Center for Business Champions

Business leaders can play a significant role in ensuring healthy, happy childhoods for children today while meeting the workforce needs of tomorrow.

The period of childhood is a time of unparalleled brain development, when positive support and experiences can profoundly influence a child’s success in school, work, and life. During this time, the child’s brain builds the foundation for the academic, social, and emotional skills necessary for productive adulthood. Giving children a good start benefits business, the local economy, and the nation.

The Center for Business Champions (CBC) supports business executives and childhood development leaders around the world in building effective and lasting partnerships. By growing the number of businesses outside the early learning industry that act as “unexpected” champions supporting investment in children, we can boost the entire sector and build bright futures for all children.

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Creating Win-Win Partnerships Between Business and Child Development Leaders

Group of young children standing close together outdoors. They have dark skin, brown eyes, and shaved heads and are wearing brightly colored clothing. They are smiling and look happy.

Partnerships between business and child development leaders have lasting and broad effects on communities and nations. They contribute to a better quality of life for children through opportunities to grow and learn foundational skills that will support their development and eventual entry into the workforce.

Through investments in children’s education, healthcare, and protection, business leaders can help working parents be more productive on the job and can make communities and nations places better places to live, work, and invest. Businesses can offer financial support and other types of resources, as well as share approaches to innovation and entrepreneurship that can contribute to solving complex social challenges, including the healthy development and education of children.

Learn About Why Partnerships Matter

What We Offer

The CBC aims to become the leading authority and resource for creating and strengthening child development/business linkages, networks, and partnerships. We accomplish this by working with both business leaders and child development leaders to bridge gaps and build communication and collaboration to achieve mutual goals.

Training Institute

To support child development leaders achieve their goals for understanding how to connect with, communicate with, and advocate their needs to business leaders, we provide the following services:

  • Training: Online workshop series for early childhood leaders to provide foundational information and skills to build their own networks of business champions
  • Networking: A community of child development leaders for sharing ideas, experiences, and resources.
  • Resources: Curated library of materials from organizations around the world on engaging business to support child development materials capturing experiences, challenges, victories, and adaptations.

Country-Specific Technical Assistance for Child Development Leaders

For countries whose leaders wish to move ahead with developing their own network of business champions, we provide the following services:

  • Tailored consulting, advising, and mentorship to child development leaders in individual countries on strategy development, message development, business network design, business outreach and engagement, action plan creation, and other services.
  • Support for developing community-based or national Business Councils on child development as foundational to a productive current and future workforce.

Support to Business Leadership

To support business leaders in achieving their goals, we provide the following advisory services:

  • Advising on a CSR/ESG strategy in support of early childhood development and education, and incorporating child development into your existing CSR/ESG strategy
  • Providing information to employees and colleagues on the alignment of childhood investments with company goals
  • Understanding the child development sector and opportunities to become engaged consistent with their company culture and philanthropy
  • Presentations to private sector executives about the business case for investing in childhood development to strengthen the current and future workforce.
  • Ongoing support as needed to assess opportunities for collaboration and build productive working relationships with local leaders

Download a PDF about the Center for Business Champions

The CBC In Action

  • The CBC is supporting Fundação Abrinq pelos Direitos da Criança (FADC) to establish a network of business champions for childhood development in Brazil. Learn more
  • Nov/Dec 2024: Launch of the Training Institute

Contact Us to Learn More

Contact the Center for Business Champions by emailing, or fill out this form.

About Sara Watson

A headshot of Sara Watson, smiling

Dr. Sara Watson is Director of the Center for Business Champions. She is the only expert in the world who has worked in many U.S. states and cities, at the U.S. national level, and with partners in several countries to create networks of business champions for child development.

Sara founded and was the National and then Global Director of ReadyNation/ ReadyNation International, designing, fundraising for and leading the joint organization for 14 years.  Her hands-on work included personally persuading more than a thousand executives to join campaigns for early childhood investments, and supporting them to take action. She worked with local partners in Brazil, Australia, Romania and Uganda to create their own networks of business champions for early childhood.

Sara has spoken at more than 15 international meetings of child development and business leaders on how to build partnerships between the sectors.  She led the organization of more than a dozen national (U.S.) and two Global Business Summits on Early Childhood and the first European Business Forum on Early Childhood for audiences of business executives.

Sara also co-chaired ECDAN’s Advocacy Task Force in 2016-2018.  Before creating ReadyNation, she led The Pew Charitable Trusts’ national advocacy campaign for pre-K.  Dr. Watson is now an independent consultant and the founder and principal of Watson Strategies, LLC. She serves in a consulting capacity with CE International.

Sara holds Master of Public Policy and Ph.D. degrees from the Harvard Kennedy School.  More information, including a complete list of presentations and publications, is at