It’s been quite a year so far. As we face so much uncertainty in our nation—a pandemic we never could have imagined, public outrage around the social injustices that have plagued our nation for years, school closures extending into the fall—early learning services for families faced with poverty and qualified, committed early educators continue to remain vital needs to propel our communities forward.

In this challenging time, we’re discovering how resilient we all are. Though COVID-19 forced us to close our offices in the spring, we did not shut down our programs. Instead, we—teachers, staff, parents, even our babies—came up with new and innovative ways to carry on with early learning and comprehensive services regardless of the circumstances. This has not been easy on anyone, but you have all risen to the challenge in so many ways.

As we begin a new program year, we remain vigilant; we must also remain open, flexible, and adaptable. The world that we have lived in since March 2020 is fluid, and while we have worked hard to regain some normalcy and implement systems that have taken us years to build, we must trust our instincts and past experiences and do our very best to ensure that we continue to bridge the educational gap for children.

In these times, different is our new normal. Moving forward, let us always keep our focus on Excellence in ALL We Do. As we continue to prioritize the health and safety of all, we owe it to the vulnerable babies, families, and communities we serve to ensure that we continue to provide high-quality education and comprehensive services to as many children as we can, whatever form it may take—whether remote, hybrid, or in-person.

Thank you for your hard work, your flexibility, your innovation, and your patience as we have been and continue to navigate this strange and challenging time together.