Early Matters Chattanooga announced the formation of the Quality Matters Fund, a public-private partnership that uses funding from the city of Chattanooga and the Smart City Venture Fund, which is being done in partnership with United Way of Greater Chattanooga’s fiscal management and the oversight of a Quality Matters Committee.
Officials said, "This fund will provide early learning centers with one-time capital investments needed for high-quality programs in order to expand access to more families across Chattanooga, as well as increase quality to lower quality programs.
The Quality Matters Fund will be open for both nonprofit and for-profit early learning programs to apply."
“Investment in early childhood education is essential to ensuring all of our community’s youth receive a strong start to their education, setting them up for long term success in school, career and life,” said Molly Blankenship, Executive Director of Chattanooga 2.0, the organization who launched and convenes Early Matters Chattanooga. “The Quality Matters Fund will accelerate our ability to reach Chattanooga 2.0’s goal of having 80% of children enter kindergarten ready for school, and will bring peace of mind to working families that their children are in safe, enriching environments.”
Currently, the Quality Matters Fund has a total of $400,000 grant money to distribute. Eligible programs seeking grant funding can see awards ranging from $20,000-$75,000.
“We want to ensure all of Chattanooga’s children are at the same starting line when they enter kindergarten,” said Mayor Andy Berke. “The best way to do that is to invest in the programs that can prepare them and their families for lifelong success and we cannot do that without the support of organizations and partners like Smart City Venture Fund and the United Way of Greater Chattanooga.”
Programs that are eligible for the grants include licensed for profit and not for profit programs in Hamilton County. There will be two initial grant cycles. Both cycles opened on Tuesday, Jan. 21 and the first will close on Tuesday, Feb. 18, and the second cycle will close on Monday, March 23.
For information about the grants and workshops for providers please see www.earlymatterschatt.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org