GHR partnered with the Academy to help two schools (Ascension and St. Peter Claver) meet state requirements to open childcare centers on their campuses. Beginning in September 2022, this funding expands ACA’s Early Childhood Learning Center (ECLC) initiative to all four schools in the Academy, ensuring that regular classrooms being converted over to ECLC spaces are up to code, equipped with the necessary furniture and learning materials, and are spaces families and scholars can be proud of and excited to learn in.
Expanding the initiative provides families in the most underserved communities access to early childhood learning solutions. Close to 75% of kindergartners at ACA schools enter the classroom with no pre-k experience. Ensuring scholars are kindergarten ready is crucial to their holistic, long-term success. Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on childcare programs, with many being forced to close permanently. The lack of affordable, high-quality ECLC programs has forced many parents and guardians to forgo returning to the workforce, risking their financial security. Opening two new childcare centers at these schools will offer families in the community much needed relief.
Early childhood learning is an essential component of closing the education opportunity gap, a key aspect of GHR’s Local Domain strategy. Through this partnership, we anticipate improved academic outcomes for the ECLC scholars entering kindergarten, as well as stronger retention of families and scholars moving from pre-K to K-8 classrooms.
GHR works to design new and replicable models for high-quality Catholic education. Learn more about this work here.