To ensure children thrive, we focus on improving access to high-quality early learning experiences. Though children learn in every environment, our funding primarily addresses child care access and affordability.
Our funding helps low-income families afford child care and preschool and helps child care providers support and retain high quality staff. We help support infrastructure for families, employers, and philanthropy to address the regional child care crisis.
Stabilize existing high quality early learning providers
Provide funding for family access and staff retention and recruitment at Starting Strong and Jump Start Providers
Expand access to high quality early learning programs for low-income families
Provide funding for capacity building for high quality child care providers and expand number of scholarships available to low income families
Strengthen public/private investment in high quality early learning opportunities for low-income families
Pilot innovative solutions to funding child care through the JTVF Child Care Innovation Fund
Join us for an eye-opening free online event where we delve into the world of child care in Rapid City! Discover the truth about why child care is both too expensive and not expensive enough. During this webinar we will share findings on a study authored by our...
We are so excited about two of our upcoming early learning investments that we couldn’t stop ourselves from giving you a sneak peek! In 2024, we will launch two pilot programs to address the child care crisis faced by local families. Bridgecare: the Zillow of Child...
The Starting Strong program is vital to our community. But don't take our word for it. Listen to the testimonials from people in our community who benefit the most. Starting Strong is a preschool scholarship program for three and four-year-old children as well as a...
Value of early learning grants as of August 2023
Early Childhood Connections
friends of South Dakota Public Broadcasting
Black Hills Area Community Foundation
Donor-advised fund to pilot innovative child care solutions
Northern Hills Alliance for Children
Rapid City YMCA
Rural America Initiatives
United Way of the Black Hills
JTVF Child Care Innovation Fund
Housed at the Black Hills Area Community Foundation, the JTVF Child Care Innovation Fund will be used to pilot a program where local businesses, philanthropy, and employees themselves equally share the costs of child care. It’s a bold step towards addressing a growing concern in the modern workforce—child care affordability. The Tri-Share Program aims to make child care affordable and accessible for working parents, help employers retain and attract employees, and support child care providers’ sustainability.
Our role: Founder
National League of Cities Learning Cohort
Rapid City was selected to participate in a national Early Learning Municipal Policy Alignment Cohort in 2019 comprised of 24 communities across the U.S. Participation has leveraged Rapid City to receive national connections to other organizations such as Home Grown, Reinvestment Fund, Low Income Investment Fund, and Stanford Graduate School of Education.
Our role: As part of the Advisory team for ELRC, Jess meets virtually with this cohort.
South Dakota Childcare Business Collaborative
ELSD was accepted in 2023 to join a cohort of states to lead a Childcare/Business Collaborative.
Our role: Participant
Early Learner South Dakota
Early Learner South Dakota (ELSD) is a community-driven, grass roots effort, led by the South Dakota Association for the Education of Young Children (SDAEYC) bringing awareness and support to the importance of how access to a variety of early learning environments impacts our community’s future.
Our role: JTVF participates on the statewide leadership, advocacy, and funding committees for ELSD.
Early Learner Rapid City
Early Learner Rapid City is an effort under the ELSD umbrella with a vision that all children have access to quality early learning experiences and environments to create a solid foundation for lifelong success. Early Learner communities, such as Rapid City, engage their community stakeholders to improve early learning in their community. Rapid City is using the Early Learning Community Action Guide from the National League of Cities which helps communities take action to become an Early Learning Community.
Our role: Jess from the JTVF team is on the core leadership team for Early Learner Rapid City, alongside United Way of the Black Hills – Black Hills Reads Initiative, the City of Rapid City, and Early Childhood Connections.
Learn more about the grant application process.