$110,000 grant awarded to the Norfolk Family Coalition

Daycos4Good, the Rudolph Elis Donor-Advised Fund and the Norfolk Area Community Foundation Fund announced a combined $110,000 grant to the Norfolk Family Coalition (NFC) to help home childcare providers overcome barriers to expansion and increase access to childcare in and around Norfolk.

The Norfolk Family Coalition will administer the grants, awarding funding to new or unlicensed childcare providers so they can grow their childcare business by becoming licensed. By obtaining a Family Child Care Home I (FCCH) license, providers can serve up to eight children instead of the three they serve when operating without a license. Providers who already have an FCCH I license can use funds to expand to FCCH II, allowing them to serve up to 12 children. Unlicensed vendors can use funding for FCCH I or II licenses.

The license also requires vendors to meet important safety criteria and participate in training that meets Nebraska Early Childhood Learning Guidelines, which include curriculum in creative arts, health and physical development, speech and language development, literacy and emotional development.

“We are so grateful,” said Merisa Anderson, early childhood coordinator for the Norfolk Family Coalition. “Helping those vendors with necessary security updates and meeting code is going to be really important.”

Daycos4Good, the Rudolph Elis Donor-Advised Fund, and the Norfolk Area Community Foundation Fund are among nine Nebraska Community Foundation-affiliated funds serving the Norfolk area. Recently, groups have come together and devised new strategies to make a bigger impact. The latest sizable grant to the Norfolk Family Coalition is just one example of how these funds are working together.

The leaders of the three organizations decided to get involved after learning of the impending closure of the Northern Hills Childcare Center, which ceased operations at the end of 2022. The center had an authorized capacity of 200 people. increased to 611 seats. The new grant will give new and existing providers a sustainable avenue to rapidly reduce that deficit and give more families in the area the peace of mind that their children will receive high-quality care while both parents are on the job.

“Our goal is to provide a source of funding to assist these vendors with the renovations needed to pass inspections and open quickly to help meet the community’s growing needs,” said Tammy Day of the Daycos4Good Fund. “By helping new vendors build their business, our goal is to provide them with startup costs.”

Grant recipients can use the funds for license application fees; necessary modifications such as smoke and radon detectors, exit windows or additional fire exits; furniture and materials needed for daily operations.

“One of Rudy Elis’ priorities was to help young people stay in northeast and north central Nebraska,” said Kent Warneke of the Elis Fund, which is named after his $2.3 million benefactor, a farmer bachelor of Verdigre. “Helping to ensure affordable, high-quality childcare is definitely up to par. We are delighted to support the Norfolk Family Coalition in its efforts to address this challenge.”

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