Taking Action

Advancing Early Learning Shelby County's aims of ensuring more children in early care and education are connected with a high-quality program and that their families are engaged and supported.  Each Action Team has its own leadership, mission, goals and objectives that are aligned with the overarching goals of Early Learning Shelby county.  Action Teams meet monthly and are open doors in order to continually engage more people who have interest and expertise in these four key work areas: 

Registered Ministry Care and Education

Family Engagement and Education

Kindergarten Readiness

Health and Wellness


Early Learning Ministry Advocacy Team for Shelby County

Where parents have a choice and ministries have a voice!

The mission of the Early Learning Ministry Advocacy Team is to encourage and recognize Registered Ministries provide quality, Christian education and engage in continuous improvement. 


Chair:  Angi Elliot

Kidzone Preschool & Childcare

Co-Chair:  Jennifer Wainscott

St. Joseph Catholic School

Meetings are held monthly from 4:00pm to 5:30 pm on the last Thursday of each month at a rotating ministry location.

Kindergarten Classroom

The Challenge

Finding quality care and education is hard.

Nearly 70% of Shelby County children need care while their parents are working.  Most Shelby County children spend large amounts of time outside of the home in early care and education settings or out-of-school programs.

Quality care can be hard to find and afford, especially for low-income and County-residing families.  

Many of the youngest and most vulnerable Shelby County children are not getting the best early education opportunities.

  • 14% of Shelby County children live below the poverty line

  • Less than 40% of Shelby County children are enrolled in known early education or out-of-school program. 

  • A single parent living in poverty pays 40% of their income to access a high-quality care program in  Shelby County. 

Teacher and Kids in Library

The Solution

Access to quality care and education develops skills that last a lifetime.

Success starts early.  But, failure can start early too.

Overwhelming evidence shows that children who begin kindergarten behind often stay behind throughout their educational journey.  

Skills developed during childhood greatly influence success later in life and can improve upward mobility.  Providing access to high-quality early learning and out-of-school programs boosts cognitive, social and emotional skills that make stronger learners, leading to better education, health, and economic achievement.

High-quality early learning amplifies the important work parents and families are doing to develop children.  Parents and teachers want to work together to do what is best for children.  Teaching and nurturing the smallest among us will see the biggest rewards.