Strong Start 2018 Accomplishments 

Lifting Incomes For Teachers in Early Childhood (LIFT-EC):

  • 31 eligible applicants

    • 48% have Bachelor’s degrees or higher

    • 50% spend 50%+ of income on housing

    • 20% work two jobs (despite working in Early Childhood Education full time)

    •   33% don’t receive benefits from their employer

  • $72,490.00 disbursed

  • Average of $2,338 or equal to a salary raise of $1/hour for full time employees


Quality Improvement:

  • Disbursed funds to assist preschool in meeting licensing standards

  • Additional quality improvement grants will be disbursed in winter 2019


Capacity Building:

  • Contracted with a consultant to create a sustainability plan for a preschool

  • Contracted with a consultant to assist a preschool in board development

  • Currently assisting a child care center in obtaining non-profit status

  • Additional capacity building grants will be disbursed in winter 2019


A Path to Excellence (APEX) scholarships:

  • Developed a scholarship program which will assist early childhood educators in pursuing further higher education and professional development

  •   Applications will be opened in early spring 2019


Financial Aid:

  • Worked with consultants to develop recommendations for financial aid model, to be implemented spring 2019

  • Named financial aid program in honor of Cathy James – The Cathy James Financial Aid Program


All-County Events and Trainings:

  • 3 all-county trainings offered  - CPR, Standard Precautions, Professional Credential Support

  • 30 teachers from five centers participated


Meetings and Outreach:

  • The Early Childhood Advisory Panel met seven times in 2018 (in addition to countless emails and phone calls)

  • The Strong Start coordinator held over 40 meetings with partners and stakeholders

    • Presentations to childcare and preschool boards, childcare and preschool directors, libraries, leaders in the Latino community

  • Submitted two press releases communicating significant achievements to community

  • Developed website to reflect programming and social media presence to communicate with stakeholders