A group of children posed together smiling

Success By 6®

A collaborative effort initiated by United Way of Greater Cincinnati to ensure that all children ages 0-6 are healthy and ready to succeed by the time they start kindergarten.

What is Success By 6®?

United Way of Greater Cincinnati (UWGC) leads a collaborative effort to help ensure all children ages 0-6 are healthy and ready to succeed by the time they start kindergarten. Created in 2003, UWGC's Success By 6® has served as a backbone convener and champion for our community's youngest generation.

The history of "bold goals" & success by 6®

UWGC's Success By 6® championed a movement that energized supporters and investors who value quality child care and early education. We started by setting community-level goals. Following the Great Recession of 2007-2009, UWGC convened more than four dozen community partner organizations in 2010 to co-create a collective vision for what a thriving region should look like by 2020. In 2011, UWGC unveiled the outcome of this process: six data-informed aspirational Bold Goals in the areas of education, income and health. Our Bold Goal to ensure more children were ready for kindergarten built off the foundation established by Success By 6®– including establishing a baseline, measured in 2006, of 44 percent of kids showing up ready to learn.

UWGC's persistence and investments in services, collaborations and advocacy to ensure all young children are healthy and ready to succeed by kindergarten catalyzed well-known services throughout our community–such as Every Child Succeeds–and laid the groundwork for critical systemic change–like the passing and renewal of Cincinnati Preschool Promise.


Estimated investment in early childhood education and care.


In the number of quality-rated early care and educational centers since 2007.

53% TO 62%

Increase in kindergarten readiness scores across Cincinnati Public Schools.

Our strategies

United Way has used a variety of strategies:

  • Public campaigns, like Born Learning, to raise awareness of the important role that every parent plays as their child's first teacher
  • We've estimated that we've invested more than $125 million
  • Our advocacy efforts, most significantly in Ohio and Kentucky, supported early state-level standardization of kindergarten assessments, increased public funding in early education and reduced barriers around challenges like the benefits cliff for families accessing public benefits to support child care. The systems are not perfect, but advocacy has resulted in a less steep reduction of benefits, often referred to as tapered reduction, as families increase their income.

The outcomes

  • From day one, we invested in data–initially by tracking the number of quality rated providers in our region–between 2007 to 2013 there has been a 208% increase in the number of quality-rated early care and education centers in our region (moving from just 42 providers or 14% to 194–35% in 2013 and now, in Ohio, to statewide policy requiring early education providers to be quality rating in order to accept families using child care benefits
  • Since 2010, kindergarten readiness scores across Cincinnati Public Schools, measured by the Kindergarten Readiness Assessment, have increased by 9%, moving from 53% to 62%.
  • Our landmark longitudinal study demonstrates that students who are ready for kindergarten have greater academic success across important milestones between kindergarten and high school.

Get the Latest News & Updates

Sign up for our emails and stay informed about how we work with partners and supporters like you to strengthen our community.

Contact Us

Send us your comments & questions!

Your Information

By submitting, you are agreeing to receive communications.

What's the balance listed on your invoice?