The Foundation today announced the next step in its strategic initiative to support young children and their families by awarding more than $341K in grants to early childhood programs. Convinced by the overwhelming evidence from research that says that the first years of a child's life are the most crucial for his or her success in school and life, GWCF is focusing a significant share of its resources on helping young children succeed, especially low income children, whose needs are greatest and who have been demonstrated to gain the most from these kinds of interventions.

“It is imperative that we as a community recognize that early childhood services and the professionals who work with infants, toddlers, and preschool children, are critical to a healthy society as a whole,” said Ann T. Lisi, CEO of Greater Worcester Community Foundation. “Launching this important initiative with partners throughout the city makes it a community-wide commitment to advance both excellence and equity for young children from diverse cultural, linguistic, racial, and economic backgrounds.”

A number of the organizations receiving these inaugural grants will support parents and families in their roles teachers, caregivers and supporters of their children's healthy development. Other programs funded will increase the supply of high quality early education and eliminate summer learning loss. The organizations receiving Early Childhood Program grants are:
  • Bancroft School
  • Children's Friend
  • Ecotarium
  • Edward Street Child Services
  • Elm Park Center for Early Childhood Education
  • Family Health Center of Worcester
  • Horizons for Homeless Children
  • Jewish Family & Children's Service
  • Latino Education Institute
  • Pernet Family Health Service
  • Rainbow Child Development Center
  • The CASA Project
  • UMass Memorial/Youth Violence Prevention Initiative
  • United Way of Central Massachusetts
  • Worcester Comprehensive Education and Care
  • YMCA of Central Massachusetts