Children propped on their elbows in a grassy field.

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 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.

Commitment to Early Learning

United Way of Greater Cincinnati's Success By 6® champions a movement that has energized supporters and investors who value quality child care and early education. To help prepare more children for kindergarten, we established a baseline measurement in 2006: 44 percent of students were showing up to school ready to learn.

United Way's persistence and investments in services, collaborations and advocacy 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.

Our Progress


Estimated investment in early childhood education and care.


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

Our strategies

United Way uses a variety of strategies:

  • Public campaigns, like Born Learning, to raise awareness about the important role parents and caregivers play as a child's first teacher.
  • We estimate 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, such as the benefits cliff for families accessing public benefits to support child care. The systems are imperfect, but advocacy has resulted in a less steep reduction of benefits, often referred to as tapered reduction, as families increase their income.


  • 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).
  • Our landmark longitudinal study demonstrates that students who are ready for kindergarten have greater academic success across important milestones between kindergarten and high school.

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