A collaborative effort among state agencies was successful when Gov. Phil Bryant announced that $10.6 million was awarded to the state from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to expand the scope of early childhood development for children ages 0-8 in Mississippi.
In a departure from the state’s traditional provider-focused approach, the newly enhanced system is designed to place low-income families on a path to self-sufficiency and ensure their children can attend child care centers that provide high-quality services and learning experiences in a healthy and safe environment—regardless of location or economic circumstances. The funding will expand the opportunity for learning to more than 60,000 children in private child care centers and Head Start programs.
Oversight for these funds will be provided by the Mississippi Community College Board (MCCB), which has a long and successful track record of managing multi-million dollar federal awards, including Child Development Block Grant (CDBG) dollars and TANF and SNAP training dollars.
Several state agencies and partners collaborated to submit the successful grant proposal. The State Early Childhood Advisory Council of Mississippi (SECAC), chaired by Dr. Parisi, directed the needs assessment that identified gaps in the current system and developed the framework for Mississippi’s Family-Based Unified and Integrated Early Childhood System.
MCCB, MDHS, MDE, and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation each pledged matching contributions in support of this important initiative.
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