Skip to main content

Southeast Virginia has long been home to numerous early care and education programs. However, operating traditionally in siloes, these programs were not seeing the results they desired.

In 2016, Hampton Roads Community Foundation initiated a region-wide process involving nearly 100 stakeholders to scope and plan Minus 9 to 5, an initiative designed to unite previously disparate programs and people together for greater impact through systems change. This case study details the opportunities, highlights, and lessons learned in the first two years of the initiative.                                                                                              

Top Takeaways

  1. Taking 9 months to scope the initiative with 100 stakeholders was well worth the time investment, as it created a broad base of buy-in and participation.
  2. Building and nurturing relationships is the most important aspect in systems change.
  3. Systems work is slow-moving. Those involved should have an appetite for patience as well as a clear set of early wins that are achievable within the first year of implementation.
Through a deliberate and highly inclusive process, Minus 9 to 5 has been able to build trust, catalyze collaboration, and align actions across five cities in Virginia in the span of just two years.