Dec. 6, 2021

Program seeks to reduce barriers to employment in rural communities

The Community Foundation of the Ozarks has granted a total of $300,000 to 10 agencies that provide child care in rural communities across central and southern Missouri. The goal of the Ozarks Early Childhood Support Grant Program is to reduce barriers to quality child care so parents can return to work or maintain employment.

The program is funded by an anonymous donor with a passion for improving economic outcomes of residents in rural communities. The grant recipients are:

  • All Aboard Learning Center/Crawford County Foundation Inc.: $30,000 to support current staff and fill vacancies at the center in Cuba
  • Cabool Second Baptist Daycare: $30,000 to support current staff and fill vacancies at the center in Cabool
  • Children’s Learning Center of Camden County Inc.: $30,000 to provide tuition assistance to families and improve the facility in Camdenton
  • Community Support Services of Missouri/Jasper County Sheltered Facilities Association: $30,000 to provide scholarships to low-income families for the Early Learning Center in Webb City
  • Delta Area Economic Opportunity Corporation: $30,000 to support current staff and fill vacancies at the DAEOC’s Children’s Services Department, which serves communities in the Bootheel region
  • I Can Too Learning Center/ICTLC Inc.: $30,000 to supplement tuition payments for low-income families in Salem
  • Lafayette House/Family Self-Help Center Inc.: $30,000 to support current staff and fill vacancies at Lafayette House’s Pumpkin Patch in Joplin
  • Life360 Community Services: $30,000 to add a family support coordinator to help low-income families navigate resources and to increase staffing hours at the center in Bell City
  • Ozark Action Inc.: $44,766.24 to support current staff and fill vacancies at the Head Start programs in Bakersfield, Grovespring and Houston
  • Presbyterian Preschool/First Presbyterian Church of Rolla: $15,233.76 to support construction of an infant care room and expand the facility’s capacity to include all ages of pre-K children

CFO Board Chair Robin Morgan led the selection committee, which was comprised of Vice Chair Laurie Edmondson, Dr. Doug McNeal, Alice Wingo and Heather Zoromski.

“This program has the potential to provide so many levels of opportunity, not only for children to receive good quality care and education, but also for parents to be able to return to work knowing their children are being well cared for in a safe environment,” Morgan said. “This will also give caregivers the opportunity to find good-paying jobs in child care.”

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