Uplift Education is teaming with ChildCare Group to meet the needs of children in the North Texas area. Wendy Ogren, VP of ChildCare Group Program Services, believes the missions of the two organizations align well. “Low income families have so many obstacles to overcome. It really does take a village. Helping these families continue on a trajectory after their experience in our Early Head Start and Head Start programs is crucial. It’s essential to team with higher levels of education in order to see a return on our early investment in their lives,” she said.
While acknowledging that poverty is a complex problem, Ogren sees education as one of the most successful ways to break the poverty cycle. When children succeed in school and have the expectation of college, she says, they can envision a different future for themselves.
Over the past 111 years, ChildCare Group has offered children a different vision of their future in their Early Head Start and Head Start programs, serving families who qualify for 100% of federal poverty guidelines. Beginning as a milk program created by concerned citizens of Dallas who identified a lack of childcare for people working in cotton fields, ChildCare Group now works with more than 600 children every day in eight programs across a network of seven centers.
Through their CCA program (Child Care Assistance), ChildCare Group also distributes subsidy money to more than 1,000 providers who serve 13,000 children in the DFW area and in Beaumont. In addition, ChildCare Group provides training on an ongoing basis to parents and childcare providers. Finally, through their Food and Nutrition Program, each child in their care receives 2/3 of his or her daily nutritional needs.
Through strong relationships with ChildCare Group centers, Uplift can help assure a seamless transition from early child hood education to grade school. “We know that children who start school behind stay behind, and this has lifelong implications. So we are committed to providing a place where there is not only good quality care and basic needs met but high quality early childhood education happening. Students can enter Kindergarten on a level playing field with their peers no matter what their income is,” Ogren said. Uplift’s high quality, college preparatory education assures that the strong investment made in the early lives of ChildCare Group’s children pays off in later years.