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.
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.
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
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
Aired on 4 radio stations in the area in December:
"Hampton Roads lags state in key child welfare indicators"
June 27, 2018
Daily Press article with several references to SBVP.