Home About

Healthy Babies, Strong Families, and Foundations for Lifelong Success

The Early Success Coalition is a collective impact initiative 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 develop a comprehensive early childhood system of high-quality services for children from pre-conception to age five that engages families, promotes resiliency and supports positive 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.)


How We Work

The purpose of the Early Success Coalition Network workgroup is to support its member organizations in the engagement of families prenatally to encourage early prenatal care and preparation for the birth of a new family member. Of the 22 programs represented, seven offer home-based services and three are center-based.

The remaining 12 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.

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. 

This established a foundation for ongoing collaboration among early childhood providers and ultimately positioned Shelby County to serve as the local demonstration site for Tennessee Project LAUNCH (Linking Actions for Unmet Needs in Children’s Health). Project LAUNCH is funded through the TN Department of Health using federal funds provided by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The project seeks to improve coordination across child-serving systems, build infrastructure, and increase access to high-quality prevention and wellness promotion services for children and their families. 

Funding through the Project LAUNCH demonstration program has supported the Early Success Coalition in its efforts to enhance existing early childhood programs as well as improved the mechanism for children and families to connect to services. In addition to government funding, 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 and the United Way of the Mid-South are two local funders that have generously supported the work of the Early Success Coalition.