September 2, 2020

Enterprise PNW to award $372,000 in Grants to Local Child Care Providers

Enterprise Community Partners (Enterprise) PNW office is thrilled to announce the award of predevelopment grants to eleven different early learning providers throughout the state of Washington. WA state providers have been hit hard during the Covid pandemic, with an estimated more than 1,000 closures since July, roughly 47,000 slots lost for children. In partnership with Craft3 and the Washington Community Reinvestment Association (WCRA), Enterprise has worked hard to push forward support for providers who are still striving to expand or construct new early learning classrooms during these unprecedented times. This critical support will allow early learning providers to hurdle many initial feasibility costs, with construction for many programs coming as soon as this fall.

Of the 11 awards, two went to major affordable housing organizations who are embarking on co-location projects with local early learning providers. One includes Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI) who is partnering with renowned local provider ReWA, the Refugee Women’s Alliance. This project was a recent recipient of the Tony Lee award, being recognized as a co-location project that strengthens communities and improves access to opportunities for low-income communities of color. In addition, Bellwether Housing partnering with emerging provider Empowering Youth & Families Outreach (EYFO) was awarded. Because of their successful local youth and parent supports, EYFO was summoned by local community advocates to open an early learning center for local children and families. Bellwether has engaged in this community ask and is committed to seeing this co-location partnership come to fruition.

Other recipients include licensed family in home childcare providers, childcare centers, and emerging providers—those who are just entering the field. Awardees cover three different counties, across six different legislative districts, encompassing childcare deserts and high need areas. Most importantly, funded projects include a racial equity impact within communities—all awardees include women and provider of color lead organizations, all whom serve low-income children and families of color, including programs that serve communities with culturally competent care. The awarded projects will allow for the construction of approximately 33 new classrooms with an estimated 360 new childcare slots.

We are honored to support childcare providers who are vital to the success of our communities. We’d like to offer many thanks to our partners, Craft3 and WCRA, and we are in deep gratitude to our funders, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, The Ballmer Group, and the State of Washington, without who’s support would not have accomplished such amazing work and impacts for children and families.

Congratulations to all our predevelopment grant awardees!

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