Governor Baker applauds data-driven approach to improving quality of early education programs

December 2, 2016

Governor Charlie Baker (center), with Peter Garran (right) of Great Hill Partners LLC and United Way's Michael K. Durkin.

Governor Charlie Baker (center), with Peter Garran (right) of Great Hill Partners LLC and United Way’s Michael K. Durkin.

United Way Private Equity & Venture Capital Leadership Breakfast raises $500,000 this morning to advance early education efforts in the region

BOSTON — Governor Charlie Baker this morning headlined United Way’s 23rd Annual Private Equity and Venture Capital Leadership Breakfast, an event raising funds to advance high quality early education and early intervention programs for low-income children in the region. The event celebrated the importance of early education to the academic success of children and youth as well as the building of the Commonwealth’s future workforce and long-range economic prosperity.

The event showcased DRIVE, one of United Way’s innovative, data-driven early childhood programs aimed at providing developmental screening to at-risk children in Boston.  United Way’s Private Equity/Venture Capital Leadership Council worked together to shape DRIVE and raise the funds needed to launch the program in Boston two years ago. Today’s funds will enable to program to expand both in Boston and in other communities.

“The work you are doing, like the DRIVE initiative, enhances our knowledge base and how we invest in children,” said Governor Baker.  “Doing this work on a go-forward basis creates a platform where we can all be successful in funding programs that work.  Your participation and engagement with United Way and your willingness to be a part of the next generation of leaders that makes the United Way a vibrant and game-changing organization is a wonderful and important statement.”

Added J.D. Chesloff, Executive Director at the Massachusetts Business Roundtable: “Talent development starts at birth.  High quality early education increases the chances of high school graduation, college graduation and being employed.  United Way has shown the power of partnering to move an agenda forward.”

More than one-third of Boston children entering kindergarten do not have the skills to succeed.  By third grade, two-thirds of children are not reading proficiently. These numbers are strong predictors of future graduation rates, incomes and our region’s long-range economic prosperity.

In its first two years, DRIVE has screened 4,000 young children, helping to identify developmental delays earlier and connect parents and children to early intervention services.  When re-screened, 62% of the children who had “strong concerns” for delays had shown improvement.  United Way recently began piloting the program in Chelsea and Lawrence.

Today’s breakfast also featured Peter Garran, Partner at Great Hill Partners LLC and Bo Mlnarik, Senior Associate at Summit Partners.  Presenting sponsors of United Way’s Private Equity/Venture Capital Leadership Breakfast include: Bain & Company, Deloitte, EY and Ropes & Gray.  Platinum sponsors include: Antares Capital, KPMG, McKinsey & Company, Stax and Weil.