Early Childhood Education
National Black Child Development Institute (NBCDI)
Founded in 1970, the National Black Child Development Institute (NBCDI) has remained steadfast in its mission—“To improve and protect the quality of life for children of color and their families by giving every child a chance.” With a focus on early childhood education, child welfare, elementary and secondary education, and health, the Institute accomplishes this mission by serving as a vital information resource to all individuals who work directly with children and by providing direct services at the local level through its nationwide affiliate network.
Over the years this mission to protect and improve the quality of life for children through the age of 14 has benefited millions of children through accomplishments such as the following:
• Conducting a landmark study on children in foster care which resulted in subsequent progressive national policies;
• Advocating successfully for progressive adoption policies and subsidies that permitted older and single parents to adopt;
• Working successfully to create public policy and influence legislation that directly affects the lives of African American children by testifying before Congress on every significant child-care bill from the Comprehensive Child Development Act of 1970, the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, the School Construction Act of 1999 to the Consequences for Juvenile Offenders Act of 1999 and orchestrating a special hearing on parenting in 2000;
• Working to gain public support to provide access to universal early care and education which has become a priority for governors in more than half of the states;
• Promoting publicly supported quality child-care programs for mothers who were entering the workforce in increased numbers, resulting in the enactment and special allocation of funds by a substantial number of states for child care;
• Implementing and expanding a community-based nationwide intervention/ prevention program entitled Entering the College Zone from five to twenty five cities to get more disadvantaged middle-school students on the college track;
• Providing leadership to agencies like the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to decrease health disparities; and
• Building and nurturing partnerships with organizations ranging from the National Education Association (NEA), the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and a number of corporations like United Parcel Service (UPS), Proctor and Gamble (P&G), State Farm Insurance Companies, and government agencies like the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Through the years, NBCDI has made tremendous strides to improve the lives of children by raising its profile in the market place to become the leading voice for children of color through the following core program areas:
• The Early Years and Parenting—Love to Read Early Literacy Project, The Parent Empowerment Program, a parenting education curriculum; African American Parents Project, a partnership with the National Institutes of Health that published the Helping Children Cope with Crisis Guide; and SPARK: Supporting Partnerships to Assure Ready Kids
• The Middle Years—Entering the College Zone to increase the number of disadvantaged students who enter college
• Community Mobilization—The National Affiliate Network with groups in over thirty cities
Further, NBCDI’s Annual Conference is one of the leading professional development gatherings for those working to improve the lives of children, youth, and their families. Every year thousands of educators and professionals from around the country in early care and education; elementary and secondary education and administration; child welfare and youth development; research; and local, state, and federal policy convene to gain knowledge and acquire skills needed to ensure a quality future for all children and youth. For thirty-five years, Evelyn K. Moore has served as President of NBCDI.
Web Site: National Black Child Development Institute, www.nbcdi.org.
Stacey D. Cunningham