Delaware State University to Open an Early Childhood Innovation Center on Campus

Historically Black Delaware State University will establish an Early Childhood Innovation Center on campus. The effort is supported by a five-year, $30.6 million allocation from the state of Delaware.

In partnership with the state Department of Education and Department of Health and Social Services, Delaware State University will use the $30.6 million to support the construction and launch of the Early Childhood Innovation Center, invest in Delaware’s childcare workforce, and expand access to affordable childcare for Delaware families in need.

Delaware State University will develop statewide infrastructure for a unique pathway for Delawareans seeking careers in the childcare industry. The funding will also expand scholarship opportunities to support working professionals who are seeking additional education.

“Although progress has been made over the past decade, we know that about a third of Delaware’s children are not kindergarten ready due to a number of factors including child poverty; food and housing insecurities; domestic violence and other trauma; and lack of access to quality health care,” said Shelley Rouser, chair of the university’s education department. “The teachers and caregivers they encounter have to be aware of these challenges and prepared with the skills to overcome them.”

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