(July, 7 2017 - Denver, CO) In January of 2017, Qualistar announced a $1.2 million grant from the Colorado Health Foundation to improve the quality of outdoor learning environments in early childhood settings and created a new grant titled Healthy Beginnings, Active Futures. One of the major goals of the grant opportunity is to encourage active, outdoor play, which researchers show boosts children’s learning and healthy development. In the first round Qualistar awarded $158,000.
“We are thrilled to have successfully completed the very first round of Healthy Beginnings, Active Futures and were able to award 14 grants to child care providers across the State,” said Shannon Hall, Director of Scholarships and Grants at Qualistar. “These grants will make a difference in the everyday lives of thousands of Colorado children.” Hillary Fulton, Senior Program Officer for Healthy Living at the Colorado Health Foundation, was excited to see that Qualistar received applications from 42 counties across Colorado, from a wide range of early childhood settings including non-profit, for-profit, family child care homes, Head Start, and school district preschools.
With over $7.4 million is ask in the first round, it is clear that the need is high. “Qualistar is in over 1,000 classrooms and programs annually, and are in a unique position to truly understand the tremendous need for financial resources to make quality improvements,” says Kathryn Harris, President & CEO of Qualistar, “So many child care programs operate on razor thin margins, and a grant opportunity like Healthy Beginnings, Active Futures is critical to their ability to invest in their programs and provide safer and healthier environments for children.”
Funding requests ranged from the replacement of playground equipment to funds for basic health and safety improvements. Paige Thompson, a grantee in Yuma Country and Director of Bullpup Preschool is eager to enhance their outdoor play space. “Our playground surface has deteriorated and is unsafe for our children to play on,” she said. “Because of the generosity from the Colorado Health Foundation, we will be able to replace our surface and provide a safe outdoor environment where every child can learn, play, and succeed!”
Applications for the Healthy Beginnings, Active Futures grant will be accepted two additional times in 2017 and multiple times in 2018. Please see Qualistar.org for additional information and to register for a technical assistance webinar about the grant application process.
Qualistar elevates the quality of early childhood education in Colorado by improving everyday practice of professionals, and by building safe, supportive environments. We provide assessment, training, grants, scholarships, and technical assistance, collaborating with state and local entities to efficiently and effectively deliver solutions across the state. For more information visit www.qulaistar.org
The Colorado Health Foundation works to make Colorado the healthiest state in the nation by ensuring that all Colorado kids are fit and healthy and that all Coloradans achieve stable, affordable and adequate health coverage to improve their health with support from a network of primary health care and community services. To advance our mission, the Foundation engages the community through grantmaking, public policy and advocacy, private sector engagement, strategic communications, evaluation for learning and assessment and by operating primary care residency training programs. For more information, please visit www.ColoradoHealth.org