CentroNía is a nationally-recognized nonprofit organization whose mission is to educate children and youth and strengthen families in a bilingual, multicultural environment. Its programs provide affordable, high-quality early childhood education and care for children aged 0-5 years old; training and professional development for prospective and current educators; and wraparound family support services to over 2,400 children, youth and families in Washington, D.C., and Maryland. The organization serves predominantly low-income, immigrant families and believes that every child should have access to educational experiences that allow them to gain the foundational skills for lifelong learning, regardless of socioeconomic and racial or ethnic background.

CentroNía Institute’s Child Development Associate credentialing and scholarship programs are offered in English, Spanish and Amharic to help create a highly-trained, diverse educator workforce. The Institute has partnered with Comis on a multiyear project to study the impact of the CentroNía Institute Reflective Practice Approach (CIRPA), a tool designed to improve teacher’s Instructional Support scores under the Classroom Assessment Scoring System used by most states to assess center quality. The Instructional Support measure reflects teacher ability to sustain the quality teacher-child interaction that research shows promotes child learning and development, particularly among young children at risk of lower educational outcomes.

Together, quality adult-child interaction and instruction, developmentally appropriate learning environments, and nourishing food can have a transformational impact for children, especially during the critical first five years of life when the brain’s network of neural pathways are developed and strengthened. Early childhood services also generate positive effects on maternal education, labor force participation, and parental income, which can have a profound and long-lasting impact on children’s wellbeing, making investment in early childhood services a powerful and cost-effective way to support equity and create an intergenerational cycle of opportunity that makes young children, their families, and our community stronger.