Georgia child care centers receive ‘mini-grants’

Bright from the Start: Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning will administer grants to 43 licensed child care programs in Georgia affected by Hurricane Michael. (Special Photo)

ALBANY — Save the Children will provide mini-grants to 43 licensed child care programs in southwest Georgia impacted by Hurricane Michael.

The international organization will provide a total of $25,000 administered through the Georgia Foundation for Early Care and Learning to child care programs that benefit 20 counties including Clay, Columbia, Decatur, Dougherty, Early, Grady, Laurens, Miller, Randolph, Sumter and Thomas counties in southwest Georgia. The grants will support 1,343 children and 220 teachers.

The Georgia Foundation for Early Care was created in 2017 by Gov. Nathan Deal and the Georgia General Assembly to serve as a nonprofit organization that secures private funds for “Bright from the Start: Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning,” enabling the agency to support and recognize child care programs and early childhood educators.

“We appreciate the support of Save the Children and the Georgia Foundation for Early Care and Learning for these child care providers, especially here at Thanksgiving,” Bright from the Start Commissioner Amy M. Jacobs said in a news release. “Providers have reported everything from wind and water damage both outside and inside their facilities to trees uprooted and equipment destroyed outside on their playgrounds.”

The Georgia General Assembly met in special session earlier this month to provide approximately $470 million of emergency and tax incentives for victims of Hurricane Michael. A release from Bright from the Start called Hurricane Michael one of the worst natural disasters in Georgia history.

Executive Director of the Georgia Foundation for Early Care and Learning Carrie Ashbee said the foundation “makes strategic investments to improve and expand high-quality early education to help ensure all children in Georgia are prepared to succeed when they enter kindergarten regardless or family income or location.”

DECAL’s Child Care Services Division informed child care programs in the impacted areas about the grant program with child care resource and referral agencies and through DECAL’s social media channels.

Bright from the Start: Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning provides the means to meet child care and early education needs of Georgia’s children and their families.The department administers Georgia’s Pre-K program, Georgia’s Childcare and Parent Services program and federal nutrition programs. Additionally, the program licenses child care centers and home-based child care as well as manages Quality Rated, Georgia’s community-powered child care rating system.

For more information, visit www.decal.ga.gov.

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