SSTC to Help Establish Licensed Family Care Homes in Transylvania County
Smart Start of Transylvania County (SSTC) wishes to convey recent funding awarded in support of establishing licensed Family Child Care Homes (FCCH) in Transylvania County. SSTC is pleased to announce the addition of Ansley Harron to their team who is leading this project, a key element in the organization’s strategic plan. Ansley is a Transylvania County native who holds a Bachelor of Social Work degree. She has worked during the last nearly four years as an early childhood educator in both Transylvania and Jackson counties. Her passions include social justice and bringing resources to families in her community.
This funding is provided by a generous grant from the WNC Bridge Foundation which has been serving the people of Western North Carolina for over 17 years. WNC Bridge Foundation is a community-based charity providing direct support to individuals and grants to thoughtfully selected non-profits throughout the region who are working every day to eliminate the barriers in our communities that prevent citizens from reaching their full potential.
SSTC has an overarching goal to see every child in the community equipped to thrive. The organization serves the unserved and underserved children in the community. This includes, but is certainly not limited to, children who: have never been in a formal pre-school environment, come from lower socioeconomic backgrounds, reside in the most rural parts of our community, and from veteran families. By seeking funding to not only establish home based licensed child care, but to help move them toward success and longevity, SSTC hopes to help cultivate and sustain quality child care in the areas of Transylvania County that lack access. This project also intends to include collaboration on business management sustainability planning with the Family Child Care Homes. Affirmed by Executive Director, Deb Tibbetts, SSTC defines their success “by meeting goals--in large ways and small--by sustaining equitable access to services we provide.” This project is a new focus for SSTC as it centers on the strained availability and access to care for children under four in the community. Also, Family Child Care Homes align with multiple statewide goals of opening with strength and stability in a post-COVID world.
SSTC is pleased to also be in partnership on this project with Western Carolina Community Action (WCCA) due to their recent Head Start grant, a portion of which supports the development of Family Child Care Homes/Early Head Start locations in Transylvania County.
Like many sectors, the landscape of child care has been drastically altered by the COVID-19 pandemic. A collective reimagining is necessary in order to continue to grow capacity as kindergarten readiness is a constant effort. By supporting small, trusted caregivers and helping them become licensed, SSTC expects to alleviate barriers to access. Continuing to strengthen and support the early childcare infrastructure community of Transylvania County is at the essence of SSTC and the organization is grateful for the support from WNC Bridge Foundation for their continued investment in Transylvania County.