The Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation has awarded a $100,000 grant to State College of Florida Foundation (SCFF) to start the Barancik Early Education Pilot Program at State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota (SCF). The program is designed to ensure more people working with children ages three to five have bachelor’s degrees.

SCF has been working diligently to help reset the image of early childhood education. About 80 percent of brain development occurs before a child reaches the age of six, making it important to provide young children with a strong educational beginning. There are new legislative requirements for early childhood educators to increase their level of education, so that they will be equipped to ensure student success. Having classroom teachers with Bachelor of Science degrees will provide three- to five-year-old students with a solid educational foundation, boosting their chances for continued success.

This grant aligns with Barancik Foundation’s Teacher Recruitment/Retention and First 1,000 Days Sarasota County initiatives. “We are pleased to partner with State College of Florida to educate and help employ those who will nurture the minds of our young children,” said Teri A Hansen, President and CEO of Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation.

To help quickly increase the number of early childhood educators with bachelor’s degrees, SCF will begin accepting applications immediately for the Barancik Early Educators Pilot Program. Anyone interested in the program should contact April Fleming, director of educational programs, at FleminA@SCF.edu or 941-363-7265.