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Detroit to bulk up early childhood education in 2018


December 18, 2017
Jennifer Chambers
The Detroit News

A $50 million initiative to improve early childhood education services in Detroit will kick into high gear in the next 12 months as leaders focus efforts on addressing the city’s massive shortage of spots for children while expanding existing centers.

There are 55,000 children younger than 5 in Detroit and the city needs 23,000 additional licensed child care seats to ensure every child has a quality, early care experience, according to leaders with the Hope Starts Here Initiative.

The initiative is a 10-year plan funded by two Michigan foundations and has the support of Mayor Mike Duggan and Detroit Public Schools Community District Superintendent Nikolai Vitti. Its goals are to create stronger connections between early childhood, health and education; improve early childhood services; and support the financial stability of those programs.

Starting in early 2018, officials with the Kellogg Foundation say half of their $25 million investment in the initiative will be committed over the next 12 months to improve the quality of existing early education in the city.