In 1990, the vision of a few Dallas philanthropists came to fruition with the creation of Educational First Steps (EFS). The vision was clear: EFS would seek to transform low-performing childcare centers communities with the greatest need into nationally accredited, high-quality learning environments that help to close the educational gaps, end generational poverty, and overcome the different social inequalities that disproportionately impact African Americans and other communities of color.
For the past 30 years, Educational First Steps has remained in continuous pursuit of its mission to create and support high-quality early learning environments that ignite the minds of children from birth to age five. EFS achieves its mission by partnering with childcare providers who are committed to achieving national accreditation at no cost to the center directors, teachers, families, and communities that EFS serves. In 2012, Educational First Steps successfully expanded its reach by moving into Fort Worth, and the organization now operates in six counties across North Texas.
Educational First Steps’ growth is facilitated through its signature early childhood education program, the Four Steps to Excellence. The program utilizes a two prong approach that not only provides the evidence-based training, mentoring, and comprehensive resources needed to help childcare centers achieve national accreditation, but also delivers the marketing and business support necessary to help partner centers become financially sustainable and available to serve local communities for generations. By investing in early childhood education, EFS has aimed to combat both generational poverty and the social inequalities that disproportionately affect African American populations and other communities of color across North Texas.