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Area childcare program gets $1.1 grant
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SAVANNAH — Early Start Child Care Resource and Referral of Southeast Georgia, operated by the economic development division of Savannah Technical College, has received a $1.11 million grant to expand its services to 34 counties in the area.
This is the fourth year the college has received the funding as a part of the statewide network of agencies dedicated to increasing the number of Georgia’s children and families who have access to quality early learning care and programs.
“We are delighted to have been selected as one of the Child Care Resource and Referral programs to expand its services,” said college President Kathy S. Love. “Studies have continued to show that money invested in early learning initiatives pays great dividends for the community.”
In previous years, the college’s grant supported similar programming for nine coastal counties. Early Start will reorganize and expand its staff to serve the larger areas.
“Rather than setting up additional offices throughout the region, we will be hiring professionals to work from their homes, including two to serve the Augusta area and two for Swainsboro and surrounding communities,” said Early Start Director Sherry Costa.
Services include child-care provider training, quality enhancement assistance and inclusion services. New this year will be a statewide network for parental referrals, rather than the local referral network previously operated by each regional Child Care Resource and Referral office. Parents and other caregivers can call one toll-free phone number, 877-ALL-GA-KIDS, to get child care information and referrals. Parents can also go to 24 hours a day for referrals.
Last year, Early Start Child Care Resource and Referral of Southeast Georgia provided accreditation facilitation services to assist 29 child care programs in meeting national accreditation standards and offered 308 workshops for child care providers with attendance of 7,535.
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