Planning grant goes to Collaborative for Children

Collaborative for Children has received a $100,000 grant from Houston Endowment to investigate the feasibility of developing a community-wide plan to improve the early childhood education system for young children in Greater Houston.

Recent events have brought the struggle to identify affordable, dependable child care to the forefront of community discussion. This issue continues to be a major challenge for working parents across Greater Houston, and it’s no surprise given our region’s rapidly growing child population and the increasing number of parents placing their children in the care of other adults so they can work. Recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows 57 percent of young children in the Houston region are in the care of other adults while parents are working.

Collaborative for Children is acutely familiar with the growing challenge working parents face in identifying and affording quality child care. For 25 years, it has been a resource for families seeking child care throughout a 13-county region in the Texas Gulf Coast. This includes offering a free child care resource and referral service to help families evaluate all of their options and navigate the decision-making process. The organization also provides training, scholarships and equipment grants to child care programs, improving the quality of child care options available to parents.

Carol Shattuck, president and CEO of Collaborative for Children, notes that many families are not able to afford high-quality early childhood education and, as a result, end up choosing settings that are more affordable but may not be the best environments for their children.

The current system of early childhood care is fragmented. The large variation in quality poorly serves those families seeking affordable and high-quality option for their young children. An early step in the planning process will be to seek community input from families, early childhood educators, research and policy experts, and the business community (the ultimate recipient of students at the end of the education cycle) on how our community can best address the growing needs for quality early education in our region.

For more information, visit www.collabforchildren.org.

 

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