First recipients of Ready by Five millage chosen


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The organizations that will receive the first round of funding from the Ready by Five early childhood millage have been selected.

The Kent County board of commissioners last week approved a total of $2.4 million to be distributed through 2021 to four organization: $763,324 to Family Futures, $50,000 to Family Promise of Grand Rapids, $930,000 to Health Net of West Michigan and $656,676 to Kent Intermediate School District.

The initial funding is dedicated to navigation and outreach services that will help families know what is available in the community and how to access the resources that best meet their needs.

The organizations will connect expectant parents and parents of young children with information to early childhood and support services in the community. Navigation and outreach services will be available to families across Kent County, with a strategic focus on those with the greatest needs.

“Our board remains committed to the Ready by Five millage to ensure our tax dollars are not only used responsibly but that the funding will have the greatest impact on our children and their families,” said Kent County Administrator Wayman Britt.

The funding recommendation was made by a resident proposal review board consisting of nine community members, including parents, an early childhood expert and Kent County officials.

Approved by voters on Nov. 6, 2018, the millage will generate about $5.7 million per year for six years. The next round of funding will become available in late 2019 to programs that provide ongoing support to strengthen families and nurture the healthy development and early learning of young children.

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