Davenport Community Schools Receives $10,000 Early Childhood Education Grant
The Davenport Community School District has received a grant from Governor Kim Reynolds and the Iowa Department of Education for $10,000 to help build the future of early childhood education and childcare in the Davenport Community.
The Blended Early Learning in Educational Foundations (BELIEF) grants were awarded to 16 Iowa school districts to facilitate a year of planning and research for local committees. DCSD has formed a committee of community stakeholders such as the YMCA, The Mississippi Bend AEA, University of Iowa, Davenport preschool teachers and private daycares. This committee will assess the current early childhood education and childcare needs in the city. It will work over the next year to develop recommendations to further community partnerships and provide working Davenport families with childcare and offer young children the opportunity for early learning.
“We want to meet the goal of having all children be ready for kindergarten, and that’s accomplished through learning at pre-schools and daycares,” Director of Learning and Results Dr. Lisa Stevenson says. “And we want to let every parent know their child is in a safe, nurturing environment while they’re at work.”
Currently, there are approximately 800 four-year-olds in half-day pre-school funded by the State of Iowa. However, there’s an estimated 200-300 more who don’t have access because of a lack of openings or transportation, or their family requires a full day of care.
“The potential for the greatest return on investment is in early childhood,” Dr. Stevenson says. “Students who attend pre-school are on the right path and more successful in elementary school, middle school and beyond. Providing more childcare options allows families to be out working and contributing to the economy.”
Dr. Stevenson, who’s a member of Davenport Schools’ committee, says they expect to have recommendations in the spring of 2023. These recommendations would then be included in an application for a grant to fund implementation.