, more than 575 child care providers have enrolled in higher education programs.
The Community Foundation understands that early childhood education is a key to future success. Through our Education and Children & Youth Field of Interest areas, we will continue to advocate for opportunities to excel as a community.