Press release from United Way of Greater Cincinnati

GREENDALE, Ind. (June 15, 2023) – United Way of Greater Cincinnati Southeast Indiana (UWGC SE Indiana) received a $140,000 grant from the state’s Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative (READI), led by the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC), to increase accessibility and affordability of pre-K and child care centers in Dearborn, Franklin, Ripley, Ohio and Switzerland counties.

UWGC SE Indiana worked with One Dearborn Inc., Dearborn County’s economic development agency, to secure the funding.

The grant is designated for the Early Education Access Project. UWGC SE Indiana partners on the project with Building Blocks, the child care and resource referral agency for Southern Indiana. UWGC’s Building Blocks Creative Curriculum focuses on increasing the number of slots available in pre-K and child care centers, elevating centers’ rankings on Indiana’s Paths to QUALITY scale and expanding opportunities to use On My Way Pre-K vouchers.

“The importance of accessible, affordable, quality child care cannot be overstated,” said Karen Snyder, Director of UWGC SE Indiana. “Without it, families are unable to work and achieve financial stability. What’s more, the time from birth to age 5 is crucial in preparing children for future success in school and in life.”

“We are so fortunate to be partners in the community with early learning centers and United Way of Greater Cincinnati,” said Aleisha Sheridan, Building Blocks CEO. “We want to assist in giving tools to educators in the region to ensure children and families are school-ready. This is an exciting time in local communities to have exposure to the highest quality of early learning available.”

SEI READI awarded funding to UWGC SE Indiana’s Early Education Access Project because high-quality, affordable and accessible child care plays an important role in economic development, particularly in attracting and retaining talented workers.

The SEI READI funds allow UWGC SE Indiana to contract with Building Blocks for two additional years through April 2025 – to help child care centers improve their state scores. The Paths to QUALITY system makes it easier for families to evaluate and consider child care options.