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NEXT Memphis receives $1M grant to offer early childcare options

Published: Dec. 7, 2021 at 7:14 AM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us all that childcare is a necessity. And a new grant is helping make sure more families in Memphis have access to childcare.

NEXT Memphis is an initiative of Porter-Leath that strives to support childcare professionals in the community.

“And to support families with whatever challenges or goals they have in their lives,” said Chloe Hakim-Moore, director of NEXT Memphis with Porter-Leath.

NEXT Memphis recently received a million-dollar grant from First 8 Memphis that will help them offer more services for early childcare.

Since 2016 First 8 Memphis has been seeking to help children make a smooth transition from Pre-K into Kindergarten and beyond.

“This is one of our biggest success stories so far,” said Dr. Kandace Thomas, First 8 Memphis Executive Director.

The grant they were able to invest in NEXT Memphis will last until 2023.

“The grant itself - we’re so honored to collaborate with the organization here Seeding Success. Seeding Successes was actually able to secure the grant from a national funder,” said Thomas.

One of the first ways NEXT Memphis plans to use the grant is to improve services for family day-homes.

“Sometimes family day-homes get left out of the conversations of support in childcare,” said Hakim-Moore. “Well, this grant allows us to not only support more childcare centers but also have more robust support for family day-homes.”

And the grant couldn’t come at a more important time.

“If the pandemic showed us anything else, it’s that our community doesn’t work without childcare,” said Hakim-Moore.

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