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Early Childhood Education Collaborative Makes $3.7 million in Grants

The Early Education Funders Collaborative, which includes The McGowan Fund, has announced $3.7 million in grants supporting nine non-profit organizations and initiatives serving children ages birth to 5 in the six-county Kansas City metro area.

The goal of the early learning fund is to increase quality and access for low-income families and children of color. The organizations will use grants to hire new teachers, provide training and expand capacity to serve more children.

The grant recipients are: Child Advocacy Services Center, Inc. (The Children’s Place); El Centro, Inc.; Guadalupe Centers; Head Start of Shawnee Mission, Inc. (Growing Futures Early Education Center); Mid-America Regional Council Community Services Corp.; Operation Breakthrough, Inc.; Kansas City Missouri Public Schools (KCPS Early Learning Program); United Inner City Services (St. Mark Child and Family Development Center); University of Kansas Medical Center Research Institute (Educare).

“It is beyond thrilling to be able to recognize our first grantees as a Collaborative,” said Denise St. Omer, vice president of grant-making and inclusion initiatives at the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation, a member of the Collaborative. “We know the critical need these nine organizations serve to prepare children for success in kindergarten. We believe the grants they are receiving will allow them to have a positive effect on nearly 6,000 Kansas City children.”

Several of the organizations will use the grant funding to expand capacity and accept more children. Others are using the funds to hire additional staff, enact new teacher training and parent engagement programs, implement a kindergarten-readiness screening pilot program or work with a mental health consultant.

More information about the Collaborative is available here. The next application period will begin in the fall.

Other organizations involved in the Collaborative include the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, Francis Family Foundation, George K. Baum Family Foundation, Greater Kansas City Community Foundation, Hall Family Foundation, Hispanic Development Fund, The H & R Block Foundation, Stanley H. Durwood Foundation, and United Way of Greater Kansas City.