Educators Say Early Learning Initiative will have Big Impact
YAKIMA, Wa - If the business plan for the East Yakima Early Learning Initiative is approved, it could mean up to $30 million in funding over the next ten years.
Educators say many young children who live in east yakima are not receiving the childcare they need. This grant money will help them change that.
The East Yakima Early Learning Initiative gets the green light from the 'Gates Foundation' and 'Thrive by Five.'
"It's probably 68-percent of children who are not ready for kindergarten in the East Yakima area," says Sylvia Severn, Executive Director of the East Yakima Early Learning Initiative.
Severn says approximately 3,700 young children, ages birth and 5-years-old, are living in the area targeted by the initiative.
"If those children are behind, or not ready, they're going to feel like they can be successful," says Severn.
They'll spend the next six months putting together a business plan for an early learning program. Eight work groups will focus on different areas, from prenatal care to school readiness. This Yakima map shows how far reaching the initiative will be.
"It's going to be heavily outreach, but there will be what will be called a hub," says Severn.
She says the process will be deliberate. The East Yakima Early Learning Initiative won't be eligible for more funding unitl it submits a business plan to the Gates Foundation and Thrive by Five in June. They're still trying to figure out exactly what the plan will consist of.