Supported by the Fund for Quality the Center Expands Early Childhood Education in Philadelphia by 130 seats
Philadelphia, PA September 3. 2015 — Kinder Academy, an early childhood education provider that offers affordable, high-quality services, celebrated the opening of its fourth facility in Philadelphia today. The new center on Elgin Avenue will serve 130 children and create 25 jobs. The facility is one of 14 early childhood education projects supported by the Fund for Quality, a William Penn Foundation initiative operated by The Reinvestment Fund (TRF), and Public Health Management Corporation (PHMC), both deeply committed to increasing the supply of high-quality early learning services in Philadelphia.
The Fund for Quality is a $7.6 million, three-year, local initiative that provides capital and planning services for the expansion of high-quality early childhood education facilities in Philadelphia. The initiative was developed based on a comprehensive analysis by TRF on the availability of high-quality early childhood education in Philadelphia and the accessibility of child care for families with lowincomes. TRF’s analysis was funded by the William Penn Foundation and is accessible through www.childcaremap.org, an interactive tool that helps identify the neighborhoods where high-quality care is most scarce, and where investments are most needed.
“Research shows that high-quality early education helps people live better lives, yet only 15% of the nearly 100,000 early care and education seats in Philadelphia are known to be high-quality,” said Elliot Weinbaum, Program Director of Great Learning at the William Penn Foundation. “Today’s event is emblematic of the success that the Fund for Quality has had in increasing the supply of high quality childcare in Philadelphia. Multiple partners have collaborated to bring expertise and resources together to support our children.”
Financing from the Fund for Quality with support from TRF allowed Kinder Academy to acquire and renovate the facility. PHMC supported Kinder Academy in strategic and organization planning. Kinder Academy’s new Elgin Avenue center will be housed in space that was once home to Phil’s Shoes, an iconic store that had long-served the local community. The new center provides full- and part-time infant, toddler and preschool care. Services encompass after-school care that includes transportation, summer camp offerings and tutoring for school-age children.
“We are pleased to offer high-quality care in a community where people don’t feel like they have options,” said Leslie Spina, Executive Director of Kinder Academy. “With ChildcareMap as a resource and support from the Fund for Quality and TRF, we were able to create a facility in a place where there is significant need.”
Kinder Academy prides itself on being a developmental partner with its students and their parents in order to comprehensively prepare children for kindergarten and beyond. The organization is committed to serving the low-income community—over 90% of children attending a Kinder center are eligible for some form of tuition subsidy.
“Over the last year we worked closely with Kinder Academy through project planning, building acquisition, and substantial renovation to the facility. It has been an exciting process, and we are so happy to watch these projects come to fruition. Kinder Academy can now provide more high-quality programming in a community truly in need,” said Bevin Parker-Cerkez, TRF Loan Officer and Project Director for the Fund for Quality.
The new Kinder Academy facility includes a meeting area for families to convene with potential for community use, a business office, an instruction room for staff development, a kitchenette, as well as ample office space and a building-wide security system.
“High-quality early learning is key to ensuring children start school ready to succeed,” said Natalie Renew, Managing Director, PHMC Early Childhood Education. “PHMC supported Kinder Academy via expert consultants to ensure the site opens at the highest level of quality and sustains high-quality operations over the long-term. In addition to being an expert service provider, Leslie is a champion for young children and early learning programs in our region. We couldn’t be happier for Kinder Academy and the young children and families that will benefit from this high-quality program.”
For more information on The Fund for Quality, visit www.fundforquality.org.
About The Reinvestment Fund
TRF is a national leader in rebuilding America’s distressed towns and cities through the innovative use of capital and information. TRF has made $1.5 billion in community investments 1985. A Community Development Financial Institution, TRF finances a variety of projects and activities including food access, health care, education and housing, to build healthy communities in under-invested places. TRF also provides public policy expertise by helping clients create actionable solutions and by sharing data and analysis via www.PolicyMap.com. To learn more about TRF, visit www.trfund.com. Follow TRF on Twitter @trfund or Facebook at facebook.com/TRFund.
About The William Penn Foundation
The William Penn Foundation, founded in 1945 by Otto and Phoebe Haas, is dedicated to improving the quality of life in the Greater Philadelphia region through efforts that increase educational opportunities for children from low-income families, ensure a sustainable environment, foster creativity that enhances civic life, and advance philanthropy in the Philadelphia region. In partnership with others, the Foundation works to advance opportunity, ensure sustainability, and enable effective solutions. Since inception, the Foundation has made nearly 10,000 grants totaling over $1.6 billion. The Foundation’s assets exceed $2.3 billion as of Nov. 30, 2014.
About The William Penn Foundation
Public Health Management Corporation (PHMC) is a nonprofit public health institute that creates and sustains healthier communities. PHMC uses best practices to improve community health through direct service, partnership, innovation, policy, research, technical assistance and a prepared workforce. PHMC has served the region since 1972. For more information on PHMC, visit www.phmc.org.