Giving children a strong start–from birth–is one of the Foundations highest priorities. Since 2002, the Foundation has been working alongside early childhood partners to create a seamless system of inclusive services to help young children and families thrive.
Over the years, we have administered $10 million in state and private foundation grants to fund preschool programs, social-emotional screenings, home visitation programs, and parenting education. The Foundation currently administers the Early Childhood Block Grant from the Kansas Children’s Cabinet & Trust Fund, funding the expansion or enhancement of 7 Reno County programs serving 100% at-risk children and families.
As part of our leadership, we partner with programs on a number of committees and collaborative efforts, including the Kindergarten Readiness Collective of the United Way of Reno County and Hutch Chamber’s Child Care Task Force. These efforts include advocacy to protect the Children’s Initiatives Fund at the state and develop a financial sustainability plan for early childhood programs in Reno County.
The Foundation has also made significant grants from the Fund for Hutchinson to support local efforts, such as the new Our Redeemer Early Learning Center to provide high-quality, affordable childcare for up to 81 children ages 6 weeks to 6 years and the ABC Intervention Program at Horizons Mental Health Center that provides a 12-week high-intensity intervention to families who show signs of significant household stress.
The Reno County Pre-K Program is providing free preschool to 200 four-year-olds who might not otherwise be able to attend.
The Social Emotional Excellence for Kids (SEEK) grant is helping young children with social/emotional red flags get help early. Key activities include screenings, training, and coordination of healthcare, early education and mental health providers.
The Reno Parents Connect public service campaign is promoting ways to forge a strong parent child bond from birth to five, connecting parents at RenoParentsConnect.org.