EMGA is committed to the vision that all children in Greater Austin enter kindergarten prepared for school success.
United Way for Greater Austin and E3 Alliance formed Early Matters Greater Austin (EMGA) to mobilize and unite the business community to help ensure every child in the Austin area enters kindergarten prepared for success.
Currently, less than half of Austin-area students enter kindergarten prepared to learn. If children don’t do well in their early years of education, their high school graduation rates plummet. Each year we allow this to continue, the quality of Austin’s skilled workforce declines sharply. Leadership from the business community is working to change this trajectory.
EMGA’s efforts have resulted in:
INFLUENCING PUBLIC POLICY
Advocate for local and statewide policy and funding to increase
access to high-quality early education.
The City of Austin incorporated equitable access to quality Early Childhood Education into it’s 2023 Strategic Plan and will measure the number and percentage of children enrolled in quality Early Childhood Education programs as a key metric.
Partnered with Children at Risk, the Austin Community Foundation, Mayor Steve Adler, and Council Member Pro-Tem Delia Garza at a press conference to highlight the need for high-quality child care as an economic development driver for women in Texas and Austin. EMGA was profiled as the convener of business leaders making the link between economic development and access to high-quality early education.
Informed policymakers about EMGA’s goals and support for pre-k expansion during the 86th legislative session. This included participating in a press conference at the Capitol, acting as a reference and authority on early education and care for local media outlets, and also participating in Leadership Austin breakfast focused on the importance of early childhood as an economic development issue.
Several bills EMGA championed passed into law during the 86th Session, including: HB3; HB680; SB 568; SB706; and SB708.
Raising awareness about FAMILY-FRIENDLY WORKPLACES
EMGA works to promoting family-friendly workplace practices as a baseline
for improving conditions for young children and families.
Researched, wrote and launched Austin’s Family-Friendly Workplace Toolkit. It was endorsed by Austin Chamber of Commerce.
Launched the Family-Friendly Workplace Initiative with Mayor Steve Adler. Over 25 business leaders joined the Mayor at City Hall to kick off the program.
On June 6th, the Austin City Council passed a Family-Friendly Resolution, directing the City Manager to encourage Austin area employers to adopt family-friendly practices, including utilization of the EMGA Family-Friendly Toolkit as well as assessing the City’s employment practices and identifying areas where the City may improve to become a more family-friendly employer.
Incubate, pilot and scale innovative solutions to challenges of access and affordability in the early-childhood sector.
Laid the foundation for Innovation by working with cross-sector partners in Austin as well as brainstorming opportunities to incubate innovation in Austin.