January 8, 2015

MONTGOMERY—Governor Robert Bentley on Thursday announced the Alabama Department of Human Resources, Child Care Services Division(DHR) has been selected to receive an Early Head Start – Child Care Partnership (EHSCCP) grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services totaling $8.3 million per year for five years.

The grant, totaling $41 million over the five-year period which begins in 2015, will be used to serve 566 children using the EHSCCP model. The model includes establishing partnerships between Head Start Programs and licensed child care centers and a statewide Family Child Care Hub.

“A strong education foundation is important to a child’s success, and investing in our children at an early age is extremely important,” Governor Robert Bentley said. “This grant is an excellent investment in Alabama’s future.”

The DHR EHSCCP program will serve eligible children already receiving child care subsidies. Teen mothers and families challenged by child abuse and neglect issues and homelessness will receive priority for participation. This statewide effort will include urban and rural counties where there are a high number of children experiencing poverty.

“We plan to use this grant to help children get the early learning they need so they are prepared to enter the public education system,” said DHR Commissioner Nancy Buckner. “Children that enter school with the proper tools have a much higher success rate than those who have received little or no preparation.”

As part of the grant process, DHR will partner with the Alabama Department of Children’s Affairs, the Alabama Department of Public Health, Auburn University and Alabama Department of Post-Secondary member schools.