Improving Childcare for Homewood Families:
To ensure all children have quality childcare—linked to positive social, emotional, and cognitive outcomes, as well as protection against detrimental effects of poverty—Trying Together (TT) advances the important work of childcare providers by equipping them with professional development opportunities, community resources, and advocacy. Among TT’s most successful community-based initiatives is the Homewood Early Learning Hub, a welcoming storefront in a neighborhood in which poverty is pervasive.
A $400,000 Foundation grant is supporting TT’s ongoing delivery of services at the Hub. For a cohort of approximately 20 childcare providers, TT offers professional development and business mentoring opportunities, as well as environmental enrichment assessments to evaluate improvements in home-based childcare settings. Collaborating with educational organizations, TT also offers programming for interested families and childcare providers that focuses on child development, the role of community in early education, and promoting family engagement. An additional $25,000 grant, to match Department of Human Services funding, supports a full-time caseworker to pilot evidence-based family check-up interventions with 75 families. Referred by the Hub, families’ support is offered in tiered levels based on acuity of need.
"Richard King Mellon Foundation’s support communicates to early learning providers of Homewood and surrounding neighborhoods that their work with young children matters, that they as individuals matter, and most important, that the children in their care matter.”
These initiatives will benefit approximately 625 children, providing responsive adult relationships in language-rich, safe physical environments, thereby strengthening children’s resiliency and ability to address or avoid adversity.