Mixed Delivery Program Expanded to Increase Access and Choice to Early Childhood Care & Education for Families
Richmond, Va. (June 26, 2023) – The Virginia Early Childhood Foundation (VECF) announced $40,721,379 in grants to support quality early care and education (ECCE) for 2,038 three-and four-year-olds and 510 infants and toddlers across the Commonwealth. Through Virginia’s Mixed Delivery program, which is coordinated and managed by VECF, eligible families have the option of choosing a high-quality, publicly funded private early education site that meets their child’s needs and their family’s preference.
“Every child in the Commonwealth deserves the opportunity for a strong start in life,” said VECF’s board chair Robert Hurt of Liberty University. “This investment in our youngest Virginians will increase the number of children who have access to quality early education in the setting that works best for their families. As we look to continue growing our economy, Virginia must have a best-in-class early education system grounded in choice, quality, and access.”
Funding was awarded through a competitive process to the following Ready Region lead agencies to administer the Mixed Delivery grants in their respective service areas:
Ready Region Blue Ridge (United Way of Greater Charlottesville) – $8,137,545
Ready Region Capital Area (Fairfax County Neighborhood and Community Services) – $998,080
Ready Region Central (Thrive Birth to Five) – $8,789,260
Ready Region Chesapeake Bay (FirstSpark) – $3,757,829
Ready Region North Central (Foundation First) – $1,023,820
Ready Region Southeastern (Minus 9 to 5) – $5,953,245
Ready Region Southside (Center for Early Success) – $3,040,828
Ready Region Southwest (United Way of Southwest Virginia) – $6,573,750
Ready Region West (United Way of Roanoke Valley) – $2,447,022
The Mixed Delivery program is a bipartisan effort originally launched in 2016 as an innovative pilot to test out how communities can effectively engage private childcare providers in the delivery of public preschool services for three- and four-year olds. The program has fostered partnerships between public and private early education providers, strengthening Virginia’s early childhood system and producing strong results with long-term benefits for young children and their families.
Starting in FY23, the state budget included funding to pilot expansion of Mixed Delivery to serve infants and toddlers and required use of a cost estimation model to more accurately identify the true cost of quality ECCE services. By using the revised cost of quality rates alongside its contract-based model, the Mixed Delivery program offers a stable, predictable revenue source for private ECCE sites to deliver quality services. Demand for this program continues to grow with more than 7,500 slots requested statewide and just over 2,500 slots funded.
“We know that early care and education for children younger than three years old is the most costly and least available to Virginia families,” said Kathy Glazer, President of the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation. “By piloting the Mixed Delivery program to serve infants and toddlers, Virginia is tackling one of the biggest barriers for young working families. We applaud the Governor and the Virginia General Assembly for prioritizing strategic investments in the Commonwealth’s early childhood education system, which is essential to making Virginia the best place to live, work and raise a family.”
About the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation: VECF creates results-oriented partnerships to ensure that young children are healthy and prepared for school, life and workforce success.