There are many factors that influence a child’s development during the critical first brain-building years. Elements of health, learning, social services, and others combine to provide the foundation for the brain’s rapidly growing architecture. Helping coordinate these elements into a coherent, aligned whole — systems building — is a key part of our work. The Virginia Early Childhood Foundation serves as the convener between public and private sectors to increase efficiencies, encourage innovation and create partnerships. The Foundation acts as the backbone for a statewide network of Smart Beginnings collaborative partnerships that convene community leaders to build the capacity of local communities to create optimal environments for children’s growth and development.