High-quality early education experiences lay the foundation for school readiness by providing children with dependable, nurturing relationships and safe, stimulating environments that support healthy development. However, only 29% of the 23,000 children birth to age 5 in Durham County are enrolled in licensed, regulated child care programs, and there are more than 3,000 children currently on waiting lists for child care scholarships. This is a critical need in our community.
In 2014, the median cost for an infant to attend a 5-star child care center was $1,234 per month. For the average family in Durham, child care costs for one child can add up to almost 1/3 of their annual income! This is why the Partnership makes it a priority to increase access to high-quality early education, particularly for low-income families.
Last year, 842 children received high-quality early childhood education through Partnership programs such as Smart Start Scholarship (259 children), Durham Early Head Start (72), and NC Pre-Kindergarten (511). We are excited to announce that we recently received funding to serve an additional 105 children this school year through NC Pre-K (41 new slots) and Durham Early Head Start (64 new slots).
We know that early education works. 94% of school readiness programs were achieved by Smart Start programs. 100% of NC Pre-K children received a developmental screening to identify support services needed to achieve school readiness. 100% of Durham Early Head Start children showed growth across all domains of school readiness.
We need your help to make sure more children in Durham have high-quality early education experiences to help prepare them for success in school and in life. Make your gift to the Partnership today!