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January 08, 2016

Kresge Fund Commits $20 Million for Early-Childhood Programs

Calling high-quality early-childhood care a key to Detroit's turnaround, the Kresge Foundation announced a five-year, $20 million effort Thursday to expand and improve programs for kids ages 0 to 5, The Detroit News reports. The priorities of Kresge Early Years for Success will include establishing new early-childhood centers offering a range of family and educational services, providing low-cost loans to existing facilities, and improving maternal health care.

Foundation CEO Rip Rapson said two-thirds of Detroit's young children live in poverty, and only 14 percent are estimated to be kindergarten-ready when they reach school age. "We will know Detroit is on the path to a full turnaround when there is evidence that its children are safe and healthy and when they are academically, emotionally, and developmentally ready to begin school," he said.