by the numbers!

For almost 50 years, the Delaware Valley Association for the Education of Young Children (First Up) has championed high quality early care and education for children from birth to age 8 in Southeastern Pennsylvania.

Founded by a group of influential and progressive early childhood educators in the 1960s, the organization was originally called Delaware Valley Association of Nursery and Kindergarten Educators (DVANKE). Then in 1967, the organization affiliated with the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and proudly adopted our current name.

Today, First Up boasts more than 2,000 active members. With 25 professionals on staff, we’re one of the country’s largest local NAEYC affiliates. And we continue to grow by leaps and bounds.

In recent years, we’ve assisted more than 200 early childhood programs to reach national accreditation standards. Our statewide grassroots advocacy network motivates more than 3,000 individuals and organizations to increase public sector support for early learning programs. And our Annual Conference is the largest early childhood convention in the Mid-Atlantic region, drawing over 3,500 individuals annually to the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia.


We are dedicated to ensuring educational opportunity for every child in our community. To accomplish this, we train early childhood professionals in best practice skills and career development. We coach early childhood education programs to meet higher standards of PA Keystone STARS and national accreditation. And we engage policy makers to invest in high quality early childhood education throughout Southeastern Pennsylvania.


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