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Healthy Babies, Strong Families, and Foundations for Lifelong Success

The Early Success Coalition is a collective impact initiative housed at Porter-Leath that promotes shared, evidence-based practices proven to improve early childhood development and school readiness within Shelby County, Tennessee.

We envision a community with healthy babies, strong families, and foundations for lifelong success. As such, the mission of the Early Success Coalition is to support the expansion and coordination of a comprehensive system of high quality services for children preconception through age 5 through family engagement and community collaboration to promote early childhood development.



Since our focus is on improving the lives of children, we work to strengthen the network of caregivers and providers that serve these children. Specifically, we work with early childhood service providers including teachers, pediatricians and other health care providers, infant mental health specialists, behavioral health specialists, home visitors, social service providers as well as parents and caregivers.


What We Do

1. Enhance capacity of early childhood providers and supporting infrastructure

  • Expand membership and extent of participation in the Early Success Coalition.
  • Promote the adoption of a shared data platform that is available to early childhood providers to use for case management, reporting and cross-agency referrals.
  • Promote a continuous quality improvement process among Early Success Coalition partners.
  • Align and promote professional development and training opportunities targeting early childhood professionals.
  • Continually support quality improvement

2. Cultivate resilient families

  • Market and promote evidence-based programs.
  • Promote/offer nurturing parenting training and strengthening families capacity building

3.Elevate awareness of social and emotional health factors and pilot behavioral health integrations

  • Integrate Ages and Stages developmental screening in childcare settings.
  • Integrate behavioral health into pediatric and primary care settings (Ex: Reach Out and Read, AIMHiTN, etc.)


Our Initiatives

The Early Success Coalition Network is our network of providers implementing services to families to meet the goals of the Early Success Coalition (ESC). The ESCN was established to put into action the “no wrong door” practice which is an approach to maximize connecting families to services, including home visiting. The remaining programs provide ancillary, but important supports to children and families such as family planning, transitional housing, academic support, etc. Front-line and supervisory staff meet monthly to review performance data, identify barriers to successful implementation and develop new approaches that result in impactful systemic change.

Nurturing Parenting is an evidence-based parenting program proven to reduce incidence of child abuse and neglect. Nurturing Parenting is a group program that offers a 12 to 24 week course designed to help you become the best parent possible. We partner with organizations all over Shelby County who offer this program and provide training and professional development to agencies to promote effective implementation of the curriculum.

The Parent Leadership Training Institute (PLTI) is a free program seeking to enable parents to become leading advocates for children. Parents are selected to participate with consideration to their ability to commit to the entire program and how their participation in the program will enhance diversity, learning, and group cohesion. Learn more here.

We promote the practice of Integrated Behavioral and Relational Health through partnerships with local pediatric clinics and the University of Memphis. We place Masters-level social work students and professionals in clinics to provide behavioral health screenings, conduct relational health observational screenings, and connect families to community resources to promote positive infant and early childhood mental health.

Awards and Recognition

In early 2016 the Early Success Coalition received the Governor’s Awards for Excellence in Early Foundations.  Later in the year we were presented with the TN Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Friend of Children award.


Our Funding

The Shelby County Early Success Coalition (ESC), launched in January 2009 with a five-year Evidence-Based Home Visitation grant from the Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services. As part of this effort over 65 public and private agencies addressing early childhood development formed a shared mission to build a comprehensive system of services for children, pre-conception through age five. 

In addition to government funding through the Tennessee Department of Health and the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services, the ESC also works with local private funders seeking resources to further enhance the early childhood infrastructure and deepen our work within targeted under-resourced communities. The Women’s Foundation for a Greater Memphis, The Urban Child Institute, and the Assisi Foundation are local funders that have generously supported the work of the Early Success Coalition.