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Press Release: Pilot Programs Focusing on Family Child Care Underway in Eastern Kentucky

Statement from Prichard Committee: Pension Stress Must Not Harm Student Success

Pension Solution Needed for Kentucky Colleges

July 15, 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information, contact:
Brigitte Blom Ramsey, Executive Director
(office) 859-233-9849
(cell) 859-322-8999

Hazard, KY – Increasing the availability of quality family child care for infants and toddlers in the state’s underserved areas is the focus of pilot programs now underway in Eastern Kentucky. The work is being done by the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence, in partnership with the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services Division of Child Care.

The initiative’s central office is in Hazard, where an aggressive effort to attract participants is being spearheaded by June Widman, executive director of the Eastern Kentucky Child Care Coalition, and Kristin Walker Collins, associate executive director of the Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky. These organizations are working in partnership with Community Early Childhood Councils, Partners for Education Promise Neighborhood Projects, Save the Children, Early Head Start and Head Start, HANDS, and New Beginnings Child Care Center.

Focused mainly on developing groups of providers, the team is working on an ambitious program that includes building family and community awareness of early childhood options, training for participating family child care providers and developing relationships with community partners. While quality child care is at the center of the work, the project also addresses the business aspects of the service: business development, entrepreneurship, building personal credit, home improvement and access to capital.

“We see this project as an opportunity to support and expand family child care to meet the needs of families and communities and to create a viable business in our region,” Widman said.

“Quality early learning, when the brain is developing most rapidly, is the most important precursor to success in school and life,” said Brigitte Blom Ramsey, executive director of the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence. “We look forward to learning from the implementation of these pilots as we seek to contribute to national best practices to expand access to quality, home-based child care for more youngsters and their families.”

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The Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence is an independent, nonpartisan, citizen-led organization working to improve education in Kentucky – early childhood through postsecondary.