Bruce Harrell, Mayor
Dr. Dwane Chappelle, Director
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 27, 2022
Contact: Lori Baxter, email@example.com, 206-402-8795
11 Organizations Awarded $1.6M in Community Grants to Support Equitable Birth Outcomes and Early Childhood Development
Programs provide culturally and linguistically responsive prenatal-to-three supports and services for Black, Indigenous, and other communities of color
SEATTLE (October 27) – The Seattle Department of Education and Early Learning (DEEL) has announced awards for 11 community organizations as part of the Sweetened Beverage Tax (SBT) 2022 Prenatal-to-Three Community Grant Program, which aims to improve kindergarten readiness and reduce outcome disparities for young children and families based on race, gender, or other socioeconomic factors. Services will be directed and provided by organizations led primarily by women of color and offered throughout the city, with a focus on southeast and central areas of Seattle.
Just over $1.6 million in funding from SBT-generated revenue was awarded to programs supporting children aged birth to three, pregnant individuals, and guardians of children aged birth to three. The final amount awarded exceeded the original Request for Proposal expectations due to savings from the prior year’s awards.
“Disparities in maternal and infant health are unacceptable, and we must uplift meaningful solutions that center the communities most impacted,” said Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell. “Investing in the health and wellbeing of young families and children builds the foundation for strong, healthy communities, and the City of Seattle is proud to support these community-led organizations in their work to set all families up for success.”
Research indicates that women today are 50% more likely to die in childbirth compared to their mothers, and this risk is three to four times higher for Black women than white women, irrespective of income or education. Seven of the 11 community organizations funded through this year’s community grants provide midwifery, doula, or other key supports during the prenatal period and in the critical weeks and months after childbirth when many maternal morbidity statistics occur. These seven organizations also provide in-language services for limited-English speaking communities to support equitable birth outcomes, with 18 linguistic communities supported overall.
“Nearly five years ago (2017) my Council colleagues and I passed the Sweetened Beverage Tax because we knew these funds could give a much-needed boost towards more equitable birth outcomes and further enhance early childhood development,” said Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda (Position 8, Citywide). “As was our intention, the programs who have been awarded this funding today will enjoy the financial support needed to provide culturally and linguistically responsive prenatal-to-three resources and services for Black, Indigenous, and other communities of color, in numerous languages over the months ahead and years to come.”
Other outcomes supported by this year’s round of prenatal-to-three community grants include:
- providing families with access to critical resources and services,
- increasing parental health and wellbeing,
- strengthening nurturing and responsive caregiver-child relationships, and
- supporting optimal child health and development.
Services offered will include screening and referrals for developmental disabilities and wraparound services for children 0-3, parent education and support, and home visiting, with a focus on Black, Indigenous, and immigrant and refugee communities.
“We’re proud to be investing in community-driven solutions to support young children and families during this critical developmental period of life, solutions that will help us reduce opportunity gaps and support kindergarten readiness and academic success for our children,” said Dr. Dwane Chappelle, Director of the Department of Education and Early Learning.
The full list of Prenatal-to-Three Community Grant award recipients are below:
- East African Community Services – $140,000
- Voices of Tomorrow – $140,000
- Horn of Africa Services – $140,000
- Hummingbird Indigenous Family Services* – $150,000
- Washington Multicultural Services Link* – $150,000
- Families of Color Seattle – $150,000
- Korean Community Services Center – $150,000
- Rainier Valley Midwives – $150,000
- Mother Africa*– $150,000
- Empowering Youth and Families Outreach – $150,000
- El Centro de la Raza – $150,000
*First-time award recipient of DEEL funding
The City of Seattle Department of Education and Early Learning’s mission is to transform the lives of Seattle children, youth, and families through strategic investments in education. www.seattle.gov/education