Early Success Coalition: Healthy Babies and Strong Families

“Having an outside, neutral facilitator like Consilience Group has been essential to our coalition’s success in system transformation. But Consilience Group has been much more than that. Sometimes we call them consultants, but even that is not entirely accurate — they are true partners. The Consilience Team has supported every phase of our growth over the years, from winning new grants and designing new service models and tools, to facilitating stakeholders across agencies and sectors in developing shared outcomes and shared client data system. Maybe most importantly, they are passionately committed to our mission and our values.”

—Program Director, Le Bonheur Community Health and Wellness; Administrator, Shelby County Office of Early Childhood and Youth; Early Success Coalition Co-Chairs

A diverse coalition of early childhood educators, healthcare providers, social service agencies and families align resources for healthier babies and strong families.

The Early Success Coalition (ESC) is a collective impact initiative to improve early childhood development and school readiness with a coordinated system of evidence-based and promising practices in Shelby County, TN. Formed in 2009, its member base now includes over 85 public and private agencies including healthcare, early care and education, social services, and family support mobilized for four shared goals: 1) All babies are born healthy, 2) All children live in a safe and nurturing environment, 3) All children are kindergarten ready, and 4) All children demonstrate third-grade literacy achievement.

Consilience Group has provided strategy, planning, design, and implementation support to the ESC since before its formation by authoring the $2.5 million grant from the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services that provided ESC seed funding. The firm provides diverse, on-going services as the ESC continues to mature and expand its community impact.


The ESC has grown to become the “go-to” organization for young child development in Shelby County, and a recognized model for the state of Tennessee. CG has supported the ESC in achieving the following selected accomplishments.

  • Secured $1.1 million in new, recurring funds secured for evidence-based early home visitation proven to improve birth outcomes, increase maternal self-sufficiency, and improve young child school readiness
  • Won nearly $10 million from federal grants to test service delivery network models
  • Led strategies for social-emotional development and family support for children birth-age 3 as part of the US Dept. of Education-funded Early
  • Learning Opportunities implementation plan to expand high-quality pre-K in Shelby County
  • Trained over 85 member agencies, 50+ trained community-based referral and service partners, 50+ early childhood teachers/caregivers in developmental screenings, and 150+ providers in social-emotional and trauma-focused care
  • Developed data sharing agreements, shared metrics, and launched CoactionNet, a shared on-line client data system used by 18 different ESC programs
  • Leveraged institutional resources through connections with related initiatives
  • Increased provider efficiencies and provider quality
  • Secured public and private funds to sustain beyond its original grant

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