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Early Childhood Education

Did you know that singing, reading aloud and turning everyday activities into fun learning games can help young children build a foundation for success in school, work and life? Research shows that 90% of a child’s brain develops in the first five years of life. That’s why United Way of Champaign County is working with partners, schools, child care providers, preschools and afterschool care providers to help children start school ready to succeed. 


5 Ways Summer Programs Help Kids Thrive

Summer programs provide so much more to kids in our community than a chance to catch up academically. Classes, camps, and out-of-school activities offer kids a chance to grow and thrive so they can reach their full potential. Together with our partners, United Way of Champaign County provides free and accessible summer programs to kids in Champaign County. 

Why are these programs so important? Here are five ways free summer community programs help all kids thrive.


Join the fight to shift the odds.

Change doesn’t happen alone. Join the fight in Champaign County.

The impact of lacking a high-quality education can start early. Kids who are not strong readers by third grade are less likely to graduate from high school. The consequences stack up from there. High school dropouts are more likely to be arrested, struggle to find employment and face health challenges. With low rates of kindergarten readiness and high rates of chronic absenteeism, the data for our community shows a difficult reality for our kids.


Request for Proposals - Early Grade Level Success

Success in life begins with a quality education. And yet, many Champaign County children and youth enter school unprepared, lacking the support they need to strengthen their literacy and math skills and stay on track in school. Ultimately this leads to fewer students graduating high school and finding a career.

Today, United Way of Champaign County is announcing a bold goal to change the statistics. To build a community where every child can achieve their full potential, we must start with early education.