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United Way of St. Joseph County wins $150,000 to address childcare deserts in Michiana

NOW: United Way of St. Joseph County wins $150,000 to address childcare deserts in Michiana

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- A $150,000 grant will help the United Way of St. Joseph County address child care deserts in the area. 

In October, the organization was selected as a finalist for the grant offered by Early Learning Indiana. 

In addition to United Way of St. Joseph County, Early Learning Indiana awarded money to 12 other organizations in the state. 

Laura Jense, the president and CEO of United Way of St. Joseph County, says it will increase access to high-quality childcare for young children and their families in St. Joseph County. 

“Childcare just isn’t about the child and it’s not just about the family and it’s really so much more than that,” said Jensen. 

UWSJC plans to put some of its funds toward the early learning program within the Southeast Neighborhood Center. The rest of the money will help pilot a childcare center with a local organization. 

In total, up to 180 new childcare seats will be created. Both centers will be open within the next two years.

“Affordable childcare, it ensures that our kids start off on the right foot, that they enter school ready,” said Jensen. “It helps to make sure that families are in a position that they can go to work everyday and be a high quality employee. It helps move them into a life of stability, but it also helps our work, workforce, and employers knowing that they have quality employees that they can count on everyday in the long term” 

For more information, click here.

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