Smart Beginnings Greater Richmond has been in existence in some way, shape or form since the late 1990’s. During that time, ChamberRVA developed Youth Matters, an initiative aimed to increase reading scores for elementary students. A part of that work was focused on communicating the connection of early childhood development to the overall economic vitality of our region. Around the same time, United Way of Greater Richmond & Petersburg launched Success By 6, a nationally branded effort, with the goal of improving access to high-quality early learning experiences for children from birth through age five. Informal collaboration between the two initiatives over the next few years culminated in their official merger under the name of Smart Beginnings Greater Richmond in 2006. Since then, Smart Beginnings Greater Richmond has continued to leverage the strengths of both organizations. ChamberRVA has helped to establish early childhood as a crucial component of the workforce pipeline and raise awareness of the issue among its membership. United Way’s reputation as a longstanding nonprofit helped to bring community partners together with Smart Beginnings, to analyze data and emerging trends, and develop collaborative solutions.