$30M being given to DSU to invest in early education and childcare
DOVER, Del.- Delaware State University is receiving the largest grant in the school’s history.
Over $30 million over the next 5 years is being dedicated to early education and childcare.
“I think about who will be the next scientist, who will be the next president, who will cure cancer it is the investments that we make in the beginning that pay dividends in the end,” Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester, said.
The announcement was made during an event Monday at DSU. With a partnership with the state, the construction of an “Early Childhood Innovation Center” will be made possible, as well expanding access to affordable childcare.
“It’s one of the number one issues that we hear not only from parents in terms of affordability, but from business leaders and chambers that the pandemic, in particular, has heightened the awareness of the need a strong investment for early education,” Rep. Blunt Rochester said.
Officials told us the center will encompass a variety of opportunities for Delawareans seeking careers in the childcare industry.
“So, this center will represent that with 10 classrooms that are 4 to 5 with supports for them, and then all the other things that are necessary for folks that are working from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.,” Dr. Shelley Rouser, Department Chair for Education at DSU, said.
And, state leaders hope it will help address even bigger concerns.
“When you think about it, it really is as many of the speakers noted an economic development initiative critically important to keeping our economy strong and running,” Governor John Carney said.
“One of the investments will help to retain and recruit individuals to the childcare profession and,” Rep. Blunt Rochester said.
We’re by ensuring the state is investing in jobs, in education, and inequity it’ll only benefit future generations.
“I know that we will plant seeds for them that will last them a lifetime 30 that’s what happens when you invest in early learning,” Dr. Rouser said.
We’re told one-third of the funding will come from the American Rescue Plan Act and the rest of other state funds to make this initiative happen. The funding will also expand scholarship opportunities to support working professionals seeking additional education.
University President, Tony Allen, said he’s happy to see the State taking steps for education reform, adding, early childhood experiences are critical to the educational success of all children, especially those of color and/or living in poverty.