“On behalf of the Board, we are thankful for the dedication of Dr. Jacqueline Jones to the Foundation for Child Development throughout her tenure as President and CEO. It has been an honor to work with Dr. Jones and support her steadfast leadership. Dr. Jones has been the chief architect of growth at the Foundation over the past six years with a strong commitment to investing in diversity and equity in scholarship through the work of early-career researchers. She’s implemented her vision for innovative strategies to improve the status of the early care and education workforce, especially their professional preparation, compensation, and development to ensure high-quality early childhood programs can support all young children in reaching their full potential. We are grateful for Dr. Jones and look forward to her continued guidance over the next year.”
— H. Melvin Ming, Chair
Serving as President and CEO of the Foundation for Child Development for the past six years has been one of the most deeply satisfying and professionally important experiences in a very long career that has focused on advancing the quality of life for young children, their families, and the adults who support them.
After over 100 years dedicated to supporting rigorous research in the service of having every child reach their full potential, the Foundation’s Board of Directors agreed to concentrate on the early childhood workforce and the transformative role they play in the lives and futures of young children and families. We have worked toward highlighting the skills required to do the work, elevating the long-overdue need for increases in compensation, providing a path for innovations in early childhood teacher preparation, and improving the quality of practice with implementation research.
I am enormously proud of the contribution the Foundation has made in highlighting the social justice issues that must be addressed if real change is to be achieved for the early childhood workforce. The unlivable wages and benefits, failure to be recognized as professionals, and inadequate access to high-quality educator preparation and professional learning that define this workforce are rooted in institutional racism which denies access, compensation, and professional advancement.
Our ongoing investment in early career researchers through our Young Scholars and Promising Scholars programs is part of the Foundation’s core work. Through this initiative, we hope to contribute to the development of a pipeline of diverse applied researchers who will be dedicated to improving the lives of young children. We are so proud of them.
The Foundation’s investment in research-practice partnerships, particularly, the New York City Early Childhood Research Network that informs New York City’s ongoing implementation and continuous improvement of its universal preschool program, has created unique collaborations among researchers, practitioners, and policymakers.
Our work to establish the Early Educator Investment Collaborative brings early childhood funders together to make significant, coordinated investments that have the potential to close the achievement gap by elevating the competencies and compensation of the professionals who support young children.
Given this progress, I have decided that the time is right to transition the Foundation to new leadership. I will lead the Foundation for one more year, after which I fully intend to remain active in the field, but in different ways. The Foundation’s amazing Board will continue its commitment to our 2015 – 2025 programmatic strategy. Supported by our very competent staff, I will continue the Foundation’s important work and support the Board’s search for a new President and CEO through June 2022. The Board and I anticipate a seamless transition.
While I am clearly very proud of the Foundation’s accomplishments under my leadership, I have always believed that an organization must be more than any individual; its strength lies in the collective expert staff, committed Board, and clear programmatic and operational strategies.
I look forward to working with you over the coming year and long into the future as we strive to accomplish the mission of the Foundation for Child Development:
… to harness the power of research to ensure that all young children benefit from early learning experiences that affirm their individual, family, and community assets, fortify them against harmful consequences arising from poverty, racism, prejudice, and discrimination, and strengthen their developmental potential.
With warm regards,
Jacqueline Jones, Ph.D.
President and CEO
Foundation for Child Development