The Meadows Foundation recently awarded a $50,000 grant to AVANCE National in support of the organization’s efforts to advance the wellbeing and healthy development of young children in Texas by improving the quality and capacity of home-based child care providers (also known as Family Child Care Homes). AVANCE was among 30 Texas organizations awarded a grant by The Meadows Foundation in April. The grant will allow AVANCE to conduct a pilot of its Family, Friends, & Neighbors (FFN) program, an innovative 10-week course that combines workforce development coaching with early childhood development training.
With the support of The Meadows Foundation, AVANCE will launch the pilot of the FFN program in September in Hidalgo County. AVANCE has been serving Hidalgo County in the Rio Grande Valley through our traditional early childhood and parenting programs for over 20 years. This year we will provide training to a group of currently-licensed home-based child care providers to assist them in obtaining Texas Rising Star (TRS) certification. A quality rating through TRS – the highest available from the State of Texas – qualifies home-based child care providers for higher reimbursement rates, but more importantly ensures the children in their care are getting the highest quality care. AVANCE families often prefer to utilize home-based child care because it is more affordable, accessible, and personal than traditional child care centers. Through the FFN program we can help ensure that children are getting quality care that aligns with the AVANCE way of teaching and interacting with children.
Our current work with the FFN program also lays the foundation for what we anticipate in the future will also blossom into a workforce development program for AVANCE mothers. Through the FFN program, we can assist our mothers, who currently care for other children from their family and/or neighborhood in their own homes, in achieving the highest level of quality. We will also be able help mothers who are interested in providing home-based child care through the process, from business development to TRS quality rating.
The FFN program is one of many approaches that AVANCE takes to ensure that all children, regardless of background or family income, have access to quality early learning opportunities as a foundation for future success. For more information about our two-generation approach, please visit our programs page here.
About The Meadows Foundation
Established in 1948 by Algur H. and Virginia Meadows, The Meadows Foundation exists to assist people and institutions of Texas improve the quality and circumstances of life for themselves and future generations. Since its inception, the Foundation has disbursed more than $1.2 billion to 3,600 Texas institutions and agencies across all 254 Texas counties. The Foundation awards grants to 501(c)(3) organizations and public entities in the areas of arts and culture, civic and public affairs, education, health, and human services as well as initiatives promoting the environment, mental health, and public education.