Cox Giving

Early Childhood Education

The Cox connection to early childhood education has deep roots – our founder, Governor James M. Cox, began his career as a schoolteacher. Scientific research supports the notion that the early years create the foundation for success later in life. Through our investments and support of early childhood education, we’ve been a part of exciting improvements that are changing the lives of children across the nation.


Starting Early

Talk With Me Baby Pilot Project

Fostering language nutrition among children doesn’t have to wait for the school classroom. It can and should start the moment a child is born. Another component of the Rollins Center’s work is Talk With Me Baby, a suite of resources for parents and teachers that apply the lessons of language nutrition to encourage talking with newborns. While infants can’t use words to respond to their caregivers, research shows that language enrichment pays off from the earliest days and supports the Georgia Department of Public Health’s strategy to call attention to language nutrition as a public health issue.

While infants can’t use words to respond to their caregivers, research shows that language enrichment pays off from the earliest days.

In 2016, the Cox Foundation made a $729,000 grant to the Henry W. Grady Health System in Atlanta for a pilot project using the Talk With Me Baby toolkit. Grady’s Women’s Clinics offer prenatal care during more than 24,000 patient visits preparing for the 3,100 babies delivered there each year. With the Foundation’s support, the hospital implemented a train-the-trainer model, teaching nurses using the instructional videos, then encouraging nurses to incorporate Talk With Me Baby into their prenatal education programs.

The curriculum was developed through a partnership between the Georgia Department for Public Health and the Atlanta Speech School (building on the investment in the Cox Campus), the Marcus Autism Center and Emory University’s Schools of Nursing and Medicine.

If Talk With Me Baby proves successful, it could become a national model, encouraging other hospitals to discuss early language intervention with new parents, and helping transform the lives of children and families across the United States.