MILFORD, Mich., Oct. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- The Women's Caring Program (WCP), a public nonprofit that helps working families who are ineligible for state child care assistance, today announced a $300,000 funding commitment from the Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation in partnership with Development Centers, Inc. (DCI), a Detroit nonprofit human services agency. The grant will launch a child care quality initiative scholarship program in the Brightmoor neighborhood of northwest Detroit.
The program is part of an $814,000 grant from the Fisher Foundation designed to ensure quality early childcare and development experiences for young children birth to age five.
WCP recently announced that they intend to raise $5 million as part of a capital campaign to help Michigan families afford quality, licensed child care and education programs through its signature program, ChildCare Commitment. The Fisher Foundation grant is the first major gift of the campaign.
"The Fisher Foundation is dedicated to strengthening youth and families by supporting initiatives that create an environment where children can thrive and become nurturing adults for future generations," said Douglas Bitonti Stewart, executive director, Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation.
WCP will work with Development Centers Inc. to ensure all children birth to five have access to high quality child care in the Brightmoor neighborhood. DCI has been working with local childcare providers since 2007 on a quality initiative. The scholarship grant is a continuation of support for providers and families made possible by this gift.
"WCP's ChildCare Commitment scholarship program is a wonderful model to use in the Brightmoor neighborhood. And thanks to its ChildCare Commitment expertise, WCP is well situated to work with the Development Centers to manage the Brightmoor scholarships," added Stewart.
"We are thrilled to be a part of the Fisher Foundation initiative to enhance the quality of early care in the Brightmoor neighborhood. The grant was an immediate fit," said Carol Walters, president of Women's Caring Program. "They care about the same demographic—at risk children—as we do."
"The scholarship program benefits both those families who desire quality care but cannot afford it and the providers' financial bottom line by filling slots that would otherwise remain vacant. In sum, the scholarships help bridge the gap in Brightmoor between those who need early quality care and those who provide it," said Denise Smith, Development Centers' program manager for the Brightmoor initiative.
When at-risk children start kindergarten behind their middle class peers, studies show they rarely catch up. Research also indicates quality early care and education enhances a child's school performance and work-life success. The single most important factor in improving a child's ability to be successful and productive is quality education.
In Michigan, two out of every five children reside in low-income households (income under $42,000 for a family of four). This rate is up more than six percent since 2000, and is the highest in the Midwest. There are currently more than 350 families on the ChildCare Commitment's waiting list.
"The need for quality early childhood education has never been greater in our state," added Walters.
WCP, a public nonprofit, has raised more than $2 million for Michigan children since 1995. For more information about the Women's Caring Program, visit womenscaringprogram.org.
SOURCE Women's Caring Program