Just ninety days after Cincinnati Early Learning Centers and Children, Inc., merged to form Learning Grove, COVID-19 swept through our country and changed how we serve children and families in our community.
A longstanding partner of United Way Success By 6, Learning Grove had to promptly close several childcare centers, cancel college and career readiness programs and home visitation appointments, and modify their support network for childcare providers.
The support of the COVID-19 Regional Response Fund allowed them to transition all of these programs into virtual experiences.
In immediate response to the pandemic, Learning Grove opened two childcare facilities for emergency personnel. Following the guidelines of the CDC and government officials, they continued providing affordable, high quality education with low student-to-teacher ratios.
“Financial support from the fund has been instrumental in helping Learning Grove operate two emergency response childcare sites in Ohio and Kentucky for our community’s health care workers and other essential employees during the pandemic,” says Helen Mattheis, Learning Grove vice president of advancement.
“The funds have also allowed us to distribute critical supplies to families including emergency food, diapers, health and hygiene items, and educational materials through our outreach services,” she continues. “We are deeply grateful for this support to help our families during this time.”
The COVID-19 Regional Response Fund has distributed more than $7 million into the community and has supported residents who are most disproportionately affected by — and most vulnerable to — the health, economic, education, housing, and social impacts of the crisis.
Olivia H. Moragne is the community engagement lead for marketing with the United Way of Greater Cincinnati.
Over the next few weeks, Soapbox will share work from community members and business owners regarding their thoughts during the COVID-19 pandemic. Have a story you’d like to share? Email [email protected] for consideration in an upcoming issue.