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At Early Excellence Project, we champion Black & Brown childcare providers by fostering quality, equity, and accessibility in early childhood education. We are committed to delivering tailored coaching, advocacy, and professional development to empower providers and influence policy.

PROJECT

EARLY

Excellence

OUR HISTORY

Located in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, the Early Excellence Project (EEP) stands as a beacon of innovation and promise. Birthed from the passionate vision of Black women educators and led by the dynamic Brittini Wright-Burley. In 2020, the organization launched the groundbreaking "Center Coaching and Outreach" initiative, not only expanding its service to the community but also fostering quality and excellence. By introducing pathbreaking webinars like "Child Care Chatter" and "Child Care 101", EEP created a vibrant digital ecosystem for childcare centers across the city. Leveraging the feedback during the challenging times of the COVID-19 pandemic, EEP sculpted a pioneering curriculum catering to both emerging and established childcare providers, in collaboration with eminent institutions including the Urban Redevelopment Association, PNC Bank, and Chatham University. In addition to the transformative curriculum and real-world learning experience, budding and seasoned childcare providers were also eligible for a $25,000 forgivable Cribs loan through Chatham University's Center for Women's Entrepreneurship.

 

Complementing their year-round initiatives, EEP introduced the "Keys 2 Excellence (K2E)" program, a summer literacy experience in the Hill District, seamlessly blending innovation with a culturally sustaining curriculum for children in grades K-5. Such impactful interventions have positioned EEP as an influential force in communities ranging from the Hill District to Penn Hills. With a steadfast commitment to elevating early education and nurturing the next generation, the Early Excellence Project promises a brighter, more optimistic future for Pittsburgh and beyond.

We see ourselves as future 'architects of change in childcare' and will strive to design a blueprint for highly successful and educational childcare centers and contribute to new and innovative research designs to influence the childcare landscape and policy.

 

The future of the early excellence project is big.

OUR VISION

OUR TEAM

We are the pioneering advocates and architects of change behind Allegheny County's childcare transformation, delivering tailored needs-based professional coaching and mentoring to early childcare providers designed to advocate, amplify, influence, and to enrich the success and learning of Black and Brown children.

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Lyasha Bishop - Gaines, MBA

DIRECTOR OF RESEARCH & IMPACT

DaVonna Shannon, PhD

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS CONSULTANT

Cassandra Brentley, EdD

DIRECTOR OF WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT & CAPACITY BUILDING 

Crystal Rose,  EdD

DIRECTOR OF COMMUNITY

Erikka Grayson, MBA

LITERACY COORDINATOR

Anita Burley, MS

WORKFORCE COORDINATOR

Tracie White

PROJECT COORDINATOR

Dayna Calloway

CDA CONSULTANT

Tiffany Montgomery

OUR TEAM

We are the pioneering advocates and architects of change behind Allegheny County's childcare transformation, delivering tailored needs-based professional coaching and mentoring to early childcare providers designed to advocate, amplify, influence, and to enrich the success and learning of Black and Brown children.

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