MDHS and Wonderschool Working to Expand Child Care Availability in Mississippi

Through funding from the Mississippi Department of Human Services, new grant funding of up to $25K per center-based provider and up to $10K per in-home residential program is available

JACKSON, Miss., May 23, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — The Mississippi Department of Human Services (MDHS) Division of Early Childhood Care and Development (DECCD) is working with industry partner Wonderschool to expand the child care industry in Mississippi.

MDHS, in partnership with Wonderschool, has funding available to expand capacity for high-quality child care available to working Mississippi families. New in-home residential providers can be reimbursed up to $10,000, and a center-based provider can be reimbursed up to $25,000. The child care grant can be used to cover mortgage or lease payments, utility expenditures, technology needs, licensing expenses, background checks, insurance, inspection fees, initial supplies, food costs, and more.

Additionally, Wonderschool has launched “Wonderschool Academy” in Mississippi, a free business training program to help providers start or expand child care businesses. In collaboration with the Mississippi Department of Human Services, Wonderschool is offering its live, virtual six-hour training program to Mississippi-based parents, educators, or child care providers, paired with the Wonderschool marketplace product, to start or expand a high-quality, child care program with a curriculum of their choice. The first Wonderschool Academy cohort began on October 26, 2023, and the fifteenth cohort will begin on May 30, 2024. To date, over 110 Mississippians have graduated from the program.

“Availability of child care across Mississippi is a critical component of building Mississippi’s workforce and preparing children for a lifetime of learning,” stated Robert G. (Bob) Anderson, Executive Director, Mississippi Department of Human Services. “MDHS is working to ensure the availability of quality child care across the state, but more specifically in historically underserved areas.”

Interested applicants should sign up for Wonderschool Academy to receive resources as well as support in applying for the grant. Grant applications are due August 1, 2024. Wonderschool is available to guide all applicants in everything needed to apply for the grant by the deadline.

Grant Eligibility Requirements:

  • Must be 18 years or older
  • Must be able to pass background check
  • Must have opened your doors as a new CCPP child care center in Mississippi after October 1, 2023, and before the grant expiration date.
  • Must be partnered with Wonderschool Academy.

“The State of Mississippi has listened and responded to the challenges that new child care providers face with significant start-up costs for new programs before they are able to begin collecting tuition from families,” said Wonderschool Co-Founder and CEO Chris Bennett. “This partnership will have ongoing benefits on the child care ecosystem through our direct work with child care providers and the state.” 

Wonderschool Academy participants will learn how to design, launch, and enroll students into their own child care program and use Wonderschool’s platform to run their successful small businesses. They will receive 1:1 coaching and support with tools and strategies for running their business, how to market it, and preparing for child care licensing.  

“As a participant in the first graduating Mississippi Wonderschool Academy cohort, I can speak firsthand about how greatly this program supports new child care providers,” said Jetuwan Brown, a Pediatric Haven Therapeutic child care provider. “The 1:1 mentoring is priceless, and I learned invaluable information from my instructor. As a grant recipient, the funding allocated by the MDHS could not have come at a better time, and we cannot begin to express enough gratitude. This grant and the Wonderschool program have set Mississippi-based child care providers up for success.”

Wonderschool is now accepting applications for immediate child care business support. Apply here to be a part of the next live Mississippi Wonderschool Academy cohort and receive assistance in qualifying for the grant by August 1, 2024.

For more information, please visit https://wndr.school/mississippi-grant. For media inquiries, please contact [email protected].

About Wonderschool
Wonderschool is building the largest network of high-quality early education programs. Wonderschool offers a diversity of options and combines engaged teachers and thoughtful education with the warmth of a family program while maintaining standards that go above and beyond state requirements. By providing dedicated support, technology, training, mentorship, and community, Wonderschool lets teachers focus on what they do best— teaching—and allows them to earn a sustainable living in the field they love. Learn more at www.wonderschool.com.

SOURCE Wonderschool

Originally published at https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/mdhs-and-wonderschool-working-to-expand-child-care-availability-in-mississippi-302153769.html
Images courtesy of PixaBay

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