Early Childhood

Early Childhood

Columbus is fortunate to have many outstanding services and programs in our community dedicated to supporting families and improving the quality of life for our children. In spite of our best efforts, far too many children are entering Columbus area kindergarten classrooms without the vocabulary, early reading and foundational numeracy skills that are critical to school success. Preparing children for kindergarten and school achievement begins at birth with quality early education experiences. Working together to enhance and strengthen the early childhood education programs in our community we can help all children reach their full potential. FutureReady early childhood initiatives:


  • Identify promising practices for early literacy and math development
  • Working with community partners to increase the number of early learning and academic assistance programs for PreK children
  • Align promising practices with existing programs
  • Work with agencies to develop continuous improvement strategies to increase child success
  • Assist agencies and programs in tracking performance toward the goal


The ready4success initiative was created to identify the early reading abilities and needs of four-year-old children attending center-based care and education programs. In collaboration with early education and care program, the goals of the initiative are to:


  • Partner with agencies/sites to offer early reading and math screenings to be used as a resource for instructional decisions
  • Offer on-site coaching and mentoring services to assist teachers and directors in implementing instructional strategies known to be effective
  • Provide content-focused professional development that reflects current research and adult learning theory
  • Fosters support and community among early childhood education and care programs


FutureReady partners with Action for Children to accomplish these goals.
For more information on how to become a partner contact Vicki Jacobs at vjacobs@actionforchildren.org


SPARK (Supporting Partnerships to Assure Ready Kids)

SPARK is a home visitation, family-focused school readiness program. SPARK works with families to help get their children ready for kindergarten by building reading, language, math and social skills. The goal of SPARK is to support parents in becoming their child’s first and best teacher.


SPARK has been available in Columbus since 2013 thanks to the support of five community agencies: Columbus Metropolitan Library, Homeless Families Foundation, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Schoenbaum Family Center, and the YMCA of Central Ohio. And with funding support from United Way of Central Ohio and Franklin County Job and Family Services. Since service began in Columbus, over 650 children have received early learning experiences in their home with the services of a Parent Partner. For the 2015-2016 school year, SPARK has provided in home school readiness services to over 350 children in the Columbus area.


FutureReady Columbus provides the coordinating services for all of the Columbus SPARK supporting agencies and serves as the liaison to SPARK Ohio.

Early Learning Data Hub

One aspect of helping our children arrive at kindergarten better prepared is to understand the many aspects of their learning and care opportunities starting at birth. FutureReady Columbus in partnership with Learning Circle Education Services is creating an Early Learning Data Hub to be of service to the community and the programs. Currently, programs that are ready 4 success partners and SPARK agencies are working with developers to create an easy-to-access data hub that will serve as a single site for gathering information. The elements to be included in the data hub are the following:


  • Family, child and program information required for federal, state and local funding;
  • An agency/program site that will enable program administrators, educators and families access to child screening and assessment information, important for educational decisions; and
  • Transition to kindergarten information that will provide kindergarten teachers with start of the year information to assure seamless instructional practices and services.


For more information contact Sandy Miller at sandy.miller@frcbus.org

Language and Early Literacy Conference

Since 2012, our Language and Early Literacy Conference provided local educators with a one day conference targeted at early childhood language and literacy development. National and Ohio experts in this field provide professional development based on current research and best practices. The conference offers a variety of topics such as: interactive read-a-loud, writing in early childhood classrooms, and supporting literacy development through engaging conversations. This past year, the Language of Math was introduced as a content strand to help teachers understand that math is more than counting and much can be done to support children’s emerging understanding of math concepts.


For more information contact Sandy Miller at sandy.miller@frcbus.org

Early Childhood Education Council