United Way of Western CT To Launch Cora’s Kids, Focus on Early Childhood Development Through Infant and Toddler Childcare

Friday, April 20, 2018

UWWC to invest $1 million over five years to create jobs supporting licensed home childcare

DANBURY, CT -- United Way of Western Connecticut (UWWC) will announce the launch of Cora’s Kids, a program to invest $1 million over the next 3-5 years to support new family childcare centers in Danbury at a press event on Thursday, April 19, 2018 at 9:00 am at the Danbury Fair Mall Center Court.

Cora’s Kids will support the goals of the Danbury Works collaborative, which was awarded a $450,000 grant from the Boston Federal Reserve’s Working Cities Challenge, as well as the Bloomberg Philanthropies 2018 Champion Cities Challenge. Through Cora’s Kids, UWWC funding will complement these programs. We will be recruiting and licensing new family childcare businesses and supporting current providers who are facing closure due to low enrollment because families can’t afford the care. Our goal is to create hundreds of new childcare slots, dozens of new businesses, and allow families to continue to work and live in financially stable homes in Danbury.

Childcare is one of the largest expenses for families with preschool-aged children, accounting for more than 25% of a household budget on average, and why some parents might turn to unregulated or unlicensed childcare providers. The City of Danbury does not have an adequate number of childcare providers, and affordability for hard-working, struggling households keeps existing providers from being a viable solution for those families. Further investigations have determined that without regulation and oversight, well-meaning unlicensed daycares become overpopulated and subsequently become dangerous environments for children.

“United Way’s investment in childcare, particularly focused on infants and toddlers, will not only increase the number of safe childcare centers for our city’s families, but provide an economic benefit to the city by growing the number of small business operators,” said Cindy Merkle, President and CEO of Union Savings Bank and UWWC Board Chair.

UWWC Chief Executive Officer Kimberly Morgan, City of Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton, state legislators, and current Danbury childcare providers will be available at the press event to answer questions from the press and speak in greater detail about childcare challenges facing the city, and solutions that are being advanced by collaborative work between various city agencies and organizations.

Danbury Fair Mall will provide breakfast and a $500 grant towards the initiative.

About United Way of Western Connecticut
United Way of Western Connecticut (UWWC) improves the lives of hard-working, struggling households by mobilizing the resources of local communities to create lasting change. We help residents across Northern Fairfield County, Southern Litchfield County and the City of Stamford by focusing on the vital building blocks for a good life: Education, Financial Stability and Health. We are committed to ensuring that every child enters school ready to learn, every family is financially stable, and every community we serve is healthy and strong. We are particularly focused on a population that United Way identifies as ALICE® (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) in our communities. A United Way report published in October 2016 revealed that in Connecticut, more than 1 in 4 households has earnings above the Federal Poverty Level, but below a basic cost-of-living threshold. Combined with those who are struggling below poverty level, 38% of all households in the state are experiencing financial hardship. By leveraging the collective power of the community, we are focused on creating an environment where individuals and families are self-sufficient and can achieve financial independence.

Photo: United Way of Western Connecticut CEO Kimberly Morgan addresses members of the press and Danbury community about United Way's $1 million investment into its Cora's Kids initiative to support early childhood development and create jobs supporting licensed home childcare. The announcement was held at the Danbury Fair Mall in Danbury, Conn. on Thursday, April 19, 2018. (Photo/United Way of Western Connecticut)



Sofia Dupi
United Way of Western Connecticut

Website: www.uwwesternct.org

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