First 5 Kern celebrates 25 years & recognizes mini-grant awardees at local event

First 5 Kern recently hosted their 25th Anniversary celebration, and announced the awarding of $60,975 in mini-grants to recipients from around the entire county.

The event, held Thursday evening at the Bakersfield Museum of Art, welcomed nearly 100 guests, including local and statewide elected representatives, and many of the awardees for the recent Early Childhood Education Mini-Grants. First 5 Kern received several proclamations recognizing a quarter of a century of supporting children and families. Guest speakers were welcomed, including a pair of mini-grant awardees.

First 5 Kern awarded 26 grants through this opportunity, spanning the width of the county, with 12 different communities represented among the winners.

Another feature of the event was an art project for over a dozen children in attendance, who created pieces which will soon decorate the First 5 Kern office.

"We are so proud to celebrate this milestone in our efforts throughout Kern County, and honor our awardees at the same time" said First 5 Kern Executive Director Amy Travis.

"Our mini-grant recipients are helping to forge a stronger future for today's little ones. We are proud to stand by them, to recognize the challenges that they face every day, and to support their tireless dedication."

"Our mini-grant recipients are helping to forge a stronger future for today's little ones. We are proud to stand by them... and to support their tireless dedication."

Amy Travis, First 5 Kern

Executive Director

The funding opportunity offered grants of up to $2,500 each. The mini-grants were not only open to traditional child care providers, but to organizations working to support early learning environments, in their own unique ways. Information about the winners, and some fun facts about the applications and awardees, can be found below.

Special thanks are in order to the BMOA for hosting the event, Chef Ora for providing food for the evening, and Straight Up for providing non-alcoholic "mocktails" for the guests.

And the winners are...

Below is the list of recipients for the 25th Anniversary ECE mini-grants.

  • Adriana Ceja Gonzalez Family Child Care
  • Alexis Savedra Daycare
  • Anastacia Munoz
  • Bakersfield Museum of Art
  • CAPSL Child Care
  • Chasing Dreams Child Care
  • Exceptional Family Center
  • Gonzalez Family Child Care
  • Herrera Nunez Lourdes Family Child Care
  • Hilda Albayeros Family Home Child Care
  • Janeen Monteon Family Childcare
  • Jennifer Force Family Child Care
  • Jenn's Family Daycare
  • Kern County Child Support Services
  • Lilia Juarez Family Child Care
  • Maria Cruz Family Child Care
  • Maria Gonzalez Ceja Family Child Care
  • Riverstone Wellness
  • Robin's Nest
  • Rocio Salazar Family Childcare
  • South Fork Preschool
  • Taft College Children's Center
  • Take Care Daycare & Preschool
  • Victory Family Services
  • Women's Center high Desert
  • Yesenia Salazar Pena

Behind the numbers:

  • Due to varying funding request levels, First 5 Kern was able to award 26 mini-grants instead of the intended 25 within the allotted $62,000 budget
  • 22 of the 26 awardees were child care providers, including 18 home-based providers
  • 15 of the 26 awardees (58%) are located outside of Bakersfield
  • 12 different Kern County communities were represented among the awardees
  • Bakersfield (11)
  • Delano (3)
  • Wasco (2)
  • Shafter (2)
  • Ridgecrest, Taft, Weldon, Lebec, Arvin, Kernville, Tehachapi, Lake Isabella each with 1
  • 72 total applications were submitted
  • 64% of the applicants were child care providers - the majority of which were in-home providers
  • 40% of the applications submitted were from outside Bakersfield

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