Alabama's DHR program is set to receive a $41 million child care grant, Governor Robert Bentley announced on Thursday.
The Alabama Department of Human Resources, Child Care Division (DHR) has been selected to receive an Early Head Start Child Care Partnership grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Resources. The grant is to be paid out over 5 years at $8.3 million per year.
The department should start receiving the grant beginning in 2015, and will serve 566 children using a model known as EHSCCP. This model includes establishing partnerships between Head Start Programs, licensed child care centers and a statewide Family Child Care Hub.
"A strong education foundation is important to a child's success, and investing in our children at an early age is extremely important," Governor Robert Bentley said. "This grant is an excellent investment in Alabama's future."
The program is said to serve children already receiving child care subsidies and teen mothers and families who are challenged by child abuse and neglect issues or homelessness. The statewide effort will include urban and rural counties where there are a high number of children experiencing poverty.
"We plan to use this grant to help children get the early learning they need so they are prepared to enter the public education system," said DHR Commissioner Nancy Buckner. "Children that enter school with the proper tools have a much higher success rate than those who have received little or no preparation."