PLATINUM2023

EDUCATIONAL FIRST STEPS

One Childhood, One Chance

Dallas, TX   |  www.educationalfirststeps.org

Mission

The mission of Educational First Steps is to create and support high-quality early learning environments that ignite the minds of children from birth to age five.

Ruling year info

1990

President & CEO

Vickie Allen-Brown

Main address

2815 Gaston Avenue

Dallas, TX 75226 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

75-2334053

NTEE code info

Kindergarten, Nursery Schools, Preschool, Early Admissions (B21)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

High-quality early learning is needed now more than ever. The earliest years of childhood go by quickly, but their impact lasts forever. As much as 85 percent of critical human brain development occurs in a child’s first three years. Young children flourish when they are exposed to language, books, diverse experiences, developmentally appropriate learning, and professionally trained educators. However, in North Texas, many children from birth to age five do not have access to a high-quality early learning experience. Poverty, systemic racism, and a lack of community resources prevent many children from receiving the equal opportunity of high-quality early childhood education, and the impact can transform the trajectory of a child’s life socially, emotionally, economically, and intellectually.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Four Steps to Excellence

Since 1990, Educational First Steps has equipped early childhood educators with the tools and resources to create high-quality early learning environments where children are nurtured and thrive, ready for success in school and beyond.

EFS achieves extraordinary standards of age-appropriate quality for more than 100 child care center partners, and their classroom staff and directors throughout North Texas. By developing expert, credentialed teachers through regular one-on-one mentoring and professional development training, passive caregiving is transformed into active and intentional education. This, in turn, helps our partner centers achieve national accreditation and Texas’ highest ratings as superior early learning centers at no cost to the centers, teachers, or their families.

Today, EFS serves over 6,000 children throughout North Texas who attend independently owned and operated partner centers as well as licensed/registered early education home-based centers, which together serve over 20 school districts.

Population(s) Served
Infants and toddlers
Children
Ethnic and racial groups

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of child development centers and home-based providers participating in EFS programming

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Infants and toddlers

Related Program

Four Steps to Excellence

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of children impacted by EFS programming

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Infants and toddlers

Related Program

Four Steps to Excellence

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of educators/tearchers impacted by EFS programming

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Related Program

Four Steps to Excellence

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of professional development hours for early childhood educators/teachers

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Related Program

Four Steps to Excellence

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of mentoring hours provided to early child development educators/teachers

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Related Program

Four Steps to Excellence

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Educational First Steps (EFS) creates and supports high-quality early learning environments that ignite the minds of children from birth to age five. EFS transforms existing childcare centers into nationally accredited preschools in a period of 36 months at no cost to the centers or parents. By securing national accreditation, centers become true preschools, preparing children for kindergarten and beyond and placing them on a path to success.

Our signature program, Four Steps to Excellence 2.0, guides participating centers through an incremental four-step process working towards accreditation. The program promotes open dialogue and strong relationships between center directors, teachers, and Educational First Steps.

Through mentoring, formal training, and enrichment – both in centers’ own classrooms and in our leading-edge classrooms at our new headquarters facility – we provide centers with the proven tools and techniques needed to achieve accreditation.

Educational First Steps uses a two-pronged approach that consists of Education Specialists helping teachers develop the skills that they need, which include organization, planning, and most importantly, loving and nurturing interactions, while EFS' Marketing and Enrollment Services Department strategically works to increase center directors’ financial literacy and understanding of business best practices as well as the key marketing techniques that allow childcare centers to be economically successful.

In addition to this two-pronged approach embodied by the Four Steps to Excellence, the defining characteristic of Educational First Steps is that the organization makes a permanent commitment to its partner centers, by first mentoring childcare providers along the rigorous path towards national accreditation and afterward helping centers become fully enrolled and economically sustainable over time. In the process, EFS looks to create impactful, social change that helps empower communities that are most in need of opportunity.

Educational First Steps believes that investing in high-quality early childhood education is fundamental to empowering communities of color, reversing cycles of generational poverty, and dismantling the vestiges and structures of systemic racism. Children exposed to high-quality early learning programs are more likely to graduate high school on-time, attend and complete post-secondary education, be physically and emotionally healthy, and have a higher earning potential in future employment.

Educational First Steps presently serves over 8,271 children, 1,565 teachers, 155 directors, 531 classrooms, 105 independently owned-operated partner centers, and 59 licensed and/or registered home-based providers across 24 school districts in North Texas. The children we impact are 55% African American, 32% Latino, 20% Caucasian, and 2% Asian. EFS also provides professional development, onsite mentoring, and classroom instruction to over 1,500 center teachers and directors across 22 school districts in Dallas, Tarrant, Collin, Johnson, Denton, and Grayson Counties. These caregivers, almost exclusively women of color, live in the same neighborhoods as the children they teach, typically have a GED or high school diploma, and are paid minimum wage.

Educational First Steps focuses on the communities of greatest need across North Texas, including as examples the Oak Cliff, Fair Park, and Pleasant Grove in South Dallas and the Como, Historic Southside, and Stop Six neighborhoods of Fort Worth among others. Nearly 33% of families served by EFS receive state childcare subsidies, and over 76% of the children in our program qualify for subsidized food programs. Educational First Steps has devoted 30 years to serving people of color and neighborhoods in need, and we are requesting your support in building greater social equity across Dallas and Fort Worth.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We share the feedback we received with the people we serve, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

Financials

EDUCATIONAL FIRST STEPS
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

EDUCATIONAL FIRST STEPS

Board of directors
as of 09/06/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Libby Manning

Barb Garton

Life Member

Beth Gold

David Munson

Co-Founder & Life Member

Jennifer Mosle

Alice Barnett

Julie Dolan Smith

Mudbath Productions

Norma Stone

Sandra Estess

Life Member

John Selzer

Septariate

Roy Johnson

Bank of Texas

Kathryn Lake

Marsha Brito

Audrey Decherd

Baylor Scott + White Health

Amy Nickell Jacobs

Michelle Lockhart

Bill Mattes

YPO

Gail Stoke

Bob Appel

Joyce & Linus Wright

Co-Founders & Life Members

Wasan Alfalahi

Loree Cullum

The Northern Trust Company

Paige Hendricks

Paige Hendricks Public Relations Inc.

Jennifer Massey

Baylor Scott + White Health

Celeste Moya

C3 Financial Partners

Patrick Reardon

PNC

Jeeti Kahlon

Margaret Spellings

Wendy Stanley

Mikki Van Cleave

JP Morgan Chase

Angela Hosseini

Lupe Mora

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 9/6/2023

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Black/African American
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 09/06/2023

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.