TYLER, Texas (KETK) — The board of directors and staff at Champions for Children recently announced a $50,000 gift from the Moody Foundation.

The gift will reportedly be used for the organization’s early childhood education training that provides quality, affordable classes and coaching for early childhood educators in East Texas.

Currently, the childcare industry across the nation is facing a crisis in care — low wages prevent centers from attracting high quality teachers, but already high fees deter them from increasing prices for children in their care.

“Champions for Children has been providing programs for children as well as childcare training for more than 25 years,” said Andria Horton, Executive Director of Champions for Children. “We recognize the childcare crisis and we do not want to see childcare facilities reduce the quality of their training in an effort to reduce costs.”

“These ages – birth to 5-years – are a crucial time in a child’s life,” she continued. “So much of their critical learning and their social/emotional skills are formed in early childhood so we must prioritize those who are entrusted with their care. Early childhood educators need the best possible training because they are the ones who lay the groundwork for our childrens’ futures.”

Champions for Children provides training for early childhood educators with monthly classes, conferences, an Online Academy, and other special initiatives. Champions also facilitates a nationally-accredited advanced credential for childcare teachers, the Child Development Associate certificate.

The non-profit said that the $50,000 gift from the Moody Foundation will help the organization continue to offer high quality training to childcare teachers at affordable prices, provide continued mentoring and support as these teachers work in the East Texas childcare industry and reinforce the Champions commitment to lowering childcare costs for centers while supporting higher wages for their teachers.

“This generous donation from the Moody Foundation will help us train more than 3,000 teachers through weekly and monthly classes, quarterly conferences, and ongoing coaching,” Andria added. “It will absolutely have a lasting impact for East Texas children. They will be able to receive the loving, nurturing care they need as they begin learning, growing and preparing for school and for life.”

The Moody Foundation of Galveston has funded projects and programs in Texas for more than 75 years. Its grantees are programs and organizations focused on the arts, education, environment, health, and social services. 

Champions for Children provides education, mentoring, tools, and support to caregivers, teachers, and parents so all children can reach their full potential. For more information about Champions for Children, visit championsforchildren.org. For more information about the Moody Foundation, visit moodyf.org.