The Catholic Community Partnerships for Better Early Childhood Development project (CPP for short) is an interdisciplinary project designed as a national and local partnership between The Catholic University of America and The National Catholic Education Association (NCEA), Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA), Catholic Schools of the Archdiocese of Washington, and Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington. It is funded by Better Way Foundation.

Nationally, there is increasing focus on the developmental experiences of young children (birth to age 8), particularly those from impoverished backgrounds, and the services that their families receive. Work with this population in Catholic settings needs further documentation and analysis. This project seeks to build the knowledge base about the provision of early childhood services within and across Catholic settings through four efforts. First, an interdisciplinary team of CUA researchers gathered data in 24 selected large (Arch)Dioceses to describe who is currently served, services provided, and collaborations that support young children and their families. Second, the team is conducting a qualitative study to learn about the best practices in place at sites with exemplary collaborative endeavors between Catholic Schools and Catholic Charities Programs. Third, our team hopes to strengthen partnerships between CUA and Catholic Schools and Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington in order to promote integrative services to better serve young children and their families. fourth, we have undertaken dissemination of our findings and recommendations nationwide and will work intensively to promote collaboration to solidify the lasting effects of our project. These activities address the following project goals.

Project Goals:

  1. Survey the extent to which Catholic Schools and Catholic Charities in urban metropolitan areas are involved nationally in Early Childhood Development Programs (ECD).
  2. Identify areas of collaboration and best practices that currently exist between Catholic Schools and Catholic Charities and with other community partners to promote ECD.
  3. Explore how building strong local partnerships (ADW Catholic Schools, ADW Catholic Charities Programs, and Catholic University) promotes optimum growth and development for young children in the metropolitan Washington DC region.
  4. Disseminate nationally our findings and recommendations to improve comprehensive ECD.