The Community Foundation will work with the Childcare Resource Network serving Erie County, the Niagara Community Action Program, Inc. and ACCORD to distribute grants of $2,000 to more than 250 home-based childcare providers across Erie, Niagara, Wyoming and Allegany counties. Childcare providers will have flexibility to use the funds as they best see fit to help them re-open or remain open to continue to provide high quality care for children.
Childcare providers are struggling to accommodate the changing needs of families while balancing this with their own needs for reliable income and fears of being exposed to COVID-19. Most challenged are the small home-based childcare programs that serve between three and twelve children. Currently, they are ineligible for many of the Federal and State supports available to small businesses. This is exacerbated by the fact that most programs supporting small business do not have childcare on their radar.
The grant to the Community Foundation is part of the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation’s $1 million total investment to support small home-based childcare providers across Western New York. Grants have also been distributed to the Rochester Area Community Foundation, Chautauqua Community Foundation and Cattaraugus Community Foundation. This program is modeled after the long-standing Small Grants to Small Children developed by the Adirondack Foundation.
“Childcare is essential now more than ever,” said Amber Slichta, Vice President of Programs at the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation. “Small home-based childcare providers rarely qualify for support and in turn, do not view themselves as small businesses. It’s important that we continue to fill these gaps and uplift these providers, as they are often the only option for working families in rural areas and urban neighborhoods.”
“As we move toward COVID-19 recovery efforts in our community, these childcare grants made possible by the generosity of the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation will make a big impact in Western New York,” said Betsy Constantine, Executive Vice President, Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo. “The regional collaboration between the foundations and the Childcare Resource Networks will ensure that we can support childcare providers during a critical time of building back in our community.”
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About the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo
About the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation