DHR awarded $1.7 million grant to improve child care services

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MONTGOMERY – The Alabama Department of Human Resources (DHR) has been awarded a grant by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to help strengthen Alabama’s statewide Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS), also known as Alabama Quality STARS. The $1.7 million dollar grant will focus on professional development, infant-toddler workforce initiatives and a statewide consumer awareness campaign.

 

“I commend Commissioner Buckner and her staff at the Department of Human Resources for receiving this $1.7 million grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation,” Governor Robert Bentley said. “It is important for infants and toddlers to get the adequate supervision and care that they need while receiving childcare in Alabama facilities. This grant will go a long way in continuing the education and training for the staff in these child care facilities, and it will help ensure all toddlers have an opportunity to attend the best child care program.”

 

The project funded by the grant will start immediately and continue through September 2016. Among the goals and objectives of the project are: supporting 150 child care centers participating in Alabama Quality STARS to maintain and improve STAR ratings, increase the number of low-income children in high quality child care settings and develop strategies to engage parents, providers and other stakeholders through the development of consumer awareness campaigns.

 

“I am extremely pleased that the Kellogg Foundation saw the potential for improving child care in Alabama and approved our application for this funding, “ stated DHR Commissioner Nancy Buckner. “Alabama Quality STARS is currently being piloted in select areas across the state and this grant will help us make improvements to that system and improve the overall quality of child care for Alabama’s children.”