Guiding Values

We at Early Connections are guided daily by values that reinforce the mission and vision we have for providing quality education and support to all families. These values are as follows:

Approach to Service Rendered to Children and Their Families

We work with families of the children we serve and our staff to listen and learn from one another, and share responsibility for setting goals, designing services and attaining desired outcomes. We operate from a belief in developmentally appropriate practices for children from birth through age eight. We respect and partner with parents/primary caregivers (who may be grandparents, foster parents, or other designated care persons) to foster excellent early care and education experiences.

Quality and Innovation

We commit to the provision of accredited, high quality services to children birth through age eight and their families through Early Connections’ direct service sites. We will stay abreast of proven models and strive to remain innovative in our direct services. We will contribute to and learn from others in the community who are also committed to high quality early childhood education and services to families. We are committed to ongoing research and program development to enhance services and respond positively to the evolving needs of children birth through age eight and their families.

Professional Competence

We will promote the development of individual professional competence and attitudes through education, training, and modeling/mentoring. We will advocate for and create our own opportunities to positively recognize the early childhood and family professional. In addition, we are committed to research and program development that furthers the level of professionalism in the field and promotes developmentally appropriate practices in support of children.


We strive for commitment, loyalty, and enthusiasm for the education and support of young children by parents/caregivers and professionals by providing opportunities for participation, contribution, and building consensus on critical issues. We will coordinate trainings and provide leadership to significant early childhood issues within Erie County.


We operate with integrity demonstrating our respect for and honoring diversity of children and families. We will promote high service standards in early childhood and family services.


We are committed to providing an environment that accepts, affirms and respects different abilities, cultures, beliefs, identities and backgrounds. We believe that as we work, live and play together, our organization is enriched by learning from and appreciating one another. As an inclusive organization, we are individually and collectively responsible for creating an environment free of discrimination. We will not accept any behavior that unlawfully discriminates on the basis of someone’s disability, race, color, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, national origin, age, religion, military status, creed or status with regard to public assistance.

Respect for the Individual

We will thrive not only because of our similarities, but because of our differences.
We create possibilities by appreciating diversity.


The management and board of Early Connections are committed to various business and philanthropic strategies to ensure long-term financial integrity. We will respond proactively to changing market conditions that create a more challenging financial environment.

Organizational Competence

Early Connections is committed to building and maintaining a strong organizational structure — strong and thoughtful governance, positive external and internal communication, solid financial base, accessible headquarters, high quality staff and facilities — to provide community leadership, coordination of the consortium activities, and provision of high quality, model services.