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By Leaps & Bounds: Kent County Early Childhood Systems Update

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First Steps Kent

Annemarie Valdez, President of First Steps Kent, is our guest

By Leaps & Bounds: Kent County Early Childhood Systems Update

First Steps Kent is an independent nonprofit organization that works with stakeholders to build a comprehensive early childhood system in Kent County. Here with an early childhood systems update is Annemarie Valdez, President of First Steps Kent. The Ready by Five Early Childhood Millage provides dedicated and sustainable funding for programs that improve the health, school readiness, and well-being of children under age five in alignment with early childhood outcomes.

Off to a promising start, the millage can have a transformative effect on Kent County by improving equity for marginalized populations, families at or below the Federal Poverty Level, and geographically isolated/under-resourced communities. The Shared Services for Child Care Providers Pilot, a three year grant model, offers more support and back-end services to providers with the goal of stabilizing the pool of child care providers.

Released in November, the Child Care Stabilization Grants are further aimed to support child care providers with operations, health/safety, staffing, and more. Every eligible child care provider that submits a complete application will receive a grant award based on license capacity and provider type. To learn more, visit: firststepskent.org/articles/announcing-child-care-stabilization-grant, firststepskent.org/millage, and firststepskent.org/sharedservices

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Shelley Irwin is the host and producer for The WGVU Morning Show, a newsmagazine talk-show format on the local NPR affiliate Monday through Friday. The show, broadcast from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. features a wide variety of local and national newsmakers, plus special features.
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