June 18, 2014
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.”
“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.”
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.
The Alabama Department of Human Resources Child Care Division is the state’s Child Care and Development Fund administrator, responsible for the child care subsidy program and quality initiatives. In addition, the Division is also responsible for monitoring and licensing child care centers for compliance with minimum standards.
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), founded in 1930 as an independent, private foundation by breakfast cereal pioneer, Will Keith Kellogg, is among the largest philanthropic foundations in the United States. Guided by the belief that all children should have an equal opportunity to thrive, WKKF works with communities to create conditions for vulnerable children so they can realize their full potential in school, work and life.
The Kellogg Foundation is based in Battle Creek, Mich., and works throughout the United States and internationally, as well as with sovereign tribes. Special emphasis is paid to priority places where there are high concentrations of poverty and where children face significant barriers to success. WKKF priority places in the U.S. are in Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico and New Orleans; and internationally, are in Mexico and Haiti. For more information, visit www.wkkf.org.