Child Development & Early Learning


CEI will conduct meetings to inform a cross section of stakeholders of the need for high quality early childhood education through a series of summits focusing on policy, economic benefits, programs in neighboring states, program criteria, and collaboration. Early childhood development and learning ensures children are ready to learn when they go to school and have the foundation to build the skills necessary to be productive members of society and the workforce when they graduate.


Learning Starts at Birth, not Kindergarten

Research shows 90% of the human brain develops between birth and age 5. This is the most valuable time we can prepare Mississippi’s children to enter Kindergarten and build a foundation for life-long success. Building a high quality, affordable early childhood development and learning system will contribute to the achievement of higher grade scores, a higher graduation rate and fewer grade retentions.

Economic development and workforce preparedness starts with Mississippi’s kids having access to a high quality, affordable early childhood development and learning program.

The Goal

To advance early childhood development and learning in all aspects, ranging from, increasing state funding to promoting childcare as a place of learning, as well as a valued local business enterprise. Our vision is to ensure that all entities impacting the education of young children are working together and leveraging resources for the maximum benefit to all children.


Program Components

Allies for Quality Care

Allies for Quality careserves eligible childcare centers located in Copiah, Hinds, Rankin, Simpson, Warren, and Yazoo Counties. The focus of this program is to address the programmatic needs of child care centers through evaluation and intense technical assistance. This program will provide direct assistance to participating centers in an effort to (1) improve the learning environment in each classroom, as evidenced by improved ITERS/ECERS scores, (2) improve the nutritional quality of food provided to children, as evidenced by menus and shopping plans approved by a nutrition specialist, and (3) develop an operating budget for the program, including the identification and implementation of available cost-saving measures.

Become an Allie!

MS Alliance of Early Learning Resources (Shared Services)

MS Alliance of Early Learning Resources was established in June of 2013 as a shared service resource for early child care providers and educators. It is an online resource created to give providers easy, low-cost access to everything from administrative services to marketing support in one location. Following a 6-month pilot stage, (MS)CEI is now rolling out the program statewide with the capacity of serving 2,000 centers.

Learn more about MS Early Learning Resources 
Join our mission to improve early education!
Watch video to learn more about what we do.

MS Learning Lab

Originally, Learning Labs were a national movement lead by the Kellogg Foundation to radically improve early learning (birth to age 5) for all children in the United States. The movement consisted of a partnership of four innovative, diverse organizations across the country located in Florida, Hawaii, Mississippi, and Washington State during a 4-year process. (MS)CEI has continued the process of bringing together ECE stakeholders together on a consistent basis to discuss, strategize, leverage, and work together on efforts to move ECE (early childhood education) forward in Mississippi.


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