Head Start Early Childhood Innovation Fund announces new grant awards of $1.5 million to support parents and teachers

Latest round of funding from $11 million, five-year project that includes Detroit and tri-counties focuses on innovation and collaboration

DETROIT – The Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan today announced that the Head Start Early Childhood Innovation Fund Collaborative (Innovation Fund) will award grants totaling $1.5 million through nine awards to Head Start grantees to support parent engagement and teacher recruitment and retention activities. This is the first round of grants awarded since the expansion of the program to the tri-county region. This latest round of grants continues Innovation Fund support for nearly 9,000 young children and their families enrolled in local Head Start agencies in Detroit, Wayne County, Oakland County, and Macomb County. 

“We received nine innovative proposals,” said Katie Brisson, vice president of programs, Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, which administers the Innovation Fund on behalf of 10 foundation supporters. “The Innovation Fund was impressed with the plans agencies proposed for teacher recruitment and retention, as well as programs that will assist early educators in supporting children and families living in adverse conditions.” 

The nine grants totaling $1.5 million will go to the following organizations:
  • $200,000 to Matrix Human Services to promote Head Start and Early Head Start teacher retention and development
  • $150,000 to Metropolitan Children and Youth (Operating as United Children and Families) to promote Head Start and Early Head Start teacher retention and development
  • $260,000 to New St. Paul Tabernacle Head Start Agency to promote Head Start and Early Head Start teacher retention and development
  • $390,000 to Starfish Family Services (Detroit) for trauma-informed training and support for parents and staff
  • $75,000 to Guidance Center to promote Head Start and Early Head Start teacher retention and development
  • Two grants totaling $250,000, each representing $125,000, to Oakland Livingston Human Services Agency and Macomb County – Macomb Action Agency for collaborative work trauma-informed training and support for parents and staff
  • $75,000 to Starfish Family Services (Western Wayne) for trauma-informed training and support for parents and staff
  • $125,000 to Wayne Metro Community Action Agency for an innovative apprenticeship program for high school students interested in an early educator career 

The $11 million Head Start Early Childhood Innovation Fund is supported by ten foundations who are part of the Southeast Michigan Early Childhood Funders Collaborative. The Innovation Fund awards competitive grants for programs and partnerships that improve the quality of Head Start services and outcomes for children and their families in Detroit and the tri-counties. It also provides strategic support for system-wide needs, such as oversight of a monthly Learning Network for all providers, creation and administration of a common enrollment campaign, comprehensive data collection, and provision of collaborative access to shared resources, such as quality training.  

Innovation Fund funders include the Colina Foundation, the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation, Jewish Fund, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, McGregor Fund, PNC Bank Foundation, The Skillman Foundation, and the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation.

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