Investment Profile

The Child & Family Network Centers

Investment Highlights

Child and Family Network Centers delivers quality education to Alexandria’s at-risk kids. It is the only nonprofit in Alexandria, Virginia, providing free, quality, bilingual preschool and family support to members of the community.

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childandfamilynetworkcenter_minorDATES & AMOUNT OF INVESTMENT

2001 – 2006 | $600,363

INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITY

Child and Family Network Centers envisioned expanding the organization to increase the number of at-risk children receiving high-quality, free preschool education and to demonstrate its program as a regional and national model for community-based family service.

Their aspirations were to:

  • Expand from eight classrooms serving 140 families in Alexandria to 17 classrooms serving 270 families through expansion to the West End of Alexandria and South Arlington;
  • Improve the current organizational structure, particularly in the areas of development, communications, outcomes, technology, and human resources; and
  • Enhance programmatic initiatives including converting to full-day preschool education and expanding support services through partnering or direct service (i.e., before/after care, health care, legal/immigration, mental health, financial/banking advice, etc.).

KEY ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Child and Family Network Centers’ greater effectiveness led to a 73 percent increase in the number of children served, from 120 to 207, over four years and program expansion into two new neighborhoods. It greatly increased the impact of its programs by transitioning all remaining half-day programs to full-day, and adding health services and financial literacy programs. Child and Family Network Centers maintained and/or attained accreditation by the National Association for the Education of Young Children at all locations. Their influence spread through the region. CFNC has been recognized as a model program by the Montgomery County Department of Human Services and the Maryland Department of Education. Their students’ average overall developmental growth far exceeded the national average, particularly for children whose first language was not English. Other noteworthy accomplishments that contributed to improved capacity and increased effectiveness include:

Planning and Focus: Completed business planning in early 2003, resulting in a detailed expansion plan to open new sites, strengthen existing programs, and add new programs. Rebuilt a stronger, more engaged board united around new growth plans.

Human Capital – Board and Management: Added a chief operating officer and development director, transitioned to a management team structure, and clarified roles, responsibilities, and decision-making processes.

Outcomes Assessment: Adopted The Rensselaerville Institute’s model outcome approach to achieve and define key outcomes to be measured on an organization-wide basis.

Increased Visibility: Receipt of $500,000 Families Count award from Annie E. Casey Foundation highlights achievement on a national scale.

SEE MORE HIGHLIGHTS IN THE CASE STUDY

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