- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 10, 2014

DETROIT (AP) - The Kresge Foundation is pledging $20 million in new commitments over five years to help expand high-quality early childhood development offerings in Detroit.

The collaboration with local, state and federal partners is being announced Wednesday as part of a White House event. President Barack Obama is following up on his promise to expand early education opportunities for children by announcing a $1 billion public-private investment in programs.

The president is joining a daylong summit to announce the investment in early learning programs for infants, toddlers and preschoolers.

The Detroit Free Press reports the Kresge Foundation has awarded $1 million to Starfish Family Services, $500,000 to the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan and $150,000 to the Detroit Parent Network to help improve the quality of Head Start programs in Detroit.

The funding continues work begun with $1.5 million from the Kresge Foundation that was awarded last year.

Kresge Foundation President Rip Rapson says they’ve been “trying to pull together a more concerted strategy for early childhood development that would take sharper shape.” He says it’s a perfect time to “bridge the national support of the president’s office and the local efforts.”

The Detroit Parent Network’s program, for example, sends parent coaches to visit other parents at homes.

Eighteen states are being awarded a total of $250 million in Education Department grants to create or expand high-quality preschool programs. Michigan isn’t among the list of states getting that funding. In all, 36 states had applied for the grant money.




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