A shout-out to local nonprofit Bright Futures for its management of Strong Start, a program that provides critical support for early childhood education. Key highlights of 2019 include:
- $124,000 in quality improvement grants distributed to all 10 childcare centers and 1 early childhood education (ECE) program in San Miguel County.
- $45,00 in capacity building funding distributed to five centers to sustain existing programs (especially infant care).
- $165,564 distributed to recruit, retain, and train ECE professionals, primarily through the Lifting Incomes For Teachers in Early Childhood (LIFT-EC) salary supplement program which provides qualified teachers an average of $1/hr raise.
- $160,649 distributed through the Cathy James Financial Aid program to assist 51 families in affording childcare.
- A 20% increase in the community’s perception of support for ECE in the community after one year of funding.
Strong Start is San Miguel County’s taxpayer-funded initiative to elevate early childhood education by augmenting existing private and public funds and seeking creative solutions to sustain an accessible, high-quality early childhood care and education systems. Learn more at https://www.strongstartstrongcommunity.org/year-in-review.