METAIRIE – Jefferson Ready Start Network announced today that the Jefferson Business Council and the Jefferson Community Foundation together have donated $45,000 towards the JRSN Future Fund that supports early child care and education in Jefferson Parish. The critical donations make JRSN eligible for a matching donation through the state Early Childhood Education Fund (ECE Fund).
Launched in October 2021, the JSRN Future Fund was created in partnership with the Jefferson Community Foundation to allow businesses, organizations and individuals an avenue to contribute towards the efforts to increase access to quality child care for all. The Future Fund supports seats for children ages birth to 5 years through publicly funded seats at high-quality child care centers as well as resources for centers.
“There is an urgent need for quality education for our youngest citizens,” says JRSN Executive Director Sarintha Stricklin, Ph.D. “We have an in-depth understanding of the state of early care and education in the parish and now is the time to develop targeted strategies for building a more equitable, sustainable and accessible early learning ecosystem. Support from the parish’s most influential business and community organizations is key and we are grateful to both for stepping up.”
Jefferson Business Council’s $30,000 donation to the Future Fund combined with the matching funds from the state ECE Fund can provide assets like funding six seats for a child in a PreK-4 classroom or launching a pilot program for recruiting bilingual teachers to address the needs of the underrepresented Latinx community in Jefferson Parish.
“Access to early education is essential for the success of our children and our community at large,” said Larry Dale, Executive Director of Jefferson Business Council. “Our mission is to encourage, promote and enhance the economic posture, social welfare and environment of the parish. What better return on investment than supporting the future of our workforce.”
The Jefferson Community Foundation’s $15,000 donation combined with the matching state ECE Fund can provide assets like funding for two high-quality seats for children birth to age 3 or investment in professional development for early care providers and center owners.
“When we partnered with JRSN last fall we already knew the importance of the efforts we were supporting,” says JCF Executive Director Christine Briede, CFRE. “Our mission at JCF is to engage others in improving the overall quality of life in Jefferson Parish. We have a responsibility to support our youngest citizens and making this donation through our board is just one step in showing our continued support for the work of the Jefferson Ready Start Network.”
For additional information about JRSN or to donate to the JRSN Future Fund, visit jeffersonreadystartnetwork.com.