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New NKY Organization to Enhance Early Childhood, Child Care Options in Region

Local business and community leaders announced Wednesday the formation of a new initiative to fill what they see as a gap left in Northern Kentucky by the departure of services from Cincinnati-based 4C for Children.

The Early Childhood Transition Committee (ECTC) established a new nonprofit called Early Childhood Learning Education Assessment Resource Network, or EC Learn. It will partner with the Northern Kentucky Area Development District (NKADD) as a fiscal agent.

EC Learn is led by Sandra Woodall, former Northern Kentucky team lead for 4C for Children. She will serve as executive director.

Additional team members are expected to be announced in the coming weeks.

According to a news release, the new nonprofit will work under the NKAAD umbrella to train and coach early child care providers; work with school districts to help children bridge from early learning into the public school system; work with Head Start programs through the Northern Kentucky Community Action Commission; provide child care referrals for NKY families and businesses; and assist with training of professionals to earn their Child Development Associate (CDA) credential, which helps to build the early childhood professional career lattice.

The local services EC Learn provides will enhance, extend, and expand the state agency resources already in place, the announcement said. 

“The ECTC committee was created out of passion for a tremendous need in our community,” said Woodall. “There are 125 child care programs and more than 4,000 child care professionals in NKY who need help maintaining high standards of child care as well as thousands of families and employers counting on us to help connect them and their workers to child care providers. We’re proud to partner with NKADD in the coming months and feel confident the relationship will help us strengthen relationships to further deepen the quality of child care in our region.”

“NKADD is excited about the partnership with EC Learn,” said Lisa Cooper, executive director of NKADD. “Now more than ever, quality childcare is critical to the community. The mission of EC Learn fits well with the mission of NKADD, and we look forward to assisting with this important work.”

The ECTC and EC Learn will lead a community needs assessment to best understand the critical needs of child care providers as well as assess the rapidly changing child care needs of families and employers in Northern Kentucky, a news release said.

The Community Needs Assessment will be completed by October 2020 and shared with partners in December 2020.

Based on the results of this assessment, the ECTC will work with local nonprofit organizations and funding partners to determine the best strategies for supporting the needs of child care providers, families and employers beyond EC Learn’s partnership with NKADD through 2020.

-Staff report

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