Kids Playing Together While Sitting in the Grass
Girls Playing With Swing

Born Learning History

In 2005, United Way Worldwide, United Way Success By 6, Families and Work Institute and the Ad Council launched the Born Learning campaign to develop easy-to-understand, research-driven resources to make it simple and easy for parents, grandparents, informal caregivers and professional child care providers to understand child development and use “everyday moments” to help children start school ready to succeed.

To create these materials United Way Worldwide and the Ad Council conducted extensive public opinion research to test the “everyday moments” concept. That research included 16 focus groups across the country, with working and stay-at-home moms of various incomes, dads, grandmothers and Hispanic moms and grandmothers. Participants knew their interactions with the children they cared for mattered, but didn’t always know exactly what to do – and said they didn’t have time to do what it takes to support early learning. The last thing they needed was more pressure! But the concepts – like playing silly games with a baby while folding laundry – encouraged them, gave them confidence, and even provided ideas to try out with their family. They understood the concept that supporting early learning can be a fun and loving interaction that can be done in the day-to-day.

The educational material also underwent rigorous consumer and market testing during development. In focus groups, parents and caregivers spelled out what they needed help with, and what kind of products they’d be most likely to use. Early childhood professionals weighed in as well, and the content of the material was approved by a national panel of early childhood development experts.

Today, Born Learning looks different in every community, and it has also evolved at United Way Worldwide. We’ve added new resources like volunteer literacy kits, family literacy guides, the Born Learning Academy - a series of six parent workshops focused on the Born Learning foundation of everyday learning – and much more.

Children Competing in Running on Grass