This Board leads the efforts of a newly-created non-profit organization, the Virginia Beach GrowSmart Foundation. Formed in June 2014, the purpose of the Foundation is to bolster the work of Virginia Beach GrowSmart by securing increased funding through public grants and private donations. Additionally, the Virginia Beach GrowSmart Foundation acts as an advocacy group that seeks to garner support from both the public and private sectors. The GrowSmart Foundation Board helps to ensure that increased attention and resources are devoted to early childhood education and development.
Our investment today in early childhood education will benefit future generations and result in a prepared workforce and economically vital community.
The Foundation's purpose is to support Virginia Beach GrowSmart's initiatives through advocacy and by securing public and private sector funding.
Virginia Beach GrowSmart launched LENA Start in Fall 2017. LENA selected the City of Virginia Beach as one of 11 new communities to join LENA Start. A program that helps parents & caregivers of infants and toddlers (0-30 months) close the talk gap. LENA uses an innovative "talk pedometer" technology with simple strategies offered in a series of efficient, engaging sessions. LENA Start in Virginia Beach is supported by the Foundation, Virginia Beach GrowSmart, and United Way of South Hampton Roads.
Early childcare settings play a critical role in workforce development - both current and future. The Foundation supports Virginia Beach GrowSmart in ensuring all children have access to high-quality childcare. It is imperative childcare centers have the support and resources to meet licensing standards, enrollment in Virginia Quality, and strong professional development opportunities. High-quality childcare supports today's current workforce and prepares the future workforce. Investing in early childhood is an investment to the community's economic vitality.
According to Times Magazine, the Virginia Beach MSA has the highest percentage of millennials of any metro area in the country. 70% of residents have some college experience or an advanced degree. Virginia Beach has 9 major business districts.
- 95% of all Virginia Beach businesses have 50 or fewer employees - 55% live & work in Virginia Beach - 15,000 employed by the school system - 217,000 employed of civilian workforce
- 200+ early learning programs - 20 Virginia Beach City Public Schools' have pre-K programs - Early education business course impacted 3,000+ children - Over 67,000 enrolled in VBCPS K-12