CCSA COVID-19 Relief Fund Receives $100,000 contribution from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation

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Jennifer Gioia
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CCSA COVID-19 Relief Fund, a collaborative effort of CCSA and Smart Start, receives contribution from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation to support child care programs.

Chapel Hill, N.C., April 15, 2020: The CCSA COVID-19 Relief Fund received a $100,000 contribution from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation to support North Carolina’s child care programs. The CCSA COVID-19 Relief Fund is a collaborative effort of Child Care Services Association (CCSA), the statewide Smart Start network and CCR&Rs. Every dollar donated goes directly back into child care programs and families in our community.

“The child care workforce is playing an integral role in our state’s response to COVID-19, as they care for the children of the health professionals, first responders, and others on the frontlines of the crisis,” said Dr. John Lumpkin, President of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation. “We hope that this grant will help provide the safest possible environment for early childhood educators and the children in their care. And we also hope that others will join us in supporting this essential component of the crisis response infrastructure.”

“We thank the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation for their generous support. Child care has stepped up to support essential workers in North Carolina. Child care programs support children and working parents, and even during a global pandemic, these centers and family child care homes are what keeps our communities running,” said CCSA President Marsha Basloe. “With this contribution from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation, and others like it, we hope there will be continued support for the CCSA COVID-19 Relief Fund so we can reach every child care program supporting our state.”

“North Carolina’s child care industry has always been important to supporting families, our economy, and building brains of our future leaders. This industry is absolutely critical now to ensuring that our essential and front-line workers have safe, quality care for their children,” stated Donna White, Interim President of the North Carolina Partnership for Children/Smart Start. “This fund will get needed supplies and resources to centers to help care for our children and ensure that we have a child care industry to aid in economic recovery when restrictions are lifted.”

More information about the relief fund, including how you can help, can be found at www.childcareservices.org/ccsa-covid-19-relief-fund. To apply for assistance, child care programs can complete the application here and return completed applications by email to their local Smart Start Partnership by May 1, 2020. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis beginning in May for this first cycle of funding. Smart Start local partnerships are located in every North Carolina community to better serve each child and their family. Child care programs may contact the Smart Start local partnership in their community for more information about the Fund and the application process.

The CCSA COVID-19 Relief Fund is designed to provide small grants to 3-star or higher child care centers and family child care homes in North Carolina to help them purchase supplies and/or services needed to meet the stringent health and sanitation standards required by the NC Department of Health and Human Services. At this time, funds will be available to child care programs currently open and serving the children of essential workers. Once the immediate crisis has passed, CCSA and Smart Start will continue to raise funds to help programs through the recovery period.

Learn more about how you can help support high-quality child care in North Carolina here.

Child Care Services Association
Founded in 1974, the mission of Child Care Services Association (CCSA) is to ensure affordable, accessible, high-quality child care for all young children and their families. Using a holistic approach, CCSA supports children and families, helps child care professionals improve the quality of early education children receive and ensures all families can afford and access the high-quality early care and education that is so important for a child’s early development. Through its Meal Services Program, CCSA also provides nutritious meals to children at child care centers, where they may eat 50-100 percent of their meals. Our T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood®, Child Care WAGE$® and Infant-Toddler Educator AWARD$® programs give child care professionals the means to obtain an education and supplement their salary based on that education. CCSA also licenses T.E.A.C.H. and WAGE$ across the U.S. and conducts early childhood systems research and policy development statewide and nationally. For more information, visit www.childcareservices.org.

North Carolina Partnership for Children/Smart Start
Smart Start is a network of 75 nonprofit local partnerships that serve all 100 North Carolina counties. This network is led by The North Carolina Partnership for Children (NCPC) that ensures fiscal and programmatic accountability, and coordinates the statewide network to create better outcomes for children and families. Learn more about NCPC and the Smart Start network at www.smartstart.org.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation
The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation is an independent, private foundation with the mission of improving the health and well-being of everyone living in North Carolina. Since its establishment in 2000, the organization has invested $143 million into North Carolina communities through more than 1,025 grants. In its grantmaking, the Foundation strives to address key drivers of health, and takes an approach designed to meet identified needs in partnership with the community. The organization also works closely with grantees and other nonprofits to support their growth through capacity building and leadership development opportunities. For more information, visit www.bcbsncfoundation.org.

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