Print Friendly and PDF

The Kresge Foundation, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and PNC Announce $2.5M in Grants to Improve Detroit Childcare Facilities at #MPC19

How can children receive the education they deserve? It begins with investing early and with intentionality.

On Wednesday, May 29 at the 2019 Mackinac Policy Conference, the Kresge Foundation hosted An Equitable Start: Aligning Early Childhood and K-12 Systems to Maximize Impact – a session focused on the Hope Starts Here Framework and insights on creating streamline and coherent K-12 systems. PNC Financial Services Groups’ Richard L. DeVore announcing $2.5 million in joint grants to support improvements in early childcare facilities in Detroit neighborhoods in an expansion of the three-year-old Learning Spaces program.

“We’re not just working from a place of hope; we’re working from a place of strategy and knowledge,” said W.K. Kellogg’s La June Montgomery Tabron. The framework — a 10-year playbook released by the W.K. Kellogg and Kresge Foundations — outlines Detroit’s community vision for placing young children and families at the center of public policy and business decisions.

Session panelists included Tabron, DeVore, the Kresge Foundation’s Rip Rapson, and Detroit Public Schools Community District’s Nikolai Vitti. The City of Detroit’s Rochelle Riley moderated the conversation.

The road to investing in early childhood is complicated, Rapson said. The process requires facilities, social support, effective transit, and better wages. However, an intentional approach to education can work to bridge the gap, including curriculum development, diagnostic training of needs, and investment in teacher quality, Vitti said.

“There is not an employee who is more important in the K-12 space than teachers,” he said.

Key Takeaways

  • Wraparound services, like mental health and medical support, are integral to an intentional approach to improving early education for children. However, equitable access to these services should be provided to students of all socioeconomic backgrounds.
  • Universities are partnering with public schools to offer an ecosystem of cradle to career education that is agile and includes cultural competency and considers racial equity and adverse childhood experiences.
  • Tabron noted that the average cost of childcare is $10,000 a year. Most families in Detroit are making wages under the poverty level. State resources must be prioritized to educate the workforce of tomorrow.