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Press Clippings

The Virginian Pilot - Inside Business

May 4, 2023

Umstead said that while public investment is necessary at federal, state and local levels, it will take partnerships with business, philanthropy and communities to solve the problem.

“The Virginia business community has been a longtime partner in advocating for increased access and affordability and recognizes the direct impact child care has on current and future workforce,” she said.

Umstead remains hopeful that under the current leadership and with the continued momentum, change will finally come to help future generations and the economy.

“While people know intuitively the importance of a child’s earliest years, our societal investments in cognitive, social and emotional growth of children under 5 are abysmal,” she said. “Thus, children are falling through the cracks.”

Hampton Roads Show
February 10, 2022

The Virginia Department of Education and the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation have launched a statewide network called Ready Regions to try and help parents find quality and affordable childcare.

Smart Beginnings Virginia Peninsula was selected to serve as the lead organization for Ready Region Chesapeake Bay. Their Executive Director, Diane Umstead joined HRS with some details.

Virginia Early Childhood Foundation Launches Ready Regions
Richmond, Va. (Jan. 6, 2022)

The Virginia Early Childhood Foundation (VECF) announces the launch of Ready Regions, a transformative network designed to bring unprecedented levels of coordination and accountability to early education programs in every community across the Commonwealth.

“Ready Regions upholds the commitment long embraced by Smart Beginnings to bring communities and local leaders together from both the public and private sectors to collaborate on early childhood education priorities,” said Liberty University’s Robert Hurt, board chair of VECF. “Moving forward, Ready Regions will enable the Commonwealth as a whole to benefit from the bottom-line win-win-win of quality early childhood education: school-ready children, work-ready parents and thriving Virginia families.”   

Read the entire PRESS RELEASE HERE


Hampton Roads Show
November 18, 2021

Many experts feel that we are facing a crisis in early childhood care and education – something pushed to a breaking point by the pandemic. SBVP Executive Director Diane Umstead appeared on Wavy TV 10's Hampton Roads Show with some helpful information and possible solutions.

Coastal Virginia Magazine
November 10, 2021

Designed to honor the region's outstanding organizations and businesses giving back to the community and improving the lives of those who call Coastal Virginia home, Coastal Virginia Magazine hosts their annual Giving Back Awards. Smart Beginnings Virginia Peninsula was one of the 10 nonprofit organizations recognized in 2021 for their profound impact on the community as well as their bold leadership throughout the COVID-19 crisis. 

COVA Magazine 2021 award_Page_1.jpg

Oyster Pointer
September 24, 2021

This Oyster Pointer article speaks to SBVP's history, programs, and vision that all children on the Virginia Peninsula will be healthy and have the tools they need to succeed in school and, therefore, in life.

Hampton Roads Show
September 21, 2021

Executive Director Diane Umstead is back at Wavy TV 10 with reporter Chelsea Khan to discuss the impacts of COVID-19 on early childhood education.

Hampton Roads Show
August 25, 2021

Executive Director Diane Umstead joined Wavy TV 10 reporter

Chelsea Khan to discuss kindergarten readiness.


Watch the recording here. 









Hampton Roads Physician
Spring 2021

Our Prenatal Resource Program was featured in this regional publication, highlighting our screening process and the difference we're making for babies and their families.

Read the article (page 30)

HR Physician Magazine.JPG

Looking forward for Early Childhood

May 26, 2020

Senator Monty Mason is a longtime champion for children and families and serves on the Smart Beginnings Board of Directors. On May 26, 2020, he shared insights from the recent legislative session and addressed the current landscape, specifically early childhood and family options which are critical to school readiness and economic recovery.

Census 2020 Discussion

September 4, 2019

Tweet by Delegate Cia Price shows Executive Director Diane Umstead and SBVP Board Member, Senator Monty Mason, speaking about #CountingAllKids in the #Census2020 .


Interview on WTVZ Our Issues Hampton Roads Show

April 8, 2019

Diane Umstead Executive Director interviewed about SBVP programs

Entercom radio interview with Executive Director Diane Umstead

December 2018

Aired on 4 radio stations in the area in December:

  • Z-104

  • 94.9 ThePoint

  • 95.7 RnB

  • TheNew 101.3

HRP-SmartBeginnings Mixdown #1(1).mp3Artist Name
00:00 / 23:36

"Hampton Roads lags state in key child welfare indicators"

June 27, 2018

Daily Press article with several references to SBVP.

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