Collaborative to Receive $12 Million Annually to Benefit Detroit Children - WBOY.com: Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

Collaborative to Receive $12 Million Annually to Benefit Detroit Children

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SOURCE Collaborative

Starfish Family Services, in partnership with Development Centers, Focus: HOPE and Southwest Solutions, to deliver comprehensive new model for early childhood development through Head Start programming

INKSTER, Mich., June 17, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- A collaborative of reputable and long-standing community-based agencies is pleased to announce its innovative and comprehensive program has been selected by the Office of Head Start to receive $60 million in federal funds over the next five years to serve nearly 1,000 children and families in Detroit annually. The collaborative will provide Detroit children in 11 zip codes access to high-quality and high-impact early childhood services while helping to support and stabilize young families.

The collaborative is led by Starfish Family Services in partnership with Development Centers, Inc.; Focus: HOPE; and Southwest Solutions. A fifth organization, HighScope Educational Research Foundation, will provide curriculum, professional development, and evaluation support.

The national Birth to Five pilot program award funding is the first of its kind in Michigan, with Detroit chosen as one of only five cities in the U.S. to participate in this initiative. The collaborative was selected because of its success in delivering Early Head Start (for pregnant women and children birth to three years old) and Head Start (for children three to five) programs in Detroit and western Wayne County.  Other preliminary Detroit award recipients are Matrix Human Services, Metropolitan Children and Youth, and New St. Paul. 

"This is an exciting time for kids and families in Detroit," said Starfish CEO Ann Kalass. "Together with our partners of Development Centers, Focus: HOPE and Southwest Solutions, we will offer impactful Early Head Start and Head Start services while engaging families and kids in a range of other support including parent education, workforce development, housing, and mental health services. Our collaborative approach will serve nearly 1,000 people, including pregnant women and children 0-5, across the city of Detroit each year."

The program grant will support innovative elements, including unprecedented levels of professional development that extend to community-based childcare professionals and K-3 educators, as well as investments in family and parent engagement.

Quality early childhood programming including Head Start is proven to be effective. Studies show that children who arrive at kindergarten ready to succeed are more likely to graduate, stay out of prison and move out of poverty.

As part of the grant award, collaborative fundraising efforts will begin immediately to raise significant private funds and in-kind donations totaling $15 million over five years resulting in a $75 million cumulative five-year investment in this collaborative platform.

The Office of Head Start is investing approximately $50 million annually in Starfish and other quality programs in Detroit over the next five years. Other cities receiving this unique pilot funding include Washington, D.C.; Baltimore City, Md.; Sunflower County, Miss.; and Jersey City, N.J.

About the Collaborative

The collaborative is led by Starfish Family Services in partnership with direct service providers Focus: HOPE, Development Centers, Inc. and Southwest Solutions. HighScope Educational Research Foundation will provide educational and evaluation support to the program. The collaborative was selected by the national Office of Head Start in June, 2014 to receive $12 annually for a five-year pilot program. The collaborative will implement an innovative model of Head Start and Early Head Start programming to provide Detroit children access to impactful early childhood services. The initiative will include significant investments in program quality, pioneering family engagement techniques and unprecedented levels of professional development that extend to community-based childcare professionals and K-3 educators.

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