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About Us


About Us

Smart Beginnings Western Tidewater (SBWT) was founded in 2008 as a multi-jurisdictional nonprofit supported by the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation as part of the statewide Smart Beginnings Initiative with additional support from the City of Franklin, Southampton County, and Isle of Wight County. SBWT serves as a convener for a community network representing various agencies and organizations that impact local early childhood development. 

Guiding Principles

Public and Private Partnerships – The mission and vision are community owned and resources are leveraged from both public and private sources recognizing that key leaders and decision makers share responsibility and accountability for breaking down barriers and developing a cohesive early childhood system.

Inclusion – Emphasis on authentic engagement of families who are recipients of early childhood services – especially prioritizing children and families who live in adverse circumstances.

Quality and Continuous Improvement - A commitment to evidence-based programs and practices that demonstrate knowledge of the best available research regarding children, families, and community.

Data-informed decision-making - Community level data, including both quantitative and qualitative data, is essential for making wise investments of resources in early childhood.

Non-partisan community “convener” - The recognition that the development of healthy children requires impartial engagement of multiple stakeholders including parents, business, faith community, government, and nonprofit sectors.