Announcing $1.45 Million in Funding to Support Parents and Children Ages 0-3
DEEL’s new Prenatal-To-Three Community Grant Program is now accepting applications from community-based organizations
SEATTLE (August 31) - This week, the Seattle Department of Education and Early Learning (DEEL) announced a new Prenatal-to-Three Community Grant Program which will invest $1.45 million in equitable birth outcomes and increased early childhood development services for Black, indigenous, people of color, refugee and immigrant families. Programs eligible for funding can include, but are not limited to, maternal health services, pregnancy support and parent education for families who are expecting or are current parents of children ages 0-3. Funding will be awarded through a competitive request for investment process, with up to $150,000 available per awardee.
The Prenatal-to-Three Community Grant Program is funded through the City of Seattle’s Sweetened Beverage Tax (SBT). Approved by City Council in May 2017, SBT tax revenue funds programs that increase access to nutritious food and supports child health, development and learning. This grant will reduce race-based opportunity gaps by funding organizations that provide parents of color with supportive resources and services to support child development and kindergarten readiness.
“Investing in the health and wellness of new parents is imperative in building a strong foundation of health, wellness, and positive development for our youngest learners to position them for success from birth through career. DEEL is proud to support BIPOC-led community organizations providing culturally-responsive practices and building strong relationships with the parents and children this funding will serve,” said Dr. Dwane Chappelle, Director of DEEL.
“We are excited to see this long-standing priority of the SBT Community Advisory Board become a reality. There are so many community organizations providing tailored, high-quality prenatal-to-three and kindergarten readiness services that will benefit from this funding. Investing Sweetened Beverage Tax dollars in independent, community-led solutions is critical to rounding out the birth-to-three strategies and programs offered by local governments. Creating a grant program that prioritizes Black, Indigenous, and People of Color-led organizations is also an opportunity to reverse longstanding racial disparities that have contributed to underfunding of these organizations,” said SBT Community Advisory Board Co-Chairs, Jen Moss and Tanika Thompson.
The application process for the Prenatal-to-Three Community Grant Program is designed to remove barriers that might exclude or discourage eligible community organizations from applying. DEEL is excited to offer potential applicants free support from three community-based technical assistance providers to help navigate the application process. Technical assistance providers offer direct, individualized support to develop grant proposals, especially for organizations who have limited internal resources for grant writing.
“The Prenatal-to-Three Community Grant Program is an opportunity to fully realize our vision for community-responsive government supports. This funding opportunity won’t start with a set of pre-determined approaches. Instead, there is so much wisdom in the community about how to best support BIPOC families with young children - we just have to listen. I’m proud to be part of a process that makes these ideals a reality”, said Dan Torres, an Early Learning Representative on the SBT Community Advisory Board.
The City of Seattle Department of Education and Early Learning’s mission is to transform the lives of Seattle children, youth, and families through strategic investments in education. www.seattle.gov/education