Governor Steve Beshear today announced $952,500 in funding for 39 Community Early Childhood Councils (CECC) across Kentucky to promote school readiness for children.
The announcement is part of the governor's continuing commitment to improving education and health services for Kentucky's youngest citizens.
"These funds will provide critical support to our local communities," Gov. Beshear said. "We owe our children - every one of them in our inner cities to our suburbs to our farms and our mountain communities - the opportunity for a promising life. This investment is the best way to promote family and community support around early childhood."
The grant amounts range from $7,500 to $97,000 and were awarded based on the child population in the community. The grants will fund professional development for childcare providers, assist with community outreach and public health programs for prenatal services, and even help children entering school.
Children will be able to make a successful transition from public and private childcare to school thanks to this funding, Gov. Beshear said.
Terry Tolan, executive director of the Governor's Office of Early Childhood, said the councils rally communities to support young children and their families.
"There is no greater return on investment than investing in the success and school readiness of our youngest children," she said.
The Office of Early Childhood, which works with the local councils to provide support and outreach, is the result of an executive order signed by Gov. Beshear in July that created the Early Childhood Advisory Council to unite stakeholders behind common strategies, standards and goals for Kentucky's early childhood system.
A part of that initiative is the Community Early Childhood Councils, which address the unique needs and strengths of local communities related to early childhood. The councils are a vehicle for bringing together community members to support issues of importance to children and families.
The 68 councils across the state include community representatives from local school districts, public health departments, childcare providers, Head Start and local libraries.
The following is a list of local Community Early Childhood Councils that received grants:
Clay County CECC, $17,500
Johnson County CECC, $17,500
Tri-County (Laurel, Knox, Whitley) CECC, $65,000
Wayne County CECC, $15,000