Ozark Action Inc. received a $44,766 grant from the Community Foundation of the Ozarks through the Ozarks Early Childhood Support Grant Program.

The grant will support current staff and help fill vacancies at Ozark Action’s Head Start programs in Bakersfield, Grovespring and Houston.

The goal of the Ozarks Early Childhood Support Grant Program, which granted a total of $300,000 to 10 agencies across central and southern Missouri, is to reduce barriers to quality child care so parents can return to work or maintain employment. The program is funded by an anonymous donor with a passion for improving economic outcomes of residents in rural communities.

In this area, grants totaling $15,233 to $30,000 went to Cabool Second Baptist Daycare and I Can Too Learning Center/ICTLC in Salem and Presbyterian Preschool/First Presbyterian Church of Rolla.

Grants ranging from $15,233 to $30,000 were also awarded to:

All Aboard Learning Center/Crawford County Foundation Inc.

Cabool Second Baptist Daycare

Children’s Learning Center in Camdenton

Community Support Services of Missouri/Jasper County Sheltered Facilities Association

Delta Area Economic Opportunity Corporation in the Bootheel region

I Can Too Learning Center/ICTLC Inc. in Salem

Lafayette House/Family Self-Help Center Inc. in Joplin

Life360 Community Services’ child care facility in Bell City

Presbyterian Preschool/First Presbyterian Church of Rolla

CFO Board Chair Robin Morgan led the selection committee, which was comprised of Vice Chair Laurie Edmondson, Dr. Doug McNeal, Alice Wingo and Heather Zoromski.

“This program has the potential to provide so many levels of opportunity, not only for children to receive good quality care and education, but also for parents to be able to return to work knowing their children are being well cared for in a safe environment,” Morgan said. “This will also give caregivers the opportunity to find good-paying jobs in child care.”  

Founded in 1973, the Community Foundation of the Ozarks is the region’s largest public charitable foundation serving a network of donors, 53 regional affiliate foundations — including the Houston Community Foundation — and nonprofit partners across central and southern Missouri through with assets of $394 million as of June 30. 

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