Next Door to steward $4.8 million grant among early education agencies

A $4.8 million federal grant awarded to Next Door, of Milwaukee, will serve as a base for programs and services aimed at enhancing care for low-income families with infants and toddlers.


The Federal Early Head Start Child Care Partnership grant, announced on Wednesday, will specifically support families with young children who receive services at early education partners at 10 locations throughout Milwaukee and Ozaukee counties.

Next Door, a nonprofit early education center, will steward grant dollars among itself and area education partners it has selected, including: Child Development Center of St. Joseph’s; COA; Neighborhood House; Kindercare West Allis, Malaika Early Learning Center; and St. Ann Center for Intergenerational Care in Milwaukee County.

Stepping Stones Children’s Center, of Ozaukee County, has been deemed another partner who will provide resources and services for low-income families at its two locations.

During an education summit held in Washington on Wednesday, President Obama announced $250 million in Preschool Development Grants and $500 million in Early Head Start Child Care Partnership awards. The dollars will funnel into efforts to improve and grow early education programs as well as widen access to quality infant and toddler care in underserved communities.

Next Door was among four Wisconsin organizations to receive funding.

“Next Door’s 45 years of experience serving low-income families allows us to bring proven strategies to these partner programs,” Next Door’s executive director, Carol Keintz, said in a statement. “Research shows that the earlier a child is enrolled in a quality education program the more likely they are to succeed in school and beyond. We are excited to lead this effort and bring these partners together to better serve the community. We intend to create a hub of comprehensive services by leveraging the strengths of each of our esteemed partners. With our combined expertise and experience, we can provide impactful services to young children in the region’s most impoverished neighborhoods.”

The $4.8 million grant mandates Next Door raise $1.2 million from the community. The funding campaign will rely on both fundraising and gifts in kind, according to the organization.

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