Lafayette House and Community Support Services of Missouri are among the Joplin area agencies selected to receive a portion of $ 300,000 from the Community Foundation of the Ozarks in grants to provide child care services in rural communities.
The grants were awarded by the Springfield-based Foundation’s Ozarks Early Childhood Support Grants program, which is funded by an anonymous donor. The program’s goal is to reduce barriers to quality child care so parents can return to work or keep their jobs, foundation officials said when announcing the grants.
“This program has the potential to offer so many levels of opportunity, not only for children to receive good quality care and education, but also for parents to return to work knowing their children are being well cared for.” in a safe environment, “Robin Morgan, chairman of the board of trustees, said in a statement.” It will also give caregivers the opportunity to find high paying jobs in child care.
Community Support Services of Missouri received $ 30,000 to provide scholarships to low-income families attending its Early Learning Center in Webb City. The agency provides services to people of all ages with developmental disabilities, and its early learning center specifically serves infants, toddlers and young children, most of whom are developmentally delayed.
“We’ve just renovated two of our classrooms for expansion, so we’re going to be able to expand our licensed capacity,” said Jhan Hurn, president and CEO of Community Support Services. “We have a number of children on our waiting list right now; that way they will be eligible to receive services at our learning center.”
Lafayette House, which provides services to victims of domestic assault, sexual violence and substance abuse, received $ 30,000 to support existing staff and fill vacancies at its Pumpkin Patch in Joplin. The Pumpkin Patch is an on-site licensed daycare for 67 children; about half of the slots are reserved for Lafayette House customers, and the remaining slots are open to the community.
“We are using (the grant) to pay our staff salaries and hopefully raise their salaries a bit, and also to recruit new staff,” said Louise Secker, Director of Development. “We have lost a few employees in the pumpkin patch and are struggling to fill those positions, so we hope this grant will help us subsidize that.”