Davenport, Iowa   5/11/10.  Scott County Kids Empowerment Board unanimously approved Fiscal Year 2011 budget investing over  $1.9 million dollars into Scott County early childhood programs.  The state and federal dollars are specifically allocated for programming to support the healthy development of children birth through age five residing in Scott County.  The Scott County Kids Empowerment Board members renewed their commitment to these families and the community by funding a continuum of services ranging from direct in-home services aimed at supporting children and families ensuring that early education and child care providers have affordable and accessible training opportunities in order to provide or expand a child's day in a high quality learning environment.

On a yearly basis, the Scott County Kids Empowerment Board reviews its community priorities and has current contract holders undergo a reapplication process with the purpose of insuring that the needs of children ages birth through five are being addressed.  At the board meeting held on May 11, 2010, Scott County Kids Empowerment Board members renewed contracts with many providers, including Genesis Visiting Nurses, who will continue to administer two programs, Universal Assessment and Bright Beginnings.  Their combined contracts total $536,318.00. Genesis Visiting Nurses partners with Genesis Health System and Trinity Medical Center in offering every Scott County mother and newborn a specialized complimentary hospital visit and a follow up home visit from a nurse.  This program is designed to support a successful transition from hospital to home and is vital for the newest Scott County citizens to begin a healthy and safe start.  The Bright Beginnings program provides ongoing home visitation services to families who qualify.  Additionally, Friendly House's contract was renewed.  They will continue to administer both child care and preschool scholarships for Scott County children who are under age five and whose families meet income guidelines.  The amount approved for the Friendly House contact was $631,622.00.

Scott County Kids Board members adjusted early childhood programming funding to meet the significant reduction of funds from the Office of Empowerment for FY 11.  The allocation from the Iowa legislation, was reduced by $159,401.00 for Scott County.  However, Board members were grateful for the amount knowing funding could have been reduced further.  Scott County Kids board president, Jennifer Kakert says, "despite the reduction in funds we are glad the legislature continues to recognize the importance of early childhood care and education.  We look forward to another successful year of partnering with a variety of agencies and individuals to offer vital services to our youngest citizens. "

For more information about Scott County Kids Empowerment, please contact 563-326-8221 or www.scottcountykids.org