The Learning Collaborative Preschool

Challenge

A recent Harvard/Berkeley study on economic and social mobility notes that Charlotte ranks 50th among the nation’s 50 largest urban areas. Children born into families at the bottom 20% of household income in Charlotte have only a 4.4% chance of moving from the bottom to the top 20 percent of income. Additional findings by Nobel prize-winning economist, Dr. James Heckman, show that early childhood education is the most cost-effective route for strengthening the workforce, thus increasing family income and the potential for economic mobility.

In the Grier Heights neighborhood, the challenge of economic and social mobility is especially acute due to the number of young children in the community (43% of residents are under the age of 18 vs. a Mecklenburg County average of 25%), the high rate of poverty (median household income is almost 70% below the county average), the high dropout rate (more than 2 times the county average) and the lack of available preschool programs.

Response

CrossRoads partnered with The Learning Collaborative preschool to relocate to the Grier Heights neighborhood in 2016. After a successful capital campaign, CrossRoads coordinated the efforts to purchase and remodel an existing strip shopping center. Initial plans were for TLC to serve 64 children and their families, with room to increase capacity by 50%. The preschool now serves 80 children age two and up. This 5-star, NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children)-accredited, tuition-free preschool provides a high quality education to at-risk families through partnership with children, families, parents, staff and community.

More info at http://www.tlccharlotte.org/

PARTNERS

The Learning Collaborative
Bank of America

Myers Park Presbyterian Church
Residents of Grier Heights
Thompson Child and Family Focus
Wells Fargo Foundation

LEADERSHIP

Don Gately