Why We Exist

Each year over 15,000 babies are born in Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk, and Virginia Beach. Many start their lives with family and health challenges they may never overcome.

  • Nearly 1,500 babies have low-birth weights that cause health complications.
  • 136 of them will not live to see their first birthday.
  • Approximately 57% will live in poverty.
  • 40% will be raised by single mothers.
  • Nearly half will spend their first five years in informal childcare.
  • As many as 16% of these children enter kindergarten not ready to learn.

Studies show that children who start school without the social, emotional and educational skills to succeed will fall behind. And, they likely will never catch up with their peers. This can set the stage for children to struggle for a lifetime.

Studies show that children who start school without the social, emotional and educational skills to succeed will fall behind. And, they likely will never catch up with their peers. This can set the stage for children to struggle for a lifetime.

Why we exist

  • We are regional with an emphasis on families in five Hampton Roads cities: Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk and Virginia Beach.
  • We are focused on helping the whole child — physically, socially, emotionally and cognitively.
  • We believe that by helping economically disadvantaged families we can improve early care and education for all area children and families.
  • 136 of them will not live to see their first birthday.