LVCF Awards Grants to Enhance Early Childcare Access

LVCF Awards Grants to Enhance Early Childcare Access

Allentown, PA, March 12, 2024 — The Lehigh Valley Community Foundation (LVCF) has announced the distribution of over $175,500 in general operating grants to local nonprofits for improving access to early childcare. This funding initiative is part of LVCF’s foundation-directed community investments grantmaking strategy.

Megan Briggs, LVCF’s Vice President for Community Investments, emphasizes the organization’s commitment to collaborative efforts in mitigating the early childhood care and education crisis. “LVCF is not only channeling funds into this critical area but is also engaging in partnerships and initiatives to further its mission of accessible and affordable early childhood care for all,” she noted.

The following organizations have been awarded second-year grants, as part of a three-year funding cycle, with amounts ranging from $25,000 to $20,000 for the fiscal year 2023-24:

– Resurrected Community Development Corporation
– The Children’s Center, Volunteers of America of Pennsylvania
– Third Street Alliance

Additionally, two-year grant awards ranging from $14,000 to $2,500 for 2023-24 have been granted to:

– Community Services for Children
– Fine Feather Foundation Inc.
– Greater Valley YMCA
– Lehigh Valley Children’s Centers, Inc.
– Mindful Child Initiative
– Northampton Community College Foundation
– Pinebrook Family Answers
– ProJeCt of Easton, Inc.
– Red Door Early Learning Center
– Saucon Valley Community Center
– Via of the Lehigh Valley

These grants support nonprofits tackling the root causes of early childhood care and education challenges. Throughout fall 2023, Erika Riddle Petrozelli, LVCF’s President and CEO, and Megan Briggs met with over 20 stakeholders in the early childhood sector. These discussions highlighted critical issues, such as workforce shortages due to low pay, increasing behavioral and mental health diagnoses among children, and insufficient funding for quality programs. They also explored how these challenges intersect with broader impact areas like family support, workforce development, economic well-being, transportation, and health.

LVCF is actively developing strategies to support and enhance the collective effort towards ensuring high-quality, accessible childcare across the Lehigh Valley. The foundation is committed to leveraging its resources, voice, staff, and positioning to impact the early childhood sector positively.

The Foundation oversees various area-of-interest funds aimed at supporting youth and families in the Lehigh Valley, including the Edward & Inez Donley Fund; Walter & Alma Bastian Fund; Outdoor Recreation Fund for Youth; Robert D. & Gwendolyn-Jane Romeril Campership Fund; Lucille F. Driver Fund, supported by Roger and Kathy Yott.

Grant applications were reviewed by the Early Childhood Care Grant Advisory Committee, which comprises community experts in early childhood care and family services. This diverse group evaluated applications based on the organizations’ focus areas, the populations served, and their community-driven approaches to delivering transformative services equitably.

For more information about LVCF’s foundation-directed grantmaking: click here.