Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Education

July 6, 2014

Bona Vista receives matching grant

The Indiana Family and Social Services Administration named 30 organizations from 15 different Indiana counties as recipients of the Early Childhood Education Matching Grant, which will help provide quality early education for low-income children in Indiana.

Bona Vista’s Keys For Kids Preschool was one of these organizations to receive the grant.

The grant program, established by the Indiana General Assembly in 2013, allows high-quality, early care and education programs to apply for matching funds to serve 4-year-old children from families whose incomes are below federal poverty guidelines.

FSSA’s Bureau of Child Care began accepting applications for the matching grant in January. Applicants were required to have already achieved Level Three or Level Four in Paths, a voluntary child care quality rating and improvement system. They also were required to secure a cash match from a community organization or other funding source.

FSSA received 35 applications for the matching grant. Thirty grants, totaling about $1.46 million have been awarded and another $1.54 million in matching funds has been obtained by those grantees from foundations, United Way agencies, corporations, coalitions of public-private organizations and individual donors.

“This is an important step toward increased school readiness and academic success for low income children,” said Melanie Brizzi, administrator of FSSA’s Bureau of Child Care, in a press release. “The grants leverage public and private investments within high-quality community-based programs, including school-based, faith-based and nonprofit early learning programs. This approach allows many more at-risk children access to high-quality early education.”

The 2013 matching grant legislation established that $2 million would be available for two years, beginning in 2014. Grants awards went into effect Tuesday.

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