58 councils receive funds to support school readiness
FRANKFORT, Ky. (July 9, 2013) – Gov. Steve Beshear announced Monday nearly $1.2 million in funding for 58 Community Early Childhood Councils (CECCs) in 91 Kentucky counties to promote school readiness for children. The announcement is part of the Governor’s continuing commitment to improve education and health services for Kentucky’s youngest citizens.
“These grants will help communities give our children the best possible start in school and in life,” Beshear said. “Every child in the commonwealth, from the most rural farm to the inner city, deserves the opportunity for a promising life. Local Councils are most qualified to serve the needs of the children in their communities.”
The Governor’s Office of Early Childhood (KYGOEC) and the Early Childhood Advisory Council (ECAC), both created by Beshear in 2011, work closely with Community Early Childhood Councils across the Commonwealth to ensure a strong start for our children on a local level. Individual grants range from $5,000 to $50,000 per county. The CECCs are comprised of community volunteers from local school districts, public health departments, childcare providers, Head Start, local libraries, parents and interest groups in many other areas.
CECCs develop strategies for improving early childhood care and education by assessing the unique needs of each community and building upon current strengths to explore creative ways to meet those needs. This year’s grant applications asked CECC’s to use county-level data to develop collaborative strategies focused on improving school readiness.
The CECCs utilized the Early Childhood Profile, a county-by-county profile that shows kindergarten readiness data, participation in publicly funded Preschool, Head Start and child care; quality and availability of child care and the education of the early childhood workforce; and demographic data that represent key indicators of possible barriers to success for young children and their families as a planning tool.
“Making sure that every child in the commonwealth gets the best possible start in life must be everyone’s priority,” said KYGOEC Executive Director Terry Tolan.
Fourteen additional counties have been invited to participate in technical assistance to build local council capacity and apply for grant funding later this year.
The Governor’s Office of Early Childhood works with local CECCS to support families and offer high-quality, affordable early care and education options. For more information about the KYGOEC, the Brigance Kindergarten Screen or the Early Childhood Profile, visit us online at http://kidsnow.ky.gov. You can also follow on Twitter @KYGEOC or Facebook at facebook.com/KYGEOC.