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Funding will help set local children up for success

CFA has opened applications for its second annual Early Childhood Education (ECE) Fund grants. Nearly $300,000 will be available to eligible organizations that help ensure children in Cambria and Somerset counties are ready for kindergarten and literate by third grade.

“We are honored to be able to continue this important initiative,” CFA Associate Director Angie Berzonski said. “Studies have shown that access to quality early childhood education has multi-generational impact: Not only are children with access to it more likely to finish high school, attend college, and avoid criminal justice intervention, but so are their children. Well-trained and adequately paid educators are another critical component in accomplishing this goal.”

The deadline for online applications is midnight on Friday, Dec. 11, and grant announcements are expected to be made by the end of the year.

Last year, CFA awarded $235,000 through the first Early Childhood Education grants to support teachers and providers at 50 local facilities and help hundreds of children in the region.

This year, ECE committee members will be looking for projects that improve facilities, equipment, and other resources; incentivize ECE staff and support their professional needs; and/or provide tuition assistance to families who do not qualify for available subsidized programs. If awarded, the grant funding can be put to use for the remainder of the 2020-21 school year or programs can be designed to use the funding through the 2021-22 school year. Applicants must have an IRS-designated 501(c)(3) status or work with an organization that does; they must serve Cambria and/or Somerset counties; they also must have at least a STAR 2 rating through the Keystone STARS Program or demonstrate how their request will move their facility to a STAR 3.

See our Grants Page to apply online.

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