Grant will benefit area child care providers and child care professionals

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The Ann Arbor Child Care Network, which serves Monroe County, recently received a Child Care Innovation Fund grant from Early Childhood Investment Corp.

A total of 11 Michigan organizations have received $1.2 million in grants to improve access to child care. 22 Michigan counties are affected.

“We look forward to supporting these regional and community partners in implementing innovative child care solutions for working families, communities, early childhood educators and employers,” said Joan Blough, Director principal of the Child Care Innovation Fund. “Improving access to affordable, high-quality child care is critical to Michigan’s economic recovery and future growth.”

The money received by the Ann Arbor Child Care Network could bring more child care options to Monroe County and will bring more resources to child care providers and child care professionals. childhood of the county.

“Monroe County will be impacted by this work by having additional supports and resources available for child care providers and early years professionals. It has the potential to strengthen the child care options available to families in Monroe County,” Annette J. Sobocinski, executive director of Great Start at Quality Resource Center Southeast, said. “We will do two things with this grant that will benefit our entire region, including Monroe County.”

The first is to bring early childhood educators into the region.

“We currently have a program in Genesee County that we call the Early Years Talent Pipeline, where we have an Early Years Talent Coach who helps recruit people into the child care field and helps them earn credentials or work towards higher education degrees. With the Child Care Innovation grant, we will be able to expand this program to the rest of our region,” said Sobocinski. “Unfortunately, the grant is not large enough for us to hire staff specific to each county we serve, but the staff we hire will be able to support providers and professionals in the eight counties we serve. It is likely that new staff for this program will work closely with Tina (Blanchard), as our dedicated staff member who works only with Monroe County families and providers to identify programs and providers that could benefit from these services. »

Second, Child Care Network will invest in local child care businesses.

“We will be hiring a child care organization consultant who can work with licensed child care companies and provide them with guidance to help them strengthen their businesses and organizational culture,” Sobocinski said. “We are very happy and honored to be able to support childcare businesses and young childcare professionals in this way.

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