The Economic Opportunity Agency (EOA) of Washington County recently was awarded a grant to expand the capabilities of its childcare programs and staff from the Community Supporters for Early Childhood Care and Education Fund. The fund, initiated by Jane Hunt Meade of Fayetteville and managed by the nonprofit Arkansas Community Foundation (ARCF), will make grants to provide essential childcare programs in Northwest Arkansas.
The grant is for $57,020 and is a renewable grant, meaning ACF officials anticipate providing continued funding once this first grant period has ended
“We are extremely fortunate to receive this grant supporting after-care services for children enrolled in EOA Head Start, Early Head Start and Children’s House programs,” Lance Johnson, director of children’s services for EOA, said in a statement. “It addresses a pressing need for economically disadvantaged families in Northwest Arkansas.”
Funding for after-care services will provide access to high-quality early childhood education for an extended day, allowing parents to work full-time or advance their education and career. In addition, funding will provide educational scholarships for EOA staff to broaden skills and qualifications in early childhood development.
“For children to reach their full potential, communities need to support families and childcare programs to provide quality learning experiences in the first few years of life,” Meade said. “It is my hope that individuals and companies in Northwest Arkansas will make contributions to grow the Community Supporters for Early Childhood Care and Education Fund to help more families live their best lives.”
ARCF is based in Little Rock and promotes smart giving to improve communities by providing tools to help Arkansans protect, grow and direct charitable dollars while learning more about community needs. The nonprofit has nearly 30 affiliate offices throughout the state, including one in Washington County.