Candelen Receives Multiple Awards to Help Struggling Home-Based Caregivers and Child Care Centers

May 19, 2020  |  Published by

Candelen has been awarded $100,000 to establish a regional emergency fund to provide relief grants to non-licensed home-based child care providers by Home Grown, a national collaborative of funders committed to improving the quality of and access to home-based child care. Candelen is partnering with Arizona’s Children Association, the United Way of Pinal County, and Child Care Resource & Referral - Arizona, a program of Child & Family Resources, to distribute cash gift cards to family, friend and neighbor home based child care providers across the State of Arizona.

Candelen will operate as the administrative home for the regional emergency fund. The eligible caregivers' homes are not currently licensed by Arizona Department of Health Services (DHS) or certified by the Department of Economic Security (DES) to be a family child care home.

It is the collaborating organizations’ goal to provide family, friend, and neighbor caregivers with economic support and to gather data on the impact of COVID-19 on employment status in these type of caregivers’ households. This award will help 366 caregivers with a $300 cash gift card. Candelen is providing matching funds to the Home Grown award, beginning with $10,000 from their tax credit donation campaign raised earlier this year and will continue fundraising efforts with the community.

“We are committed to our mission of resourcing and supporting anyone who impacts kids and are grateful to be collaborating with other dedicated and passionate organizations in Arizona,” states Nicole Newhouse, Candelen CEO. “These home-based child care providers care for more than 60% of our kids under the age of five year-round and we need to strengthen and support them during this crisis.”

Candelen has also received a $10,260 award from United Way of Northern Arizona which will be distributed directly to child care centers that are struggling to remain open and serve children of essential workers in the Flagstaff area. Due to COVID-19, 82% of licensed child care centers in Flagstaff have been forced to close and those centers that have remained open are operating far below capacity, creating a dire financial situation. Though providing an important service to essential employees and the community, these centers continue to struggle to keep their doors open. Support from the United Way of Northern Arizona will allow these services to continue to be provided and help maintain a healthy and stable child care industry for rebuilding the economy and getting families back to work. Candelen and First Things First have collaborated to connect with local child care centers and discuss their financial needs in the light of COVID-19, self-quarantining, and employee furloughs. Candelen will serve as the administrative home for UWNA funds and distribute them directly to each child care center that has made a request.

"We are incredibly grateful to all the individuals and organizations in our community who are doing their part to support children and families during these tough times," said Peter Van Wyck, First Things First Regional Director and member of the Social Safety Net Services Coalition. "We appreciate the United Way of Northern Arizona stepping up to help child care providers with critical needs so that they can focus on their primary mission: to keep kids safe and learning while their parents work or head back to work."

Madeleine Lovett

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