KeepHealthCare.ORG – Prichard Committee gets W.K. Kellogg Foundation grant to expand access to early care and education
Developing innovative methods to support family home child care providers will be the focus of a new initiative of the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence, which will work in partnership with the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services Division of Child Care.
The Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence is an independent statewide advocacy organization dedicated to the improvement of education for all Kentuckians.
The work will include creating and piloting new approaches to improve the quality and supply of family home providers and link them within networks to child care centers and other support systems in Kentucky. The objective is to increase the supply of quality care for infants and toddlers in the state’s under-served areas.
The multi-year project is being funded by a $1.2 million grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation of Battle Creek, Michigan.
A key piece of the work will be to identify barriers to establishing and sustaining high-quality care and education for infants and toddlers in family home and child care settings in Kentucky’s priority regions. According to the Center for American Progress, 50 percent of Kentuckians live in what is described as a “child care desert.” This includes 67 percent of Kentuckians who live in rural areas and thousands of young children, including large populations of Hispanic and African American children, who live in urban neighborhoods.
The Prichard Committee has set a priority goal to “elevate urgency and expand opportunity for Kentucky’s young children to benefit from high-quality early learning that keeps children on a path toward proficiency in reading and mathematics by the end of third grade.” The committee will work through its Strong Start Coalition of early care and education providers, advocates, and business leaders to build public awareness and support for the new initiative.
“Quality early learning and development is the most important precursor to success in school and life”, said Brigitte Blom Ramsey, executive director of the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence. “We’re grateful to the Kellogg Foundation for providing this opportunity for Kentucky to design innovative, community-based models that expand access to quality childcare for more youngsters and their families,”
Christa Bell, director of the Division of Child Care, part of the CHFS Department for Community Based Services, said this collaborative project reflects her program’s mission to serve children and their families. “Access to high quality child care is critical to both the healthy development of children and the wellbeing of their families and communities,” Bell said. “The Division of Child Care is eager to partner with the Prichard Committee on this grant opportunity to address this need in areas of Kentucky where this has been a challenge facing families for some time.”
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), founded in 1930 as an independent, private foundation by breakfast cereal pioneer, Will Keith Kellogg, is among the largest philanthropic foundations in the United States.
Guided by the belief that all children should have an equal opportunity to thrive, WKKF works with communities to create conditions for vulnerable children so they can realize their full potential in school, work and life.
For more information, visit www.wkkf.org.
Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence