Community First Foundation Supports Jeffco Families During COVID
More than $400,000 invested to support child care and remote learning support programs in Jeffco.
In response to COVID-19 and the ongoing uncertainties and challenges of remote learning, Community First Foundation has funded $415,000 to support Jefferson County families with childcare and remote learning resources.
“As summer came to a close in 2020, it was abundantly clear that another crisis was looming for Jeffco families. Remote learning posed problems not just for parents who weren’t trained as teachers, but also for parents who were deemed essential workers and who were not able to work from home,” explained Kelly Dunkin, CEO and President of Community First Foundation, a community foundation serving Jefferson County.
Part of the challenge facing Jeffco families was being able to quickly find openings in childcare programs. Dunkin explains, “We were hearing from Jeffco Schools and childcare providers that there were available openings for childcare, but parents were struggling to find and connect with them. Plus, we began to see alternative care arrangements emerging, like neighborhood pods, and we wanted to create a centralized place for families to find what they needed.”
Jeffco Families Plus was born of this need and today, families can search for licensed childcare programs, including providers that provide remote learning support. Providers for all age groups are included, from infant to school age. Available spots are published in real time, which can be a life saver for last minute needs. Parents can search by zip code, commute type and number of children to find options that are convenient and tailored to specific needs.
In addition to Jeffco Families Plus, Community First Foundation funded six remote learning options for Jeffco families.
- TeamUp! Jeffco offers learning community sites for Jeffco students on their hybrid remote learning days. Through this program, students get access to high-quality learning environments that include multiple levels of academic support, mental health and wellness services, and enrichment opportunities for both students and families.
- Susan Duncan YMCA has transitioned to offering full day remote learning care at locations across the metro area. The program is offered for grades K to 8.
- Gold Crown Foundation launched remote Learning Pods to neighborhood students and other youth in the area currently in grades 6 – 12.
- Edgewater Collective launched free, online Pathway Pods for students and families. Tutoring is offered to help students catch up academically. Family members can take classes in yoga, helping students with homework and much more.
- Teach by Tech is preparing technology training for caregivers struggling with technology to support their child’s learning.
“Living during a global pandemic in and of itself is challenging, and for parents of children the burden has doubled,” explains Dunkin. “Our hope is that these tools and resources help our Jeffco families rebalance a bit of that load.”
Kelly highlighted that funding for these remote learning programs came from Community First Foundation’s Jeffco Hope Fund, which was seeded by Community First Foundation and community members who donated to the fund.
“This type of community support becomes critical during times of crisis and would not be possible without support from donors and community organizations. We are continuously humbled and inspired by the Jeffco Community and how they take care of their neighbors. We are proud to call this place home.”
To support these efforts and other local COVID-relief programs in Jefferson County, visit CommunityFirstFoundation/Jeffco Hope Fund.