Children First has received a $30,000 grant from the Jerome & Mildred Paddock Foundation to help fund a new classroom that will bring eight infants and toddlers off the waiting list.
Along with other funders, the grant will allow the renovation of a previously existing space, where the agency already has two classrooms that serve sixteen infants and toddlers in partnership with First Presbyterian Church.
As the exclusive provider of Head Start and Early Head Start services, Children First serves hundreds of children and their families living at or below the Federal Poverty Level ($23,030 for a family of 3) across 15 locations each year.
“With costs of childcare rising at such a rapid rate, coupled with the overall inflation we are experiencing around the nation, our community’s most vulnerable families are under extreme duress. Our waitlist of those in need of our services can reach up to 180 children, so every slot that we are able to open is crucial,” says CEO Philip Tavill. “We are deeply grateful to the Paddock Foundation for helping us to realize our mission of ensuring overall family well-being and success.”
About Children First:
Founded in 1961 and ranked in the top 1% out of over 1,800 Head Starts nationwide, Children First strengthens children and families by improving the quality of their lives through a comprehensive approach to development, education, health, and well-being. At 15 sites throughout Sarasota County, Children First offers full-day preschool, infant and toddler care, and nutrition and health care assistance to children ages birth to five years old from low-income families. Through Children First, the children receive the social and cognitive skills needed to enter kindergarten and elementary school on track. For more information, call (941) 953-3877 or go to childrenfirst.net.