Why early childhood development?

Muncie is facing big problems: low educational achievement, poor health, poverty, unemployment and crime.  The good news is that many top researchers and economists have found the best solution to address these issues - high-quality and accessible early childhood development programs for children from birth to age five.

Quality investments in a child’s cognitive, social, emotional and language skills during this crucial time of development have the greatest potential to break the cycle of poverty, protect our children from lasting developmental setback, improve health and wellbeing of entire communities, and attract businesses and development that we so desperately need.

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How does Muncie measure up?

Once renowned as a thriving center of industrial activity, Muncie, Indiana has been waging a decade-long battle against a deeply fractured economy.  The statistics show a city plagued by poverty, unemployment and failing schools, presenting challenges that cannot be mounted without significant cultural shift.

Many local organizations devote significant time, resources, passion and sweat to address the needs of our community, making a difference in citizens’ lives every day.  But their work alone is not enough to save our city.  The research shows that we must begin with greater citywide investment in our youngest citizens – Muncie’s infants, toddlers, preschoolers and pre-K students.

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What are we doing as a community?

Key organizations throughout Muncie and Delaware County have adopted early childhood development as a primary economic development strategy for our region.  These organizations include the Muncie-Delaware County Economic Development Alliance, the Ball Brothers Foundation and the Muncie Action Plan.

The Muncie Before 5 Taskforce is led by Tom Kinghorn, former vice president for business affairs and treasurer at Ball State, and represents a diverse group of non-profit, for-profit organizations, working together to invest in Muncie’s youngest citizens. Efforts to change the course of our city will require widespread awareness, dedication of resources and long-term commitment from all Muncie citizens and businesses.

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