Watauga County Children’s Council Awarded $250,000 Grant from the Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation

On Tuesday, December 5th, 2023, The Children’s Council of Watauga County was awarded a $250,000 grant from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation (Blue Cross NC Foundation) to support home-based childcare networks in Watauga County.  

The Children’s Council partnered with seven existing Watauga County home-based childcare providers to hold a series of work sessions during the summer of 2023. From these sessions, the Home-Based Childcare Network was created to provide broad support to the home-based childcare providers throughout Watauga County. The grant funds received from Blue Cross NC Foundation will aid in establishing the network and will provide helpful resources and guidance to these providers.

Wes Berry, the Home-Based Childcare Coordinator for the Watauga County Children’s Council stated that, “this funding will bring much needed resources, and emphasis to those who are providing child care in home-based situations within our community. We will be able to link these providers together, offering learning opportunities, sharing resources, and creating intentional dialogue to ensure both the provider and children in these situations receive quality support to the valuable work they are doing”.

The Home-Based Childcare Network will guide its work through three core values: 

• This community will empower childcare providers by creating a community connected with the information, resources, and validation needed to support in home child care. 

• This community will consistently search for and provide meaningful insight and acknowledgment to the valuable work provided by in home childcare, combining existing expertise with advancements found in the field of work. 

• This community will be designed to support to all in home childcare providers, regardless of location, type of provider, socio-economic status, race, or sex.

In addition to the local community, the Children’s Council was supported by the national collaborative Home Grown, whose mission is to increase access to and the quality of home-based child care, as well as MDC of Durham, whose mission is to equip leaders, institutions, and communities with the necessary tools and strategies to advance equity—particularly racial and gender equity—and economic mobility.

Thanks to the grant award from Blue Cross NC Foundation, The Home-Based Childcare Network will begin implementation of its work plan in early 2024. For more information, please email Wes Berry at: 

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