Meet the new, improved, $15 million-strong Fund for Quality - Generocity Philly

Funding

Mar. 14, 2016 2:32 pm

Meet the new, improved, $15 million-strong Fund for Quality

William Penn Foundation pumped triple its initial investment into the fund, which works with high-quality childcare providers.

Children at a Fund for Quality-funded facility.

(Courtesy photo)

The Fund for Quality, Reinvestment Fund and William Penn Foundation‘s initiative to support high-quality childcare providers, just got suped up with a big new bank roll and a five-year plan.

Earlier this year, Reinvestment Fund was in the process of seeking out additional funds to launch another round of grantmaking. Last week, they found $15 million by way of a WPF grant and allocated $7.65 million in loan capital from its own 850-member network of investors.

That’s a lot of coin considering the initial pool of capital, which was capitalized in 2014 with $4.6 million from WPF and $1.5 million in loan capital from Reinvestment Fund. The first iteration of the fund was able to support the expansion of 17 early childhood education centers.

Now with nearly quadruple the capital it started out with, the Fund has an opportunity to hone the way it executes its mission.

“We’ve been able to refine the program design, and we now have a five-year timeline to complete the work – which is really important, particularly in the development world,” said Bevin Parker-Cerkez, director of early childhood education lending at Reinvestment Fund.

The mission remains unaltered — Reinvestment Fund and operating partner Public Health Management Corporation (PHMC) will still support high-quality local childcare providers through strategic planning consulting and grants that will help them expand their services to more low-income children across the city.

“The Fund for Quality has made a significant impact on expanding quality pre-K throughout Philadelphia. This investment helps providers enhance facilities, enroll more students, and grow businesses,” said Mayor Jim Kenney in a release. His administration, he said, is committed to expanding access high-quality childcare (something to the tune of 6,500 new seats) through partnerships with philanthropy and the private sector.

Now, the Fund can do what it does better. Its new five year plan aims to help create an additional 1,500 seats at high-quality childcare centers by January 2021. According to Parker-Cerkez, the Fund will open up an application round sometime this spring and identify the next cohort of grantees by autumn 2016.

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