Excel By 5, an early childhood community certification process focusing on a community’s young children, celebrates its tenth anniversary this year. GodwinGroup has been a strategic marketing and communications partner for the program since its inception. The Excel By 5 program emphasizes the important roles parents and early childhood educators play in the lives of children during their most formative years — from birth to age five.
The program is the first of its kind in the United States and began in 2004 supported by a funding grant from Chevron. The process identifies gaps in community resources, encourages community collaboration and volunteerism, promotes economic development and addresses children’s needs with regard to education, healthcare, safety and childcare.
Excel By 5 began in four pilot communities: Petal, Pascagoula, Cleveland and West Point. Today the program has expanded to 34 locations in Mississippi. Excel By 5 sets forth a variety of standards involving parent training, community participation, childcare and health to help communities focus on supporting young children and their families. The certification process also identifies available resources and existing best practices to help reach the goal that all of the community’s children will be ready to learn when they start school (at age five).