About Us

By engaging, connecting leaders, and mobilizing stakeholders


MELA will work with alliance members and partners to bring about systemic change for Mississippi’s children lasting well into adulthood, which leads to a more skilled workforce and better economy.


MELA drives collective impact with diverse stakeholders to achieve systemic change leading to the holistic development of Mississippi children in their first 8 years of life.


Asset & Possibility Oriented

We start with and look for what is good. We are committed to looking beyond what is probable and focusing on what is possible for children, families, and communities in MS. We are not afraid of taking risks and sharing new ideas to reach our goals.


We recognize that no single group of people, program, or group of programs working in isolation from each other can tackle the barriers that prevent children from meeting readiness benchmarks as they enter school. We commit to seeking out, working with, and learning from others.

Diversity, Equity &

We hold the conviction
that only from diverse backgrounds and divergent points of view can we find the best solutions. We acknowledge that current social and economic systems and structures benefit some groups while harming others. We leverage our resources to encourage equitable opportunities and outcomes for all. As we do so, we actively examine our roles in perpetuating inequitable systems.

Responsible Stewardship

We are strategic about how we leverage our resources so that we reach our goals (and help others reach theirs).


Work of equity is unequivocally about
relationships and people. Therefore, we make space to understand, connect, and build meaningful relationships with one another. We are invested in the success of others, we treat each other with respect and kindness, and we will work diligently to lift each other up.


Over the next three years, we will work to form a statewide coalition that will identify, pursue, and achieve shared goals for positive early childhood system change.

The strategies that we will pursue to reach this goal are two fold: (1) we will work to create a wide and diverse coalition with organized working groups for specific purposes, and (2) launch statewide communications efforts.
Thus far we have three initiatives aligned to this goal. The 2020 Early Childhood Development Capitol Day was a huge success, bringing 30 organizations together to advocate for children, and we expect the 2021 virtual Capitol Day to be a success as well! Additionally, by co-hosting Forum for the Future: Communicating about the Early Years, and organizing a Child Care Development Block Grant coalition to help provide feedback on the upcoming application, we are working to bring our early childhood partners together in new ways.

We also will serve as a Mississippi-focused information hub with a clear communications plan to disseminate information about the statewide early childhood system.

Over the next three years, we’ve chosen strategies that will build our capacity to collect, curate, and disseminate information about the Mississippi early childhood system. We have several initiatives to help us reach this goal. Thrive by 3rd Texts sends age-specific, developmentally appropriate messages to Mississippi caregivers of children 0-8 years old. Mississippi Early Learning Resources is our shared services site that provides a one-stop shop for child care providers, including Early childhood forms, regulations, policies, discounts, and guidance. Additionally, our Early-Childhood Resource guides offer caregivers and educators information about how to navigate learning at home when children are out-of-school, and engaging in meaningful conversations about race. Lastly, we will work to keep our website up to date with links and great resources from our partners in the Early Learning and Development world so that they are even more accessible to Mississippians.